There are many attributes that makes a web hosting provider stand out from the crowd. But in this current highly competitive world the providers have become so adept in posing as the best out there that it becomes very difficult to choose the best for your business. Now it is the "knowledge" about what factors to consider becomes a must have, for your business. This is not an article about the factors themselves to consider but this makes the point for the need to have this knowledge and how to acquire this knowledge. In the services industry knowledge is almost everything. The knowledge about the technology behind the service, knowledge about the folks behind the service, knowledge of the customer service, quality of the hosting available and many more to list here. When you begin your search the first and foremost to decide is the budget allocation for the hosting. This may sound as something to decide at the end of the cycle, but it is important even before you acquire knowledge of the factors to consider. Let me put forward a small example if the budget you can allocate is less then 100$ then you ignore terms like dedicated servers collocation, etc. The more your budget the more you have to learn.
There are many ways to acquire knowledge the first and foremost is to read more articles like this one you are reading. If you are reading this one you have started the first step. The more you read the more you can acquire knowledge. This is the cheapest way to understand your needs. Based on the budget you have to choose the topics you read. Budgeting is not just about money it is also about time. It is more so important to choose topics that really fit your needs. You got to consider the sources correctly. The one thing that is as important as choice of a good hosting provider, is choosing the right sources to get educated about the choice. Do you understand the five nine's and do you need it for your business. Is PHP a technology you may need for your web site? Do you prefer a dynamic and faster website over a reliable standard search friendly simple web site? When you go to each provider they try to sell you a much bigger plan or plans with features you may never need. The main thing that you should note is "Are you paying for technology that you will never need?" Let's say for example the thing that costs the hosting provider is the Urchin stats, they pay a good license fee for it and thy bill it on their customers. But for any good business some of the free stats like Awstats or the open source solutions are more than enough for a typical business. The hosting providers add these to make the package attractive. You have to judge by the core features and then finally go in for the add-ons which may complement the core.
The other main source for research is to talk directly with the hosting providers and ask them for an honest opinion on what features your business would need. Based on my own experience once you endure the first phase of reading through articles and doing further research, you need to talk to atleast 8 providers. The common mistake done by the small website owners is settling for the cheap sources and ignoring the rest. There are a few crappy providers out there who give out services damn cheap and may just shut down shop and vanish when they figure a server is crashed. They should have the proper support folks and the right business model to bill customers for the support rendered. The last but not least is to consult with the web consultants a talk to folks who have hosted before. This is a long process but you will appreciate the knowledge you have gained when you negotiate that best deal and when you easily resolve issues or when you grow. I hope this article was of some help to get you initiated and in the resource box there is one source for articles and another to answer your hosting queries to initiate the process.
Author does freelancing through the world's first free freelance website http://www.freelancefree.com You can get some very good Photoshop Tutorials in tutorialized.com.