How to choose the best host for your website
Choosing the right hosting company for your website can be a difficult task, especially if you have little experience.
It’s important to choose a professional web hosting service because your websites results will be influenced by the quality of these services in the long term. Here are some criteria that will help you make the best choice:
Service package price
Obviously the price is an important factor when choosing a hosting package. Frequently, hosting companies offer discounts and promotions, so it’s best to do a little market research before choosing.
Analyze the offers from companies seeking long-term contracts as well. On one hand, you could save money, on the other hand it’s advisable to reserve your freedom to change the hosting company.
If you’re not familiar with web programming, search hosting packages that give you the possibility to administrate your site with dedicated interfaces (cPanel, Webmin etc). Some applications that use cPanel, for example, are free and offer a lot of features. Do not forget to ask for their installation, when discussing the purchase of a hosting package. It is also best to choose a hosting service that provides FTP access for uploading and editing files easily.
Carefully study the bandwidth limitations of different hosting packages and make sure you will not be asked to pay for extra traffic, if your site will have a greater number of visitors than planed (although many hosting companies specify that the traffic is unlimited).
The number of accounts per server
In the case of shared servers, you should find out the number of sites with whom you’ll share the server. The bigger the number of sites on a server, the better the chance that your site will load slower. Compare the number of accounts on a specific server with the number of accounts used by other hosting companies in order to have a starting point to negotiate. For unlimited access to server resources, it would be better to have a maximum of 100 accounts per server.
For dedicated servers, request details about the possibility and conditions in which an upgrade to the memory, CPU, hard disk, etc. can be done. Do not forget to ask what the site downtime will be, in the event of such an upgrade.
There’s also the option of a VPS (virtual private server) which mimics a dedicated server within a shared hosting environment. It is technically both shared hosting and dedicated hosting. VPS hosting gives you the affordability of shared hosting while at the same time giving you more power and control similar to a dedicated server.
Data and information security
If you will perform transactions involving payments for goods or services, the host must support SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to ensure safe transfer of billing information between the users and the website.
Find a hosting company that has the option of a daily back-up. Thus, in case of irreparable damage, you avoid the loss of databases and the content of your website. This is very important!
Find out what kind of technical support the hosting company provides. 24/7 support and fast response times are perfectly reasonable demands – you can test the support service at midnight, for example, to check how fast and how well they are responding. A professional technical consultant needs to be friendly, calm, polite and provide on the spot answers and clear explanations to pertinent questions.