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Things To Look For While Choosing A Web Host ProviderBy Expert Author: John Ward
Personal, professional or business - whatever the purpose is, having a website is not helpful unless it is seen and visited by people. A web hosting company enables exposure of your website by connecting your website to the Internet and putting it on the World Wide Web.
Whether you are planning to put your new website on the web or to switch from one web hosting company to another, you need to take the help of a professional and reliable company. Here are a few things you need to consider while choosing one.
Broadly, there are three hosting options - shared, VPS and dedicated web host.
Among the three, shared web host is popular and economical. In a shared web host, resources like disk storage, processors, memory capacity, security features, etc., are shared among multiple websites. Security and other maintenance things are taken care by the hosting provider making it hassle-free for you. For a new or small website (say 30,000 to 40,000 unique visitors or less per month), shared is recommended.
If you want to get the hosting with more resources and customized options, you can go for VPS hosting. Here, you will be sharing the resources with other accounts on the server but some portions of those resources are always dedicated to your account. Simply put, you will have more power and flexibility.
The dedicated web host is for those looking for premium level resources for their website. However, it is quite expensive and may require advanced technical skills with respect to website set-up and maintenance.
Up-time is one of the critical things to look for. Up-time, in general, is the time your website is active on the web.
A web host which operates 24*7 and 365 days and keeps your website active all the time is said to have 100% up-time score. Choose a hosting company with more than 99.5% up-time score. There are many review sites where you can check the up-time score of the web hosting company on the Internet and choose one.
Back-up retention period
Websites can crash anytime due to system crash or sometimes due to hard disk failure. In such situations, you should be able to restore your website quickly and easily. To do this, your website should have back-up.
A good web host provider takes full back-up regularly and helps you restore your website after crash. Ask your provider what their retention period is. That is, how often they take back-up - daily, weekly or once in a while.
Add-on domain capacity
You may need multiple domains or sub-domains in the future. For this, you need extra web space and support to add multiple domains or sub-domains on your web host. Verify and confirm on this before you choose a hosting company. Check for how many domains your server would allow to add (for example 25, 30, etc.) and check if it is free or paid. If it is paid, is it one time or monthly.
Problems may arise anytime. So, the hosting provider should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all over the year to address your issues.
Many providers offer online ticketing service. It is helpful if they provide 24*7 chat support and phone support.
Besides availability, you should also see if the technical support team of a company is technically sound and competent to resolve your issues soon.
Once you are confident of the company that it meets your requirements, see their pricing plan - contract length, discounts, cancellation process, etc. However, pricing shouldn't be the only criteria for choosing a provider.
Many providers offer discounts if you take their service for long period - annual or half yearly. We suggest you go for monthly plans for initial few months. Never get into long time contracts without testing the reliability and service of the company.
This is helpful if you are anticipating the growth of your website in near future. Discuss with the provider the process of scaling up to more utilization of resources or switching from shared to dedicated web host.
This is the easiest way to know more about the provider. Check the reviews to see what the existing customers are saying about the company. Genuine customer reviews enable you to judge and take right decision.
Some other things that you should look for while choosing a web host provider
• Disk space and bandwidth they are offering
• Compatibility with popular CMS like MySQL, PHP, etc.
• Easy install options of CMS
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