How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider


Tips for choosing a Web Hosting Provider

If you are looking for a web hosting provider, chances are that you must have looked into a lot of providers. But you have to keep in mind the following aspects before choosing a web hosting provider:  


1.    Purpose: The basic purpose behind publishing your web site should be clear. If you are trying to sell anything on the internet, you should need web hosts who can offer e-commerce capabilities.


2.    Choosing a Domain Name: You should choose your domain name very carefully. Your domain name should reflect the line of business or the line of interest you are in. If your dream domain name is already taken, you can try the following things:


Ø  You can see whether the domain name is up for sale. If it is so, you can buy it if it is affordable to you.

Ø  You can register another version of that name if it is available. Example would be to add some words like free, just, new etc. before or after the name. Alternatively, you can try different extensions. There are so many new extensions available. For ex: if .com is not available; you may try .net or .biz. Alternatively, you may try a country-specific variation like .in or .kz etc.

Ø  While choosing domain name registrars, be very careful and ask them in whose name the domain name is being registered. There is a database called WhoIs in which the ownership of the domain name is specified. If your name is not specified in that database, you cannot move your domain from one registrar to another.

Ø  Initially, domain names for the first year are on offer at cheap rates. Please check renewal rates also before proceeding.

Ø  Please also see where private registration is also free.


3.    Whether your domain registrar to be your web host? Need not be. After choosing a web host, all you need to do is to login to your registrar account and point your domain to the address supplied by your web host. You have to change it in Name servers. Nameserver details will be provided by your web host.


4.    Free vs Paid hosting: If you are only making your thoughts public, then you can opt for free hosting. Free hosting may also come with your own domain name but the fees free hosts charge for domain name registration are very high. Also, free hosting is normally supported by advertisements, i.e., the site you created is pre-loaded with advertisements. The revenue generated goes to your web host. There are many free hosts available but if you want to have your own domain, then I would recommend paid hosting. Otherwise, there are good free hosting providers with various options of online web builders and templates and wordpress also.


However, there is a downside to free hosting as there is no service level agreement. Hence, your web host is not responsible for your downtime. But, if you are doing a business, free hosting does not create the seriousness in the minds of your visitors. Hence, paid hosting is better if your aim is to earn money using your web site.


5.    Your Budget: You have to keep in mind the costs involved with running your web site. But, do not fall for dead cheap offers. Budget hosting, i.e., costing below $10 per month, brings in good choice and convenience.


6.    Disk Space: The amount of disk space you require should be estimated at first and then you try to shop around for web hosts offering such disk space at reasonable rates.


7.    Bandwidth: You have to estimate the number of visitors you would like to have. If your site clicks unexpectedly, your visitors may not be able to access your site. Instead, they may see the message "bandwidth exceeded". To avoid this, plan your bandwidth for your future needs also.


8.    Uptime: If your host offers uptime of 99%, it means that your site will be down for about 1% per day which means 14 minutes per day. So, seek out and see the uptime guarantees of your web hosting providers. Do not choose less than 99.9% uptime.


9.    Reputation: Reputation of your web host is to be seen from the reviews they get. Just type the name of the web host and type also the word "review" in your google search box. From the results, read at least 10 reviews for that web host and then decide. Also, see for how long the web host has been in business. Also, if possible, try to find out the size of the company like their sales, number of employees etc. Their server configuration and location of their servers has to be found out. Try to find out whether any back up for servers is there. Also, try to find out their clientele. Try to find out what they have to say about the company.


10.  Ease of use: The services of the web host should be easy to use. You should be able to create your web site in a breeze. The site builder the web host provides should be such that persons with no programming skills are able to create a web site easily.


11.  Demo: Visit the site of the Web host and login to the demo control panel. If you are confident that you can handle the programmes there, you can choose that company. This step is very important. Otherwise, you may feel very difficult in creating and editing your web site.


12.  Support: You should look for toll free number with 24x7 access. You should also try that number and find out if somebody actually answers your call. Also, e mail support should also be there. Frequently asked questions should be listed in the company's web site.


13.  FTP Access: You should look for FTP access on the control panel.


14.  Business: If you propose to conduct business through your web site, then you should look for web hosting company providing SSL, My SQL, and e-commerce shopping cart facilities.


15.  Emails: Number of email accounts that are provided free with the hosting account should match your expectation. Further, storage per email account also is important.


16.  No. of domains: With some hosting companies, you can host unlimited number of domains in one account. It means that any domain name registered by you can be hosted in this account. You should estimate your need also here.


17.  Sub domains: Sub domains mean A web host should allow a reasonable number of sub domains.


18.  ASP: If you want to use ASP, you should specifically choose windows hosting. Otherwise, any hosting is fine.


19.  Payment Options: Your web host should offer you payment by monthly also. You should choose the least option i.e. Monthly is best followed by quarterly and half yearly. If you pay one year of hosting fees upfront and you do not like that host, you are unable to change your hosting company.


20.  Guarantees: See for guarantees offered by web hosting companies. 30 days or two months guarantee to be verified.


21.  Frontpage Extensions: The web hosting provider should support Frontpage extensions.


22.  Terms and conditions: Have a thorough look at the terms and conditions of your web hosting account. Look for fine print and try to read in between the lines.


23.  Country-specific Extensions: Some web hosting providers may not support country-specific domain name extensions such as .in, .ch, etc. If you intend to use a country-specific domain name extension, then, clarify with the web hosting provider whether your domain name extension is supported or not.