One of the most difficult choices you have to make when starting an online business is to choose the web host that meets your needs and budget. Throw in the search term "web hosting" into major search engines and you will see what I mean. There are countless web hosting providers out there offering great packages, and you will probably go crazy going through every one of them finding the real deal.
However, things will be much easier for you if you first write down what you really need, then choose the package out that suits your needs, and gives the best value for your money. Here are a few things you have to consider when choosing a web host.
What kind of business are you running? Are you selling a single product? showcasing a huge catalogue with lots of pictures? Or, maybe a membership website? Different types of businesses use different amounts of disk space. So, find out how much space you will need, then choose the package accordingly. You don't want to pay extra for the space you would never use.
Most hosting plans put a limit on how much data you can transfer. Data transfer is the amount of traffic going out from your site that includes images, banners, file downloads, etc. Go above that limit, and you will have to pay extra. Then again, you have to figure out these questions. What is the size of your page? Do you expect to have a lot of visitors? Does it involve transferring many files? If you do, you will need a plan that allows plenty of data transfer.
This is where you figure out how many email accounts you need. One for your personal use and one for support, enquiries, sales etc. You might also have to consider which email package you need, full Pops access, Web-based email or both?
Try not to accept anything less than 99.5% of uptime. Server downtime is like having a shop without electricity; Visitors cannot visit your site, and you will lose sales as a result.
Make sure you choose a web host that provides excellent support. You and I are going to face technical difficulties sooner or later, it is inevitable. So, it is important to choose one that can reply within 48 hours.
Tools and control panel
Make sure you choose a host that provides a good control panel that is user friendly. You wouldn't want to waste time sending support tickets asking technical questions and waiting hours for a reply, right? Also, look out for tools like traffic monitors, statistics, web mail, file manager, etc.
Do check out what others are saying. Email those people to find out about server uptime and other features of the web host you plan to use. Do be careful though, some people complain more than they can say good things.
Always remember, what you pay is what you get. If you get it too cheaply, chances are they are cutting cost else where. Either that or they are charging for additional services.
Copyright ? Michael Tee
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