Jun
25
2012

10 Things to Look For When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

When searching for a web hosting provider to host a business or personal website, consider these top 10 items as guidelines for selecting the right company. A few items, such as cost, are obvious. However, some are easily overlooked, especially when web hosting companies often use unbeatable specials and great offers to lure customers into their service.

Armed with a little knowledge, selecting the right web hosting provider is simple.

1. The Price and Terms

Obviously, for may people searching for a way to host their website, cost is an important issue. However, when it comes to web hosting services, just as with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. Don’t go with the rock-bottom price for your web hosting provider. Do your due diligence and compare web hosts, their plans and terms.

2. Technical Support

Technical support is one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it. Some web hosting providers offer top-notch technical support, and others…. well, read some reviews. Usually, this is the area that suffers with very cheap web hosting providers.

One aspect to look for is that the web host provides telephone, and maybe even live chat, support. Extremely cheap web hosts tend to offer email-only support. When your site is down and you need help NOW, this does not do much for you. Make sure the web hosting company you choose offers 24/7/365 support.

3. Scalability – AKA Room to Grow

If you are creating a web space that you hope will grow exponentially, then make sure your web hosting provider is able to handle it if, by chance, it does!

If you are opening an e-commerce store and intend to generate lots of traffic, and host a lot of inventory, make sure when you need to scale up your plan, that your web hosting provider is able to accommodate you easily and without issue.

The last thing you want is to have a thriving online business, and then in the middle of everything, need to switch hosting providers for some reason.

4. Bandwidth

The more bandwidth your web hosting provider allocates to your site, the faster web pages will serve to your visitors. Make sure that you are allocated a sufficient amount of bandwidth to quickly serve your users and potential customers.

5. Storage Space

How much storage space will be provided with your hosted account? This is one thing you need to know going in.

6. Server Types and Add-on Packages

Know going in if you need a Windows-based platform, or you will use Linux. Ask hosting companies about open source add-on packages and extensions that are provided with a new account.

7. Extras and Offers

Many web hosts will provide a free Google Adwords Coupon, worth a good chunk of change, in many cases. Some hosts provide new accounts with up to $100 worth of AdWords. If using GoDaddy as your web host, find a GoDaddy Promo Code to give you an instant discount when you create your account.

8. Understandable Control Panel

A good web host will have an easy to use interface to help you manage your files and sites.

9. Security

Make sure the web host you choose provides adequate security from hacking and other attacks. Some providers take security very seriously like HostGator.com for example which does very quality web hosting services.

10. Location

Obviously, if your web host is located half way around the world, coordinating technical support and solving issues my become a problem. Choose a host that is near you, or at least in your region.

 

In conclusion, selecting a web hosting company is not difficult. You just need a few facts before beginning your search for a web hosting provider. Make sure you do your homework!

7 Comments + Add Comment

  • I do not really seen anything I disagree with in this article. I even agree with the number orders. I think it is sad that price has to be the first thing you consider and look for. But, it is the way of the economy currently. The bright side is that web hosting really is not that expensive anymore.

    I might have trouble deciding whether I would consider price or Technical support first though… I would want to know that help is available when I need it in regards to my web host. Unfortunately, a lot of web hosting providers are known to have terrible support.

  • It is so common that when choosing a web hosting provider many just look at the price, but some other qualities are overlooked. All your tips make it look like that is the right way to choose a web hosting provider , without resentments.

  • Breakfree, unfortunately most people are not in a good enough place financially to look at other aspects before the price. Sadly, it is just the way of the economy right now. I know I wish that price was not the first thing I had to consider with everything I purchased.

  • This is a great article and guide. I know one of the key things I look for in a web hosting provider is primarily the bandwidth, 24/7 customer support to assist (if there is a hacker emergency or any other issue that may cause the site to be down) and a simple control panel. That’s it! If I have those three I don’t mind paying top dollar for it. It’s a true investment for your online presence and growth. 🙂

  • Good advice in this post. There is no shortage of web hosting providers out there to choose from. Most offer a set of standard features (cPanel, etc..) Some things to look at are historical uptime (from a third party source, not the host’s self-reported claims), service response and hours of operation. It is also good to see how long the company has been in business since many small web hosting companies come and go quite regularly.

  • Good sound advice and would agree with just about all those from 1-10, price does factor into getting a great deal on your web hosting. I have lost many sites just because I never read the small print and got a nice cheap deal for the first year then charged excessively in the second. So beware of some sites offering things that sound too good to be true.

    Also customer support has to be second I have been hacked so many times and had lots of downtime due to server failures and luckily had a good customer support to help me get my site back online asap.

    Good post enjoyed it thanks.

  • Personally, I think technical support is the most important of them all. I dread the day I run around like a headless chicken when my website goes down and my provider isnt there to help.

    I’ve enjoyed this post. Thanks!

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