A Few Insights Into Acquiring Cheap Website Hosting

Selecting a solid website hosting service is critical. Whether you want to publish a website in support of a business or for noncommercial reasons, you want the web hosting service to offer the best possible features in bandwidth and uptime. Most would be website publishers realize they must work with a solid website hosting service. The main problem they face is finding the best possible cheap website hosting service.

Low Cost, High Quality

Actually, it might not be very hard to find cheap website hosting. There are quite a number of hosting providers out there. The issue would be hosting customers contend with would be finding a service that is both inexpensive and delivers on all expectations of quality. If you have never hired such a service before, you might find this to be a little overwhelming. To make the process a little easier, keeping the following points in mind can make the search easier.

Stay Away from the Free Website Hosting Services

Cheap website hosting would be those services that are low in cost and should not be confused with free hosting services. While it may seem like publishing a free website is a great idea, it frequently is not. Free hosting just do not make a good impression when your goal is effective internet marketing. Even if you want to use the site for publishing a hobbyist labor of love, free sites come with a lot of woes. You will not be able to monetize it very effectively, you will not have your own personal, URL and you will be at the mercy of the service’s expansive terms of service. The bottom line here is you want to stay away from free hosting at all costs.

Select from Well Established Hosting Services that Offer Economy Hosting Plans

Virtually all the major hosting services offer a scaled down hosting plan for those that might be on a tight budget. While you do not get access to all the major features and your bandwidth might have limitations, you always have the option of upgrading at any time. Plus, you will be afforded all the benefits of working with a major hosting service such as security, customer service and more.

Always Select a Service that Will Contribute to Quality Web Design

No matter how much money you may be saving on hosting, you will not be saving much of anything if the end result is you cannot effectively design the website, you will not be saving much of anything. The website must present a look visitors will find appealing. The programming language the hosting service provides will play a major role in whether or not you can effectively design the site. The hosting service should offer a quality shopping cart program you can weave into the design of the website for easy check out. There are excellent, low-cost hosting that will offer such design supporting features. These are the hosting services you want to seriously consider.

Engage in Serious Comparison Shopping

As with any other consumer endeavor, you have to compare the many different wares available. Different companies will have different packages to offer with different features. You will certainly want to select the one that best serves your requirements. The best way to do this is shop around and find the cheap website hosting package capable of delivering on all your expectations.

Professional Web Hosting Designs

A flashy looking website with lot of graphics and slow navigation will not work for most professional websites. People don’t like web pages that take many minutes to download nor do they like distractions in the form of graphics overdone. And this is probably what you will end up with, if you place yourself and your website in inadvertent hands.

But there is actually no need for that kind of an experiment if you go in for a web host which also offers web design services. Professional web hosting designs are user-friendly, easy-to-choose, ready made templates that give your website a professional look. These are custom made by web hosts and the user can choose from variety of templates. Made for specific business purposes, such unique designs include reliable professional software, graphic resizing and other flexible options within a template that suits the user’s needs. Once you choose a design template, all you need to do is upload your content. Sit back and enjoy the effect of an eye-catching website. Most companies let you try out the quality of a template for a period and you need to pay for it only after you decide to use one permanently.

Websolutions is a Chicago-based web hosting company which gives their clients web designs and help them in website development. They take care of everything from domain name to graphics and design templates for the websites.

Premiumwebdesign.com has packages that include search-engine friendly design templates and good software for $100 to $125 dollars per page.

ADDR.com is a very professional and highly customer oriented web hosting company with rave customer reviews and testimonials. They keep up with the latest developments in web designs and offer their clients very sophisticated templates. If you host your site with them, you can make it as simple or as complex as you want and be assured that it will be maintained without a hitch.

How To Understand Website Hosting

Whether you’re a growing business planning on starting a website business or just a website programmer looking for a good hosting account, its a good idea to learn how web hosting works to ensure that your website launch goes smoothly.

There are many website hosting companies on the internet, and all of them offer a different list of services for different types of websites. Here are some of the common features that you’ll see on most web hosts and how to decipher them.

