In setting up a website, finding a reliable web hosting service is very important, especially if you’re going to put up a business website or an online shop. There are a couple of web hosting companies that you can choose from and you must spend some time evaluating these choices.
What factors should you consider in your search for the right web host?
Uptime. In reality, no web host is perfect and can provide 100% uptime. Investigate the percentage of downtimes and maintenance period of a server before making a choice. You can ask around or check out forums online to know what other people have to say about a particular server, based upon experience.
Bandwidth and Disk Space. The data transfer speed and the disk space is another concern, especially if you plan to build a website with large content such as graphics, audio and video files. Some servers may advertise ‘unlimited’ space but always check the fine print. If you foresee a large traffic, then you would need a higher bandwidth allowance as well.
Software and hardware requirements. Programming functions such as FTP, PHP, MySQL, Perl, Visual Basic script, SSI,.htaccess, etc. are essentials in building a website. Take note that some programming languages are not compatible with certain platforms. If you are not familiar with these, ask advice from an experienced webmaster.
Technical Support. Will you be provided with reliable support 24/7? Are the representatives competent enough to handle problems and provide you with the assistance you need? Ask opinions from other people who may have subscribed to the server. Another way to check is to give them a call yourself.
Email Accounts. Having your own email account in your domain is a must. How many email accounts can you create with your domain? Will that be enough for your needs?
E-commerce features. Make sure that your web host will be able to support the programs you need to run your online store such as your Shopping Cart Software.
Web Hosting Security. It is crucial to find a web host provider that can ensure the security of your website from potential threats of fraud and Identity Theft. Here is an interesting read on website security.