The Final Web Hosting Checklist
Once you’ve got an affordable web site hosting plan, you should do a final check that it includes everything you need for your website. Below is a rundown of the main things to look for.
Disk space and data transfer
Remember – disk space is the quantity of data (such as HTML files and images) that can be stored on the website, but data transfer is the quantity of data that is allowed to be transferred from the website. Most web hosting providers, even on affordable web site hosting plans, allow you to upgrade your website’s disk space and data transfer allowance as you need it. If this is the case with your web host, you shouldn’t worry too much about knowing exactly what disk space and data transfer allowance you need straight away.
Operating system and programming tools
There are two main web hosting options when it comes to operating systems and programming – Windows and Linux. Windows-based hosts will allow for ASP, .NET, MS SQL and Access technology, while Linux-based hosts will be more geared towards PHP, MySQL and Perl/CGI technology (although there can be some overlap on both ends). What you require depends very much on the technical, programming side of your website – if you just need a static website with no special software, then this doesn’t really affect you.
Look beyond the price
When it comes to an affordable web hosting plan, the cheapest is not always the best. Going with something that costs as little as possible may well result in you getting a product that doesn’t work as well as it should – frequent downtime (or loss of connectivity to the website), bad customer support and slow connections are all symptoms of cheap and not so cheerful web hosting.
More than just web space: Uptime, support and peace of mind
Uptime, the amount of time a web hosting provider guarantees their servers to be available and not “down”, is crucial. When a web server loses its connection to the Internet, potential customers (and therefore money) are lost with it. Don’t be fooled by affordable web hosting plans that promise 99% uptime – that 1% could mean that your website is not accessible for 14.4 minutes per day.
Support is always extremely important. Being able to contact your web hosting provider for help or information is often invaluable to customers who need problems resolved quickly. There are a good number of web hosting companies that offer telephone support, live chat support (allowing you to “chat” online with support personnel in real-time), and all web hosting providers should offer e-mail support at the very least.
Some web hosting providers also offer features such as backup and load-balancing, although these often cost more and are only really for very large websites where problems leading to data loss could be catastrophic.
Where is your website?
Although it may not seem a big issue, but the physical location of your web hosting provider (and thus ultimately your website) is very important. You should look into where exactly your web hosting provider stores their equipment and servers, as well as the type of connections they have to the Internet.
Almost all web hosting providers supply information about their “data centres” (where they store their hardware), and checking it out is a good idea. As well as things like their connection speeds, the physical security of the site that their servers are stored on is important.
About the Author: Danny Vong is a writer for Website-hosting-plans.net, which is a top web hosting comparison portal! With all the major web hosting companies reviewed and rated and listed in the top 10 hosting companies list.
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