Website Space: Website space is the actual location of where your website files and images reside. Your HTML web pages and even your web programming pages will be stored at this location. Some web hosts offer 100MB and others offer up to 10,000MB or more.

If your company’s website only uses up five to seven pages then even 100mb might be too much space because almost all average web pages take up very little space.

If your website is content based and requires tons of images, text, articles, videos, then you should ensure that your host has more then 100mb of web space. Many times though web space will not be a major factor when searching for a web host. Most hosts will provide you with a lot web space for the average website.

Bandwidth / Traffic / Monthly Transfer: Bandwidth is how much information can be transferred from your website.

Think of it this way. If you have 1 web page which takes up 1mb and you’re monthly bandwidth limit is 100mb. This means that once 100 people visit your website, then your bandwidth limit will be maxed out. You will not have any bandwidth available until the next month. Most of the time though website hosts offer monthly bandwidth limits of 3,000 MB or 10,000 MB. Don’t worry about bandwidth because 99 percent of your web pages won’t take up 1mb.

Once you start generating thousands of visitors monthly and see your bandwidth increase then you may have to pay additional fee for that month for the extra bandwidth, and consider upgrading your hosting account. As with website space bandwidth should not be an issue when searching for a web host because most will provide you with adequate bandwidth for your website.

Website Programming Language: If you have features like Comments Form – to email comments directly from visitors to online email account, Newsletter Opt-in for your visitors or any other dynamic features then you need to have support for a web programming language. There are several web programming languages. To find out which one you need for your website ask your website development team and find out. They might already know which programming language they plan on using for your website. Common Web Programming languages include PHP, Net and CFML.

Web Programming language will be a big factor when searching for a web host because each firm will offer a different combination of support for web programming languages, so pick carefully.

Database: If your website needs to store visitor’s email address, name and other important information, or keep a catalog of all your products then you will need to use a database. Some of the most common databases that are widely used include Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Access. Almost all hosting plans will provide support for at least one of these databases. As for web programming, you need to ask your website development team which database they plan to use.

Domain Hosting: Most of the time though a website hosting company will allow you to host one domain name such as a com, or net, but some website hosts support hosting for several website name. This is a great feature because this allows you to host multiple websites on one host, and manage everything from a convenient place. The downside is that you will have to share your website space, your bandwidth, and maybe even several other features with your other website. If you’re goal is to have more then one website then it’s a good idea to find out exactly how many domains your web host allows on your account.

Email: Email should not be an issue when searching for a web host. Many web hosting firms support some type of email account which allows you to have an email address with your website name: sales at yourwebsitename or something like that. Remember the amount of website space you use for your email may be limited to your overall website account, so if possible delete large and unwanted emails.

Customer Support: Support won’t be a factor until it becomes one. This is why its a good idea to speak with a hosting staff and see how they respond. Great customer service will become a very important factor, and usually up to your website firm that will be working with them.

So how do you decide which web host is right for you?

A good method is to first find out which of these website hosting is more important for you. If your website offers business training videos that takes up a lot of bandwidth then you should find a website host that can provide you a lot of bandwidth unless you’d rather wait until it turns into a bottleneck. Videos often take up hundreds if not thousand times more bandwidth then regular webpage and in this case your first priority during your search should be to ensure that your host includes adequate bandwidth. If you find a host that you like and if bandwidth does turn into an issue then make sure that the hosting firm allows the ability to upgrade your hosting services. Be prepared and make sure to find out the expenses for the upgraded plan.

Once you find a good host try hosting your website on a monthly basis instead of the long term discounted plans. Just like other companies, firms will offer lower price to motivate you to buy long term contracts. There’s nothing wrong with having a long term contract, but it’s not worth it if you decide you don’t like this host, or if you find a better host.

If you’re still not sure which host to sign up with then just ask you webmaster. They can recommend web hosts or offer to host your website with them. You will also see website hosts provide you with additional features such as ecommerce functionality, website statistics, easy to use control panel software such as Plesk, and other great features and software programs that can help you manage and create a great website.

