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.
You should take the time to scour as many reviews of potential web hosts as possible. Looking at just one or two companies may not be enough for you to identify one that clearly stands out.
If you have been used to the same web host for several months, look at the availability of your website. An availability of 99% or more means your website is accessible all the time. If you notice a lower availability rate, look for a web host that does not encounter as many outages.
If you want to use a shopping cart software, make sure it is compatible with your web host. A good web host should support certain features such as Web scripting, dynamic content or executable files. These features will allow you to add different ways for your visitors to interact with your website, for instance by leaving feedback.
A good web hosting provider should have good, responsive customer service, so be sure to consider this when choosing a host. Find out how quickly they respond to problems or complaints that their customers have. You want to choose a host that will work to quickly and professionally resolve any problems you encounter.
Do not believe in a host advertising any kind of unlimited services. For instance, if a web host provides unlimited disk space, it might impose limits on the types of files that are permitted. Also, unlimited bandwidth could come with multi-level payment plan. Be sure to read the fine print and know what “unlimited” means in terms of your plan.
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.
Before choosing a web host provider, check to see how fast files can be uploaded or downloaded from their server. If this information is not readily available from them directly, use a “website speed test” service who can run a test for you. Realize, however, that accuracy varies and can be different depending on the time of day.
“Unlimited” bandwidth might not mean what you think it means. Many hosts will tout this as a feature, but what it really means is that they will let you use as much bandwidth as they think is reasonable. If you have a true high-bandwidth site, be sure you understand the rules and costs that your host may impose.
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.