Choosing a web hosting company is a very personal decision based on your own unique needs. Web hosting is what places your website into World Wide Web, where anyone can access to it 24 hours a day. In other words, without placing your site onto a web hosting service, you won’t get visibility you want. Most small business owners will most likely go through a web hosting company rather than invest in acquiring their own servers, which is very expensive and difficult. On top of expense that is involved with having your own server, you need to have a strong educational background to be able to deal with technical aspects of implementing your own server, or having your own technical computer staff on hand to deal with process. (And those programmers don’t come cheap either!) If you’re a new online business or looking for ways to expand your market reach, web hosting is definitely way to go.
Which web hosting service do you select? There are two key things to keep in mind when you begin your search for an appropriate web hosting service: (1) Find a web hosting company that meets your needs for today, (2) Make sure that this web hosting company you choose can grow with you as your business expands. Another important factor you want to know up front about hosting services, is that once you choose one, and decide it doesn’t pan out for you, to switch to another service will be a very painful and a lengthy process. It’s just not worth mistake to make!
Check out these tips in how you can select a web hosting service that has most qualities such as flexibility, service, and growth capabilities along with a strong background in technical abilities that you’re seeking, at a price you can afford.
Shop and Research Do your surfing on net. Shop around and compare services between different web hosting services. Ask other businesses what hosting companies they’re using. Make sure you check out businesses that have made statements in testimonials about particular web hosting company they’re using. Follow up by contacting them and have a series of questions to ask, and see how they respond to your questions in regards to those services. Still don’t know where to start? Check out web hosting directories on net, which will save you hoards of time, because real good ones will be ones on first, few pages, www.webhostingrebates.com could be a good place to start.
Cost and Fees of Web Hosting This is a pretty good area to begin as well. You need to know what you’ve set aside to pay for this service, since it’s a vital part of your business, therefore, it needs to be part of your marketing plan. Make sure when you’re doing your homework on web hosting services, get a clear cut picture of what fees and upfront cost of everything you can possibly think of. For example, is there a set up fee? Are there extra fees for having a ‘secure transaction’ feature? Will it be extra to have multiple URL’s? Auto-responders, additional email addresses, how much more will it cost to upgrade to a better plan? Once you decide, just have it in writing and be specific as possible as what your expectations are from any particular web hosting service. You should know exactly what you’re shelling out for.
Contract Length Many web hosting companies will offer a cheaper rate for longer contract timeframes. If you decide to go with a two-year contract, since they know they’re getting a commitment from you, may offer you a deal. The only risk with that, if you find that you’re not pleased with their service…it may be tough to get out of a contract you are obligated to follow through duration of contract. Just be clear about length of your commitment and how often you are required to pay on your contract. Some do it monthly, quarterly or bi-monthly. I would recommend that when starting out, hoping you never change web hosting services, that you settle on a one-year contract. Just understand what you’re getting into before you sign any dotted line.
Disk Space Depending on type of site and business you’re in will determine how much disk space will be required for your website to function properly. You can pretty much estimate your disk space needs on amount of space your site takes on your own computer. The reason why this is important to know, is for example, if you’re an online store that offers free movie downloads, you will need lots of space for all those large video files.
Assess Service and Support A good web hosting company will have excellent customer service and a support center where you can call to trouble shoot your concerns about your site. Without good customer support, you can smell trouble for yourself and your business down road. You don’t want to ultimately hamper your business growth because you overlooked on customer care and technical support from your web hosting company. A good way to test web-hosting services, before you make that splurge, is to send them a test email, and see how quickly and professionally they respond to your email. Make sure you send out emails on weekends and evenings to see if they respond to those off-peak inquiries. Think about it, you’re not going to run into problems only from Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5, right? See how accessible and how they address issues that may arise during off-hours is a good way to see how serious they are about customer care and support. There should be a technical support phone number on their site, and some hosting companies do not list their phone numbers…so who do you call when you’re site is down? Not those ones! I think you get gist of that one.