Dedicated Server

If none of those plans sound right or if you plan on creating a gateway type website, with tons of content, images, videos, and if you want to be able to install your own custom software then there’s another option for you, a dedicated server. With a dedicated server you can install your own software, support for your own choice of programming languages, and as the title suggests it is dedicated for your website or websites depending on what you need. The cost is usually 8 to 10 times more then your average web host, but it allows you more control and provide you more ways to customize it. And if you plan on hosting dozens of websites then you should consider using a dedicated server.

Website Hosting Technical Support – Common Misconceptions

Tech support is there to help, right? The reality is, it depends. Learn some common misconceptions about tech support’s responsibilities.

You’ve just gotten a new website hosting account. You’re excited to begin your journey onto the web. You’re a novice to all this “web stuff”, but you’re confident and brimming with enthusiasm. Into it you plunge, opening the design program your friend suggested and trying to create some pages. There’s a problem, though, and you can’t make the program work, and you’re not actually building any pages. Well, time to call technical support at your brand new hosting company, right?

Your hosting is providing you the space on its servers to put this information, so shouldn’t they be responsible for making sure you can actually make a website?

This is going to sound disappointing, but the answer to that question is ‘no’. Your hosting company is providing you space and transfer for a website, but the responsibility for populating that space is your’s and your’s alone. What is uploaded to the account and how it is uploaded is the responsibility of the client. The role of technical support at any hosting company is the diagnosis and repair of problems with a site relating to the server on which it is hosted. This article will cover the 2 most common “Tech Support Don’ts,” training and content update, and offer alternate solutions to the “problems.”

Content Update

Many novices enter website hosting with the idea that a hosting company’s technical support is not only a troubleshooting organization, but a teaching and maintenance organization as well. These impressions are due mostly to a misunderstanding of what constitutes “technical support” problems. Customers may classify a need to update a web page with new information as a “problem”, and perhaps, to them, it is, but it is not a problem for which technical support at your hosting company is responsible.

If you need someone to update your website on a regular or even intermittent basis, then you have 2 basic options. The first, and most economical, is simply to find an editing program with which are you are comfortable, learn it, and use it make your own updates. The program you need will vary according to the kind of site you wish to build or maintain. Many hosting companies even provide online “site builder” solutions that can be accessed right through your browser without the need to install separate program.

Alternately, if you lack the time or skills to update a site, consider hiring a outside web design services firm to perform your needed updates. Prices vary wildly, but you will probably be able to find a great number of resources in your local area, and beyond, by doing a search at your favorite search engine. Most web designers are generally knowledgeable, and, with information you provide, can update your site even if they themselves did not initially design it.

Training

Hosting and maintaining a website requires some basic knowledge. It isn’t just another bill you’ll pay monthly, like electric and water. It requires a knowledge both of the programs you’ll use to create the site and of the programs you’ll use to maintain and upload it. When someone arrives to hosting without this general, basic knowledge, they may find themselves lost and believe the only recourse is to call a hosting company’s technical support for what amounts to free training.

Training on software, even commonplace software, is something many people pay a great deal of money to colleges and other professional organizations to obtain. Expecting this kind of service for what equates to a monthly hosting fee is, on reflection, a little unreasonable. In virtually every case, there will be resources associated with the programs you’re using to provide answers and rudimentary training. Answers to more general questions, beyond those specific to a single program, may be found in a variety of places. Most hosting companies can provide an entry level training in website hosting through online resources, like manuals, knowledgebase, or even advanced video tutorials. Always check for these kinds of resources before immediately picking up the phone to ask your question of technical support.

Importance Of Good Website Hosting And Design

Website hosting is an extremely important thing to have in order for your overall website to be on the internet. It’s practically impossible to get a website on the internet without a hosting account. The designs as well are also very important because you need to make sure that the site is nicely laid out for people to understand. Most people tend to believe that website hosting and designing aren’t that important, but they most definitely are if you want to succeed with a successfully made website.

