There are many reasons that you may need to create a website. You may want to open up a business selling discount clothing or maybe you want to dedicate a site to the finger paints of your pet dog. Whatever your reason, you need to have some web hosting for this site and there are some key areas that you need to focus on when choosing a provider. This article is going to help you understand those key areas and learn what to look for in a potential web hosting service.
When I say technical specifications there are actually a few things I am talking about. Firstly, you need to be concerned about the amount of bandwidth the host is offering. A lot of hosts will say they offer unlimited this and unlimited that but that is not always completely true. You want to make sure your bandwidth is high enough to suit your particular needs.
If you will be uploading a lot of files and data you want to have a higher bandwidth rate because it is basically how fast you are able to transfer data on the server. If you are expecting a lot of traffic on a daily basis you will need this to be higher to accommodate all of the visitors. If you are unsure of what a company is offering, it doesn’t hurt to send them an email or make a phone call to ask, they won’t bite.
The next area you want to worry about is how much disk space or web space the company offers for your price range. Unless you are purchasing dedicated servers, you will have to deal with what they offer or pay for more if you have the needs. As with the bandwidth, they may say they offer unlimited but it doesn’t hurt to check into it to be safe. You also want to look into limitations the company may have on file sizes and types. Some companies offer you a lot more option so if you are going to have an eclectic collection of files in all shapes and sizes you will need the right host to deal with them.
Another key element you need to focus on is the hosting provider’s average uptime. This refers to the amount of time the servers are available and not down for reasons such as maintenance or technical problems. A lot of companies will promise 99.99 percent uptime but they really can’t promise you that level of service. Even the biggest of companies will run into the occassional snag that is beyond their control. It also depends on how relevant uptime is to your website. An online business would be a lot more concerned about being available 99.99 percent of than the average blog. Decide how much this means to you and research appropriately.
Lastly on the technical side of things is talking about scalability. Scalability refers to your ability to move up on the hosting ladder such as switching from a shared to dedicated server (which I will explain the difference between a bit later). This all depends on what your website is focused on.
A blog with your grandmother’s daily rants is not going to need near the scalability insurance that an online grocery store would. Look into what the process of changing monthly plans would be as some providers make you sign up for a year at time and others will let you upgrade at a moment’s notice.
Customer service and technical support is one of the most important aspects of any business and the web hosting sector is no different. They go together like peas and carrots and you want both of them to be fresh and appetizing. You want to have multiple options available to reach the host and also have a pleasant experience when doing so.
A lot of hosts only offer things like 24 hours phone assistance to premium account holders and may only have email service for regular account holders. Some providers also offer some form of online chat service that is with a live representative, you just need to research and see which ones do.
- Email ticket
- Phone support
There is also a lot to be said about how they treat you during the process. Some of these companies just have better qualified staff on hand to take care of you and you can search them out by looking at reviews of other customers. People love to rant on the internet if they run into problems with a company so you shouldn’t have any problems finding the information you need.
Reliability could very easily be put under the technical heading but I see it fit to put it under service specifications. Sometimes these companies can not help when their servers go down so therefore shouldn’t be called unreliable as accidents do happen. The main issue of reliability is their willingness to work quickly and efficiently to get these problems resolved. If they start going at a problem as quick as a ball boy at Wimbledon, you can rest assured you are in good hands and the problem will get fixed quickly.
Unless you are looking at using one of the free services because you can’t afford any monthly billing, price should not be your number one concern. The competition is so fierce in this business that prices from every end of the range can offer you a great service. It all depends on what your needs are and what you consider important features. You also want to look into what payment plans are offered. Some charge you monthly, quarterly, or yearly and some have all of the above for options. Get an idea of what you will be comfortable with and focus on those providers.
What Are They Talking About? (Customer Reviews)
You know already that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. There are just too many crazy people out there to trust it all. What you can do to get a good feel for these potential hosts is search out reliable review sites that have a reputation for legit customer postings. People aren’t afraid to say it how it is on the internet so you are more than likely going to get some good information. If you see too many reviews saying that one particular host is bad in a certain area that you need you will know to move on to the next one. You can learn a lot about a company of any kind by reading online reviews. Normally the best companies won’t be seen as much because people tend to like to review stuff when they are frustrated and mad at it.
There are other areas that I could get into with this article but they are getting fairly technical and are not really important for beginners to know about. The most important thing you take from reading this is the basics so you can make an informed decision on a web host. In conclusion you just need to figure out what you need out of these basic elements and you will then be able to find the proper first host for your new website.