Guidelines for Selecting a Great Web Host
Nowadays, there are thousands of companies out there offering web hosting services. As a result, many people end up confused and frustrated when looking for a host for their website. The following tips will help you choose the best web host for your site.
A web host should not only be fast, but should offer a great uptime guarantee. This guarantee will compel the web hosting provider to ensure that their servers are working nonstop. Find a company that provides a minimum uptime guarantee of 99%. If they happen to fall below this figure, they should be willing to offer a discount or a refund. However, it is not easy for a user to enforce an uptime guarantee. The host could even deny knowledge about the downtime. And in that case, you should move on to the next company.
2. Bandwidth and disk space
Bandwidth, which is also known as ‘traffic’, refers to the amounts of data transferred when visitors browse your site. Before signing up with a commercial web host, find out the capacity of the bandwidth offered. However, look out for web hosts which claim to offer ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. In reality, this is not possible. Read the fine print to find out what they really mean by ‘unlimited’, otherwise, you might find yourself paying extra costs due to exceeding the ‘unlimited’ bandwidth.
When it comes to disk space, you need to find a web host which offers sufficient space for your site’s needs. Usually, a site which contains images, videos or music requires more space than one which only contains text. If you seeing your site growing bigger over time, make sure your host will allow you to upgrade your account in future.
3. Technical support
Does the web host offer 24/7 technical support? Since things can go wrong at any time, you need to find a host that provides support even on public holidays and weekends. However, just because a host promises round the clock support does not mean that they can deliver. One of the best ways of testing them is by calling them on a Saturday night or emailing them on a Sunday morning. Find out how much time it takes for them to respond. In addition, you need to check for their technical proficiency.
4. Shopping cart and SSL (secure server)
If you intend to sell any products and services through your site, you might need to find a web host which offers the shopping cart feature. However, this feature usually involves extra charges or a more expensive package. In case you are planning to process credit card payments on your site, SSL is a must to ensure the security of your customers.
6. Control panel
Every web host offers a control panel allows you to administer various aspects of your account. For instance, you should be able to do basic things such as alter your passwords, as well as add or delete your email addresses. Make sure you find a web host that offers a well designed and easy to use control panel. However, beware of hosts who require you to contact customer support for help with even the simplest maintenance task.
7. Payment plan
Most web hosts offer annual, quarterly or monthly payment plans. Don’t be tempted to sign up for the annual plan immediately, even if the web host offers a ‘money back guarantee’ to anyone dissatisfied with their services. You cannot be sure that they will honor their promise. Therefore, when signing up with a new host, it would be advisable to pay monthly until you are certain of their reliability. In case you are not satisfied with their services, you will be able to quickly transfer to a different host. However, if the web host proves reliable, you can switch to the annual payment plan.
Before signing up with any web host, you need to find out what other people are saying about them. There are many web hosting review sites out there where people share their opinions. However, don’t be quick to believe everything you read. Negative reviews might have been posted by the competitors of a particular web host. Similarly, a web host might get people to write false reviews praising their services.
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