Tips when getting good website hosting and design

One of the best tips worth giving away is to get a qualified hosting company for you to host your site on. Most people decide to get their websites hosted on a really bad hosting account, only to end up with a website that’s badly made. Many people can’t even get a good design because of the fact that the hosting company doesn’t offer any kind of website building tools. The design is extremely important, and you need for that site to be designed successfully with their site tools, because if it’s not so good looking, people will leave your site almost right away.

When looking at each hosting company, you want to look for a good amount of site building tools. Usually some of them will allow you to only add a few designs of some sorts, but what you really need to have is a good amount of tools to make sure that you can rearrange your site successfully even when you’ve published it completely. Don’t forget to use coupons in case you really want to save money on those highly respected hosting companies.

Where to find a good hosting company

There are many good hosting companies out there, and you’ll find a variety of reviews and helpful resources for finding the perfect company to pay for when getting hosting. Hosting companies are very well respected in this world, but you need to make sure that you get it only from a highly qualified and respected source. There may be a company that you actually need to look out for, and by reading reviews, you can find out who those companies are.

Searching the web for reviews can give you a lot of information that you wouldn’t normally find all on your own. The information and resources that you have, the more knowledge and success that you can receive when choosing the right company. Most people are shocked to know how much success they can get when they find a good hosting company to rely on. The domain purchase isn’t such a big investment as it’s only a one-time fee to get your own domain name, which is a.com. However, with a hosting account, you need to pay that every month. So, you want to choose the right company slowly.

Website Hosting, Finding a Local Supplier to Host Your Website

1) Dedicated Hosting: Does your local web designer or hosting company use a dedicated server as opposed to a virtual or shared server. Any decent small to medium business offering website hosting will rent their own dedicated server to host their clients websites on. Anybody putting your website on a free or virtual server is not offering the best service that they could do.

2) IP Address: How many websites are on the same IP address as your website. You can easily check by using a service that will show you other websites that are hosted on the same server as a particular domain name. Search in Google for find other websites hosted on a web server. Simply put their domain name into the search and see the other websites on the same server / IP Address as their own website.

3)Shared Hosting: Once you have a list of the other websites on the same server / IP address you can check out these websites. If they are all clients of the company you want to use then you are most likely quite safe to assume that they are running a dedicated server. More often than not a web designer will have a link back to their own website from a clients website, have a look about the site for this. In the end you can ask your prospective host if they run their own server.

A canny web host will have purchased a block of additional IP addresses, to spread their clients websites around, to create more valuable back links to their own website.

4)Support: How well do they intend to support you? For a local company a phone contact for service related support should be expected. You should not be having to call them at all about problems with the hosting service so no company should try and avoid a direct contact for support. A good and helpful local supplier should be willing to provide a little technical support, in the early days, to get your service up and running as part of a new agreement.

5)Referrals: Do they have any referrals from existing customers. One of the best ways to judge a companies performance is from existing customers. Ring a few up and ask how the service is. You will find a web design or hosting company with several good referrals has been established for a good few years and can be relied upon.

Perform a Whois look up on your prospective clients domain name and see when they first registered their domain name. The longer they have been established the better the prospect.

6)Guarantee: Do they offer any guarantees of up time and reliability. Normally a small to medium web designer will rent their dedicated server from a larger host, find out who the host they use is and do a bit of research on the company by looking for reviews in Google.

7)Experience: How much experience does your new host have in running and maintaining servers and the related service? Find out if they come from a technical and/or support background with experience in servers and web services. Or are they simply a design guru relying on their hosts support for technical support. Quite often you will pay a premium to hosting companies to fix any unforeseen problems and this can also take time. Your own dedicated technical genius will stay up all night to fix any problems to keep your services running.

More often than not your local, well established, web designer will be making use of a dedicated server and charging an annual fee for maintaining the server, applying patches and upgrades to the server and the service offered.

Using a local supplier gives you the means to be able to pick up the phone and contact them and, if you pick the right one, enjoy a long and happy working relationship with your web host. If they offer web design then you also have, at hand, a means to update your website too..

