If you’re going to have a website — and you should — you need to have a reliable web host. How do you find a web hosting company with the features, support and price that serves your needs? Here are some tips that will help you select the right web host.
Make sure any offers of “unlimited” data transfer are actually unlimited. Many web hosts advertise unlimited data transfer in their offers, but tuck exceptions in the terms and conditions for the package. Common exceptions include video or non-HTML file downloads being limited, limits on CPU utilization, and general prohibitions on using “too many resources.”
When choosing a web hosting service, refrain from going with the recommendation of friends or family who are not professionals. Though they may have had a good experience themselves with a certain provider, realize that their needs may be very simple compared to yours. Read reviews and advice from those who have needs similar to your own.
Avoid free web hosting services. These services support themselves by placing advertisements on the top of all the websites they host. These advertisements may annoy your visitors or make your site appear unprofessional. In addition, some free hosts may restrict the amount of commercial content allowed on the websites that they host.
If you want to run an online business, you should know that your web hosting service is going to represent your main investment. Even if this service seems costly in comparison to the other expenses related to your business, keep in mind that the success of your site will greatly depend on a good host.
Choose a web hosting service that offer multiple databases for you to access if needed. This can include the ability to store information about your products, as well as your customers. You should be able to easily look at prior purchases and the personal information about who is buying your products.
Figure out how much bandwidth you need before shopping for web hosts. Keep in mind that you need more bandwidth if you plan to include photos or videos on your website. Compare different bandwidth plans and purchase a plan that gives you a little more bandwidth than you need so that you have room to expand your site.
Find out what “unlimited” means in a particular web hosting package. Unlimited server space may include limitations on what kind of files can be uploaded. Unlimited bandwidth will usually mean that you can get all the bandwidth you need, but there will be additional fees for overages at the end of the month. The more you can learn about these features and packages, the better prepared you will be to make wise decisions.
Consider how much downtime the web host will have when looking for one. These downtimes vary from 10% to .000001%. This means that there could be hours of downtime per week or as little as seconds. Select a host with the lowest amount of downtime that you can find.
If you’re going to use a web hosting company, make sure it’s not in danger of going out of business. Find out how long the company has been in business, and whether they have been profitable. If the company goes out of business, you could also lose access to all of the data that was stored on their servers in addition to having your website go offline.
Beware of free hosting. Some websites advertise free hosting but charge you a ridiculous amount to register your domain or by charging you extra traffic. If you want a professional website, you should consider web hosting services as an investment that will allow you to create a much better website.
You should try to choose a web host that has his or her own personal blog. Hosts that have a blog demonstrate that they have a true passion for hosting and that they enjoy connecting with readers. In addition, this proves that they possess wisdom in web hosting and building. A blog also lets you see for yourself how popular the host is by viewing the number of responses on every post. You should be leery of hosts that don’t have a blog.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but not all will be suitable for your site. Take the time to compare hosts, and put these suggestions to use as you assess your needs, make comparisons, and ultimately select the right web host with the service and features you need.