The key to a stable website is choosing the right web host. Commercial web hosting has become a key service in the modern-day business landscape where companies big and small understand just how important it is to reach out to the million-odd online user base. Your target audience is lurking online – your website can grab them! To do this, you need the support of a reliable web host. What should you look for in such a provider? Here are some useful pointers.
Access speed and reliability
When a prospect cannot access your site because it is down, think about the lost opportunities. A good web host can guarantee that your site will be available online at least 99% of the time. If web hosts have not specified the uptime rate, enquire about this from them or at least do some research to find out if there have been any complaints regarding this.
Good web hosts will allow you to host your own domain. This is necessary, because otherwise your website will be parked under a sub domain. A sub-domain will not look very professional if you are serious about your business. Also look for these additional services: FTP accounts, unlimited parked/sub domains, email accounts, etc.
Disk space and bandwidth
If you are running a small website, especially if you are just starting out, you will not need a large amount of disc space or bandwidth. A normal website needs about 100-200 MB of disc space. If you are planning to stream movies or music on your website or you expect a lot of visitors, then you will need a good amount of bandwidth too. The web host should be able to provide you a hosting package that meets these requirements.
Address growing needs
Another important feature is how many domains the provider will host for you. If you are planning to get only one website, it will not matter. But if you want to expand sometime in the future, look for a web host who can facilitate this.
If you are also going to conduct business through your website, make sure that your web host provides a shopping cart and SSL. Note that you may have to invest more to get these services.
A good web host will also give you access to a number of applications that you can use to improve your visitors’ experience. They will allow you to set up a blog, while providing access to content management systems. They will even provide platforms to set up an e commerce portal on.
Customer support is another important feature. The best commercial web hosts will offer 24/7 all-year support. The web host should be reachable through a number of ways like email, phone and live chat. The staff should also be knowledgeable and courteous. It makes sense to read customer reviews and testimonials to make an informed decision.
Let me know how do you search for web hosts only, share your experience below.