FAQ For Finding an Affordable Singapore Website Hosting Plan

Q. How do I decide on any one affordable Singapore website hosting Plan?

A. Your choice of a Singapore website hosting plan depends largely on your need for the desired web site and the functionality you expect of it (e.g. ecommerce, etc). The approach to identifying the best can be daunting, but with a little research and comparison shopping nothing is impossible. You have to weigh the different advantages and disadvantages associated with each.

Q. What should the chosen Singapore website hosting plan offer with regards to ‘storefront’?

A. You should ideally analyze the size of your business. If you have a small business, then the storefront could work for the business just like an online mall. The ideal Singapore website hosting plan should enable you to access a well designed web site to effectively sell your products online. The storefront service should include everything you need to sell your products and services online. The features may differ according to the chosen program, but essentially include search engine placement and credit card processing. The template services should be able to accommodate changes, when and as you require them.

Q. What is a custom site?

A. A custom site applies to businesses that outgrow the earlier storefront service invested in. Naturally, an investment in something more flexible automatically fits into the current business requirements. You need to look for a Singapore website hosting plan that offers you a unique site for greater support. The custom site should also enable the site to handle the additional web traffic. You could also look into the Singapore website hosting plan currently catering to your unique needs to offer you the custom site design and one that provides you with un-metered data transfer and unlimited domain support.

Q. What does hiring the same Singapore website hosting company to design and host the changes desired?

A. Your decision to hire the current Singapore website hosting company to take care of your requirement for an affordable plan involves a few logistical issues. You could consider trade-offs in design quality, and check on the reliability of the current service provider. Also, you need to check on, designing and hosting requirements that demand different skills and special levels of industry expertise. You should also think about evaluating the company’s experience in the field of generating dedicated website hosting plans and ask for references before navigating the company’s current projects. You should observe how the designed sites look and how quickly they could be loaded within your browser.

Q. How do I evaluate a Singapore website hosting company’s service quotient?

A. In order to effectively evaluate the Singapore website hosting company’s hosting service, you should contact existent customers and double check on referrals. You need to look into the frequency of the server going down and on the efficiency of the customer service desk responsiveness. You should also check on how your site will be updated and whether it will be taken care of directly or after a long wait. Another aspect that should not be ignored is the recent turnover in key personnel – the technicians and engineers who make up the in-house team.

Free Ad Supported Website Hosting

Millions of website owners select low cost or free hosting options that may not be appropriate for commercial or small business websites. Based on one recent experience with a custom website client, I feel site owners need to understand that free ad supported website hosting is not for everyone.

The ads exchanged for free hosting offered from one major hosting company are described as done by inserting “advertising on a small portion of the site”. In fact this “small ad” is a top banner that covers the width of the screen with a height of 1.2 inches (30.4mm), and displays 3 separate ads. The choice of ads placed in the banner advertising is fed based on page content, so your site might feature an advertisement from your competition. This is fine for non-commercial personal sites, or a website monetized for advertising revenue only. It is senseless to advertise for your competition.

Website hosting is inexpensive. The decision to use free ad supported hosting should be considered carefully.

The cost for paid hosting ranges from modest to outrageous, so many business owners fall victim to overpriced hosting services because of inexperience. Some pay $1000’s USD per year for their domain, hosting, and maintenance when in fact their site is static and nothing is ever added. A monthly fee based on the contingency that something might need to be changed in the future is a waste of money if your website is launched and just gathers dust. If it is dynamic adding content frequently and you receive value for money, monthly fees are practical.

Tip: You do NOT have to include the copyright date on your web pages. Using the copyright symbol and the year means you have an obsolete website a year later. The cost to change the date each January hardly justifies paying thousands annually in monthly fees. Published material is covered locally and internationally by copyright law without specifying the year or including a copyright statement. The fact that content is published on your website means you own it. My advice is avoiding dated material and simply state “Copyright Material – All Rights Reserved”.

Another client told of a service where they paid $179 a month for a similar package which included a logo design and website graphics. Although their agreement also included high quality artwork of their logo for printed marketing materials, the service provider refused to make it available when requested. The website version was 3-color low resolution and looked fine online. Creating a 4-color CMYK high resolution version appropriate for professional printing should have been easy. Instead, the website owner was compelled to shop around and pay extra to have printed marketing materials designed.

