Starting a website is not an easy task, especially for anyone who has never gone through the process. Between the graphic designer, the Web developer, the constant updates, and minute little fixes, a lot can go wrong, and that’s why it’s important to have a dependable Web hosting service.
Poor Web hosts can easily double the amount of frustration involved in building a website, so before choosing a particular service it’s crucial to know what to look for in a Web hosting company.
Reliable Customer Service Is a Must
This is often at the top of the list for webmasters, simply because no matter how good the price is or how great the features are, none of it matters if it takes hours to speak with a customer service person for every little problem.
Ideally, a Web host should have 24/7 customer support via live chat, telephone, and email. A great way to test this is by sending the customer support staff an email before signing up for the service and then measuring the amount of time required for a reply. The response should always come within 24 hours.
Look for Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage
If a Web host doesn’t provide unlimited bandwidth and storage these days, they aren’t worth using. There are so many hosting services that provide these features for no extra charge that there isn’t any viable reason to go with someone who doesn’t.
It’s also necessary to look at the fine print, because many services that advertise “unlimited” storage actually do have limits. Small businesses usually use no more than 100MB of disk space, although it is recommended to look for something that provides closer to 4GB, especially for websites with a lot of media.
Aim for Reliability
The reliability of a hosting server is the amount of up-time that it provides, usually advertised on a monthly basis. Nothing less than 99 percent should even be considered, because every second the website is down is potentially another sale lost.
Downtime is usually reserved for maintenance but also encompasses system crashes and disaster projections. A good rule of thumb is to ask about disaster recovery plans and backups before signing onto the service.
Look for a Low Price
This is a very important aspect of Web hosting, but it should never be considered over customer support and reliability. The price of a basic hosting service can vary between $4.50 per month and $30 per month with the average price falling somewhere around the $10 to $12 range.
Price doesn’t always guarantee quality, which is why it’s crucial to investigate the other features of the service rather than deciding solely on the advertised monthly price. Many hosts offer discounts for yearly plans as well, which could be something to look into.
Understanding what to look for in a Web hosting company can be the difference between a lame duck and a golden egg-laying goose. These four factors should always be considered before signing onto a particular service.