Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Brief Guide: How to Choose a Good Web Host

Before you can get your online business up and running, you need to find a hosting service to register your domain names with. Without a hosting service, you'd basically need to set up your own server to manage all the bandwidth transfer which will inevitably happen, and hopefully expand as your business does. The good news is that most hosting services are actually quite cheap, charging somewhere between $70 and $100 per year for their hosting services, with each domain name costing an additional $8 to $13 per year, depending on the name itself and the extension you are using. Unfortunately, not every hosting service is exactly reliable, and so here is a quick guide for how to choose a web host.

The first step would be to create a list of the most popular web hosting websites, something which can be easily done via your favorite search engine. Once the list has been compiled, write down your exact goals. Why are you looking for a web hosting service? Are you seeking to simply set up a non-profit website or to start a business and expand it into an empire? Once you have determined the path you want to take, it is time to start filtering your options.

The most important characteristic when choosing a hosing service that is fast and reliable. One way of determining whether or not a server matches that criteria is by looking at its guaranteed uptime, if it has one of course. Ideally, a server's guaranteed uptime should be no less than 99.5%, and if it falls below that there should be some kind of compensation policy in place.

Another important factor you will need to look into is what the hosting server offers in terms of data transfer, which is to say, how much information can be transmitted from your website to its visitors. Some hosting services claim to have unlimited bandwidth offers, but don't believe them; nothing comes for free, and in the end you will be charged more if your website will consume a high amount of bandwidth. Also, if you go for an offer which has an extremely high bandwidth cap, make sure that it doesn't limit you in other ways; some companies attract customers with caps they will never be able to reach.

Regardless of how good the hosting service you have chosen is, odds are that from time to time, you are going to run into problems and require some support. Long story short, it's important to make sure that the hosting service you choose to go with has technical support available on a 24/7 basis. While it may seem normal for a hosting service to not have any staff on weekends or holidays, keep in mind that life has a way of making things go wrong at the worst times possible. If you are running a business, what will you do if your website suddenly goes offline and there is nobody available to help you? There always needs to be a competent staff on hand to help you out with any problems you may have.

Finally, if you aren't an experienced website builder make sure that the hosting service provides you with a platform to build your websites, such as WordPress for example. More and more services include these platforms in all of their packages, mostly because they allow you to put together a website in a matter of minutes.

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