When you remove “maintenance” as a service in the example above, your small business website can be online for less than $150 USD annual cost instead of $2148.00. The amount this customer saved was enough to pay for a custom site design, and then future savings of $2000 a year after the first year. You need a www domain and hosting, plus a site design. Dependable service companies are out there at less than $10 a year for your domain, and less than $5 a month for hosting. Why pay more? Choose carefully when you select someone to design your small business website, and their advice may save you more than the design.

Next, the technical implications of free ad supported website hosting may escape the notice of most site owners. In the recent incident, the XHTML code to create this site was deprecated by the free service when they automatically inserted code to generate the advertising banner. Instead of a website with zero code errors, 10 XHTML errors were added to each page because of the extra inserted code. Currently proper HTML or XHTML code is not mandatory for favorable search engine ranking, yet if you have a perfect design, there is the risk that deprecated code could affect ranking in the future if search algorithms change.

Small business owners are usually too busy running their day to day operations to learn about the best options for getting and keeping a website online. Free ad supported website hosting is available, but the downside needs to be understood before you opt for free hosting. If you select a web developer to design your website and they do not offer monthly fee based services, they will most likely offer advice for your best hosting options.

In conclusion, designers who offer value added services are viable choices for small business owners who choose to have fresh content added to their site frequently. Just make sure to communicate your needs for online and in print to maximize your results and avoid disappointment. I am opposed to free ad supported website hosting for small business websites because anything displayed on your site needs to promote your product or service. Advertising, especially competitive ads, detract from the positive first impression that is critical for the success of your small business website.

Website Hosting and Domain Name Registration in South Africa

With an incredible increase in internet usage in South Africa and a website now being essential for any home, small or medium business (not just the big boys anymore), it can be incredibly difficult to find a good website host if you don’t know what you are looking for. If you choose wisely, you could get an amazing deal and have your site on line for anything from R24 per month, with zero setup fee and anything from R75 upwards for a genuine .co.za domain. All you need to do is to design your own site and upload it, and voila, you are on the internet! Website design is a science on its own, but many people like to design their own sites. There are many free resources out there, but of course ultimately a proper web design package provides more features. Many hosts provide the option of an online site design program that can be used at a small additional fee.

So, who do you host with? It is very difficult to answer this question, but don’t be tempted to jump for the first few results in Google. In South Africa a lot of people are trying their hand at hosting for additional income, but they have to be able to back up their hosting with support. When I started getting involved in web hosting, it looked easy and like easy money. It is not. I very quickly realized that the public do not in general have enough web knowledge and site design knowledge so that one can merely send them a control panel login and password and leave them to it. In order to back up our hosting and provide support, we quickly invested in web savvy support people and we made sure that our servers were managed by reputable companies. The other thing of course is that there are very few companies with their own servers, the rest can probably all be classified as resellers, some with dedicated servers managed by the big companies.

The benefit of making use of a smaller company with dedicated servers, is that you get all the big company server reliability, but at lower prices due to lower overheads and, if you choose wisely, you get very personal and often free support. If I had to count the hours that we have spent helping people set up their e-mail accounts, upload their websites, sorting out all their issues etc. and work out the cost of that, I would have to say that web hosting is not profitable at all. However, the satisfaction one gets from helping complete newbies get their own websites outweigh the endless hours spent supporting someone who pays only R24 per month for hosting.

Beware of free hosting packages, it usually comes with baggage you normally don’t want such as advertising links, or very limited space and bandwidth, a ploy to get you on board and upsell a paid package to you as soon as you realize you need more.

Domains are another issue. You can’t get free domain name registration in South Africa for .co.za or coza domains. The registrar, Uniforum, charges a flat fee for domains. Hosting companies will resell you these domains at a small or big profit. We have offered free coza domains for years as a means of offering something unique to attract clients. It is something which we are now offering only with larger packages from R79 per month upwards, as the cost of the domain and the fact that many people used us as a free domain registration service, resulted in more losses than gains. Expect to pay a minimum of R75 and up to R200 for a coza domain depending on who you use, unless you go for the free domain included packages.

