Top Ten Factors to Consider When Choosing a Web Host
The success of a business in today’s high tech world depends on their web presence. The internet provides mass appeal and worldwide targeting to audiences not easily reached before. The web host is what makes this possible for business by hosting their websites on a server. This allows businesses to sell products, provide services; exchange data and information with ease, and communicate with their customer base effectively. Many people also choose to provide information on a personal level and websites allow such functions. They can display pictures, and data, as well as music, video, and more along with having discussions on chat rooms, and forum, along with the very popular blogging platforms.
When choosing a web host company there are things to consider. The first consideration is often the limitations each company and service has and how they will impact your ability to do business or provide information. Free services are available and give the user the ability to get online on a budget, but also come with the downside of having advertisements on the site and sub domain level names. The many factors to consider are:
1. The exact amount of disk space: It is very important to calculate the accurate amount of required disk space even before opting for a web host company. A large website, with several of pages filled with content and various other features will need a hosting plan, which provides unrestricted disk space. There are certain companies that grant only a limited amount of disk space. They further provide no facility to upgrade the disk space in case it reaches the limit. In such conditions, the website owners require to find a new host that can grant more disk space and transfer the entire website. This is a very costly, time consuming and stressful procedure. Thereby, it is always beneficial to consider a web hosting company that grants more disk space and also has adequate facilities for up gradation.
2. The number of domain names: A large business organization, which needs a number of different websites, will have to hire a web hosting company that offers numerous separate domains. This eradicates the need of creating a new account for every domain name. However, it is essential to keep in mind that all web hosting companies don’t have the ability to host a number of different domains on one account.
3. The total amount of data transfer: Large websites, who have a huge number of visitors, require a web host that provides large amount of bandwidth or data transfer. If the web hosting company grants only a restricted amount of bandwidth, then the website will become unavailable in case it reaches the limit. Thus, it is helpful to select a website host that has the option of providing additional amount of data transfer.
4. Do you need SSL, MySQL, and shopping cart: many businesses that have multiple products for sale, or the need to accept credit cards or access private customer information require the use of SSL (a security certificate) and MySQL. These items require a large amount of space. Shopping carts also require a lot of space and can be difficult to create and upload.
5. Windows/ Linux server: Earlier it was considered to be a very important factor when there were several major dissimilarities between Linux and Widow based servers. However the recent software developments have reduced those differences to the point that a business organization can select a web host based on the features provided by them rather than the operating system.
6. Do you need a dedicated server, or a shared server: This is an important consideration for a business to decide in advance. Dedicated servers are more costly but allow for more stability as well as a more professional appearance. For personal websites, or small businesses it maybe fine to use a shared server and have sub domain names and a little less stability. There are also more functions available on a dedicated server and you will get safer data protection and backups as well.
7. Do you require technical support: Many small companies lack available IT resources to back up the knowledge required for successful website loading and management. If you require a lot of help with the intricate details be sure the web host you choose offers technical support. The more the better. Look for how that support is implemented. Are there a variety of ways you can contact them, or is email the only option? Check to see if they are available 24/7 or only at certain times. If they are only available during business hours, you know that will certainly not be when you need them.
8. Does the service provide one or more email accounts: An email account that is specific to your business looks professional. Look for a web host that has at least one email account for each client. Some have the ability to have multiple email accounts and if that is something that would be helpful to you for extra employees, or even a different email address for different functions such as customer service, etc, then make sure your host has that option available.
10. Support for FrontPage as well as DreamWeaver: There are certain web hosting companies that offer support either for DreamWeaver or for FrontPage. However, a business organization who is currently using FontPage may decide to swap with the other and vice versa. Therefore, it is beneficial to select one that offers compatibility with both the systems.