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Nine Important Factors in Choosing a Web Hosting Company
Many clients have talked to us about their online business and they would like to have some suggestion in choosing a web hosting company. There are so many companies and packages for them to choose. Here we will listed out some factors that need to be considered.
#1 Disk Space
Disk space is depends on the size of your web site. So, have a look on your web site folder and see how much disk space it takes up on your computer. You should always get more space than what is taken up on your computer. For example, if your web folder is 200MB, you should probably get 250-300MB of disc space. This extra space allowed you to further expand your web site and put more materials there. Remember that you need to think about what kind of materials you planned to add later. If what you plan to add is some flash animation or some audio/video file, you'd better to get some more buffer.
Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that your web site can use. If you plan on having a massively popular site with a large amount of files, then you should have a high bandwidth. For casual web sites, bandwidth is not as big a factor. Again, consider cost and try to have more bandwidth than you need, not less. It is also important to check the bandwidth for local and overseas.
#3 Web site speed
Web site speed is seldom taken into consideration. Web site speed is a really important factor. If your web host has a very slow speed for all of its web sites, then you may not want to go with that host. People won’t stay around at a page forever. If you want many people to visit your site, having a fast speed is very helpful. You should check with the web hosting company and ask them to provide a list of their sites. You can then try to access to see the response of these sites.
#4 Database / Programming Language support
Database and Programming Language support are important if you plan to have a dynamic website and interact with your customers. Currently, most web hosting provides support for database and programming language, but there are great variety on database and programming language. You should check and pick the one you plan to use.
Of course the above factors are depend on how much you want to spend on it. It's always difficult to take all the best. You should think about your own case and find out the best fit. For example, you have a text-centric site with little photos and target in local market only, you may find a hosting with little disk space, enough bandwidth for local (overseas is not important in this case) and normal web site speed.
#5 Technical Support
Technical support is one of the important factor you need to consider. But how to know their services level? You can test by sending them an email with some questions or just make a phone to their support hotlines. If they respond quickly, this is a good sign. If they cannot provides you answers, you'd better find another one.
The more uptime they guarantee, the better. 99% uptime is the minimum acceptable standard. You'd should Look for 99% plus guaranteed uptime.
#7 FTP Access
You need an FTP program to transfer files to the server. You should seek for an unlimited and unrestricted FTP access, otherwise it will troublesome to maintain your website.
#8 Control Panel
Most web hosting company will provides a web based control panel for you to maintain your web site. You should looking for one with a easy-to-use interface.
#9 Statistics Program
A good stats program is handy if you want to keep an eye on how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from, referrers, top entry and exit pages and so on. Some companies offer excellent stats programs as standard while others offer basic stats but you have to pay extra for advanced statistics. You should ask the company what kind of statistics information they can provide.
About the Author: Isaac Chu is Project Director of Evinco Solutions Limited. Evinco provides innovative business software, include emarketing web solutions, email marketing software, e-catalog publishing software, invoicing software, and electronic cheque writer. Visit: http://www.evinco.com.hk