Then there is the question of hosting location. Local bandwidth in South Africa is still incredibly expensive, so unless you have very particular reasons for wanting to be hosted locally, don’t be put off by seeing that servers are not located in South Africa. We have scaled down on our local server usage and only use it when customers really insist on it. None of our customers have ever been unhappy with their sites being hosted in the US or Germany, because the benefit of additional bandwidth and server space allowed far outweighs the negligible difference in site loading speeds. Of course, if your audience is international, you want to be hosted internationally anyway.

So, in summary, you can get your site on the web for the cost of a domain (average R100) and R24 per month for hosting, provided you can design your own site. If you have small or medium business, you can have your site hosted for R79 per month and get your domain for free as well.

The bottom line is, to get your own website in South Africa is absolutely essential, but choose your host wisely and make sure that you get all the backup and support you need and it doesn’t need to be a bank breaking experience.

Website Hosting – How to Select a Good Company

Trying to select a hosting package is much like purchasing a new car–there are many different types and ways to go, but in the end it really boils down to how you are going to get where you want to be and the features you’ll need to get there. You certainly would not buy a Honda Civic to make an off-road journey across the Mohave Desert. Nor would it make sense to buy a Hummer to just drive around town.

So in considering the type of hosting package and company to host your website, you should first assess where you want your website to go and what you’ll need to get there.

But first, let’s understand what web hosting is exactly, and the many different features that need to be considered.

The Internet is a vast network of interconnected computer servers which house or host various pages of information, called websites. Hosting a website means to store and maintain a computer folder of various web pages. Hosting companies offer this service by providing computer hardware and software services. These services vary as much as cars do.

Some very important hosting features that should be a must for your hosting package, much like the importance of having a car with a motor and wheels, are the following:

  • Security – Protection from Internet hackers.
  • Space – Ability to grow my site without size constraints.
  • Speed – How fast my website will load onto visitors computers.
  • Up Time – Dependability of the hosting servers from crashing.
  • Back Up – Protection from loss of data from my website.
  • Support – 24 hours support to handle problems.
  • Administrative Tools – For making changes to your site.
  • Email – The number and size of email accounts.
  • Hosting Company – History and track record for support.
  • Search Engine Submissions – Submitting to the major search engines.

Now, let’s consider where you want your website to go and what you’ll need to get there. Some questions to ask:

  • Do I want my customers to be able to look up information on my website? If so, you’ll need a database driven website with a hosting company that supports it.
  • Do I want movement on my website? If so, you’ll need a web design company that can program flash for your site, as well as the ability to host the flash program.
  • What type and how much email traffic will I anticipate? This helps to determine the size and amount of storage you’ll need for your hosted website.
  • How many web pages will I need? This also helps to determine the size of space needed for your hosting package.
  • Will I want to make ongoing custom changes to my website? If so, you’ll need a hosting company that supports ongoing custom design changes.
  • Will my website have a lot of images and movement? If so, you’ll need additional space for larger web files for these functions.
  • Do I want Internet Traffic to my Website? In order to receive traffic to your website, your hosting company needs to offer this service, or you’ll need to hire a third party for this service.
  • Will I need Internet marketing help and consultation? In this fast-changing Internet world, it is important to have professional help and consultation.

The Better Business Bureau offers this advice:

Choosing a Web Hosting Service for your Business Web Site. Is your business web site down again? Does it seem to have more downtime than uptime? You may want to consider changing your web hosting service. One of the most important decisions you will make for your business web site is selecting which web hosting service will display your web pages to the Internet. Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host your business’s web site may feel like finding the right day-care center for your kids these days: Are they reliable? Will they be there next month? Do they know what they are doing? What services do they provide?”

Basically, it is important to find the right hosting company that will partner with you for all your hosting, design and consultation needs. The cheapest hosting is typically not the best route to go. It’s cheap because it is a bare bones package, with little, if any support. That is a sure way to online business failure.