Important Considerations Before Choosing A Web Hosting Provider

The first thing before choosing a​ web host is​ that you should be fully aware of​ your hosting requirements. if​ you are a​ beginner wanting to​ host a​ personal web site, then your only concern is​ that you get a​ decent amount of​ disk space for​ your web site with a​ host that is​ as​ cheap as​ $5 per month. However, if​ you are a​ developer, an​ online entrepreneur or​ an​ online business looking for​ e-commerce capabilities or​ advanced scripting technologies, then you can determine your requirements in​ the​ following order.

(1) Whether you need Shared Hosting or​ Dedicated Hosting:
This depends mainly on two major requirements, the​ traffic your web site is​ expected to​ receive and​ the​ degree of​ administrative privileges you need. if​ you expect your web site to​ receive huge amounts of​ traffic, then you will need to​ have a​ Dedicated Server which definitely has a​ much greater bandwidth offering. Also you should select Dedicated server hosting if​ your web site requires customized options, secure information or​ complex applications i.e. e-commerce, dynamic content, database and​ multimedia applications.

(2) Whether you need Linux Hosting or​ Windows Hosting:
If you're going to​ use server technologies such as​ ASP, JSP etc or​ intend to​ run Microsoft applications like Microsoft Access or​ Microsoft SQL database on your server, then you should use a​ Windows hosting provider. Although ASP can be run on the​ Linux platform using some commercial applications, there are security and​ reliability concerns related to​ it. However, if​ you want to​ use ColdFusion, it​ can run on both Linux and​ Windows platforms.

(3) What are your Space and​ Bandwidth requirements:
Many web hosts nowadays offer generous amounts of​ disk space from 1 GB to​ 3 GB. However, if​ your web site mainly acts as​ a​ download resource, then your disk space requirements may be 5 to​ 10 times greater than this. the​ second consideration is​ how much traffic your web site is​ expected to​ receive which will let you estimate your bandwidth requirements.

(4) How many Parked Domains and​ Subdomains do you need:
Parked domains are very advantageous and​ can significantly increase the​ amount of​ traffic to​ your web site. Similarly, subdomains can help with your search engine rankings by pointing to​ specific directories of​ your web site. Parked domains and​ subdomains occasionally come free with certain web hosting packages. However if​ you need more, you will have to​ pay an​ additional price per month.

(5) FTP Accounts and​ Anonymous FTP Requirements:
You may need more than one FTP account if​ you have coworkers working on your web site project at​ different locations. the​ Anonymous FTP permits the​ general public to​ access certain directories on your web server to​ whom they have been granted permission by you. in​ most cases, you will need a​ dedicated IP address for​ Anonymous FTP to​ function.

(6) Whether you need e-commerce Features:
If you need e-commerce features, you should choose a​ web host that provides e-commerce functionality such as​ shopping carts and​ the​ ability to​ accept credit cards. You should also check whether their server is​ SSL secure.

In addition to​ your own hosting requirements, the​ following considerations must be kept in​ mind when looking for​ a​ quality web host.

(1) More than 99.5% uptime:
Choose a​ web host that has an​ uptime greater than 99.5% and​ if​ there is​ an​ uptime guarantee, it's even better. if​ your web site is​ for​ business purposes, it's very crucial that your site stays online 24 hours a​ day, 7 days a​ week and​ 365 days a​ year.

(2) Fast Servers:
The level of​ connectivity of​ your web host to​ the​ Internet is​ very important. So you should choose a​ web host with at​ least a​ T3 connection to​ the​ major Internet backbone. Analysis has shown that the​ average web visitor waits for​ about 30 seconds before your web page loads. So if​ your web site takes more than 30 seconds to​ load, chances are that you will loose a​ lot of​ visitors and​ consequently sales.

(3) Server Backups:
To make your data secure, your web host must have a​ power backup system and​ should backup the​ data to​ an​ external device in​ order to​ prevent the​ data loss due to​ failure. Check how frequently the​ web host backups the​ data, i.e. daily or​ weekly.

(4) Disk Space and​ Bandwidth:
Choose a​ web host that meets your disk space and​ bandwidth requirements. Most web hosts offer 1 GB to​ 3 GB of​ disk space, so if​ your web site is​ not mainly a​ download resource, then this factor is​ not that important for​ you. However, as​ regards the​ bandwidth, it​ should be as​ much as​ possible because your traffic can increase in​ the​ future thereby requiring more data transfer. Also check that you have the​ option of​ buying more disk space and​ bandwidth when required.

(5) Unrestricted CGI, SSH, FTP access & Anonymous FTP:
If you have a​ professional web site, you will need to​ run CGI scripts, have SSH (Secure Shell) access and​ FTP access. CGI and​ FTP access is​ provided by most web hosts whereas SSH access is​ provided by a​ few. You may also need to​ check if​ anonymous FTP access is​ provided.

(6) Software/Scripts:
Choose a​ web host that has an​ extensive script library that you can use to​ add guestbooks, forms, surveys, newsletters etc to​ your web site.

(7) E-commerce capabilities and​ SSL:
Choose a​ web host that provides you with e-commerce capabilities with shopping cart software and​ also merchant accounts. the​ web host must also have an​ SSL secure server for​ safe and​ risk-free transactions.

(8) Web-Based Administration:
Almost all web hosts nowadays provide a​ control panel to​ access and​ manage web site features. Ask for​ a​ demo of​ their control panel if​ possible and​ check to​ make sure that it​ is​ simple as​ well as​ comprehensive. the​ control panel should provide access to​ FTP, e-mail, databases, e-commerce and​ all other functions for​ effective web site management. VDeck 2.0 and​ CPanel are the​ leading brands of​ administration control panels.

(9) Full e-mail services:
Choose a​ web host that provides both POP3 and​ IMAP e-mail accounts, web-based e-mail, autoresponders, mailing lists, forwarding accounts and​ antivirus and​ spam filtering software.

(10) Moneyback Guarantee:
If the​ Web host gives a​ moneyback guarantee, it's even better because it​ makes you absolutely risk-free.

(11) 24/7/365 Customer Support:
The web host should provide as​ many support channels as​ possible including an​ FAQ section, a​ knowledgebase, video and​ flash tutorials, toll-free support, e-mails support, live chat support and​ a​ community forum. Try e-mailing the​ web host a​ couple of​ times to​ check how quickly they respond to​ your request. the​ customer support should be as​ prompt as​ possible and​ should be available 24 hours a​ day, 7 days a​ week and​ 365 days a​ year. This is​ crucial because if​ you run into problems and​ the​ support staff is​ not receptive or​ knowledgeable, you will be helpless.

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