Choosing a web host may require a bit of research if you are starting a blog or website for first time. Before you select one, you must keep few important points in mind.
In this article, I am putting down a list of essential features. You can check the web host’s features and rate them according to your requirements.
The choice of best web host becomes more complicated because webmasters have different requirements. Most of the web hosting service providers boast a range of services, though everything can not be 100% true. However, you can do the selection process step by step.
Knowing Your Requirements
Understanding your own requirements is the very first step. What is the type of website you are going to host?
Is it a blog or personal homepage or an eCommerce website? Each one of these will have a different criteria.
You should be aware of not only what sort of website you are going to host now, but also if any additional web hosting in near future will be required. Consideration of future plans is vital because some web hosting providers give you option to host multiple websites under one account without any extra charges.
How Much They Charge?
Different providers offer a range of packages. Charges for dedicated servers are higher than shared hosting or those with limited bandwidth.
However, there are many more factors to consider so don’t just decide by price alone. If you are planning a website with substantial disk space and huge bandwidth, it is important to think beyond price. There are few service providers who offer web hosting for free but the free web hosting service is good only for small and fun websites.
Uptime/Reliability and Speed
You should opt for web hosts providing uptime of 99% or above. This uptime percentage figure is a guarantee that host’s servers will be up all the time and there will be very little or negligible downtime for maintenance.
The upload/download speed should be good and visitors of your website should be able to access it quickly.
Bandwidth and Disk Space
Bandwidth requirements keep increasing with your website and as you get more and more visitors. The Web hosting company will charge you for the bandwidth usage. They will specify the monthly bandwidth limit for your package, it can even be unlimited bandwidth package.
Similarly you should be aware of the disk space in your package and it should be consistent with your requirements. Again, there are hosts who boast of unlimited disk space.
Technical Support Service
There will be situations when your website experiences problems and you may require technical support. Almost all good hosting providers provide technical support 24×7.
After all, if your website is down due to a technical problem, you can not afford to wait whole night for an answer from the support team. Good hosts provide live chat as well along with telephonic support.
Scripts and Other Features
Your websites can be created using different technologies, so check if the web host supports all the scripts and technologies that you are using to create your web pages.
Ensure there are other features as well – such as one click script installation, shopping carts, secure servers, control panel, ftp etc.
First of all you must carefully check all the features provided by the web hosting provider company and whether they are consistent with your requirements or not.
There are few web hosts who provide promotional offers but be informed that this offer is for 1st year of service only, whether they convey this or hide this! In that case, you must confirm with them the charges applicable after completion of 1 year.
Finally, you must understand that actually there is nothing “UNLIMITED” in this world!