7 Simple Steps For Choosing A Great Web Host

There are thousands of web hosts around today with thousands of plans to choose from for what was once a simple procedure seem like a daunting task for both newbie and pro alike.

Whether you’re looking for your first host or are looking to move to a better, there are 7 simple steps you must follow to succeed in choosing a great host.

1. Platform
The first and most crucial step in choosing a web host is to determine the platform of the web server running, usually a choice between Unix / Linux and Windows.

Your choice is largely determined by your website and the technologies used to create it, usually a website created with Microsoft technologies (ASP, VB) will run on Windows servers, while most other sites using open source technologies (PHP, Perl, Python, etc.) will run on Linux based systems.

2. Features
Once you’ve chosen your platform is the next step is to determine the functions you need from your web host. Take your time with this step as the feature lists of web hosts are getting longer and longer every day and while some plans may be similar on the surface, a good look at the job listings can be a different story.

Only you can determine which specific features you’ll need, but some key things to monitor are:

Disk Space
Money Back Guarantee
Domains allowed
Databases (Number & Type)
CGI, PHP, Perl, Python, SSI
E-mail Accounts

The list goes on, just remember to take your time and ensure that your new web host you with everything you need.

3. Cost
Often this is the only thing people consider when choosing their first web host, funds are usually tight and most hosts on the surface look very similar. Sometimes you get lucky and choose a good host, but more often than not proves to be a horror story.

I can not stress enough that choosing a web host based on price alone is asking for trouble, remember that the cost of your web hosting is more than just the monthly fee, to consider the total cost of ownership. TCO includes lost revenue due to downtime and slow speeds, downtime discounts, extra bandwidth charges, setup fees, additional feature costs, and your monthly fee.

Many hosts will require that you pay annually to the best price available to get but there are some that allow you to pay by the month and still the best price, it’s really a matter of personal choice of what payment method is works best for you.

4. Customer Service
Customer service is another aspect that is often forgotten until it is too late, something breaks and you have noticed and this delicious handige sellers that more than helpful in taking your money now nowhere to be seen, all the time you ‘re losing the sale of every minute.

You should not settle for anything less than 24/7/365 service, your site should be running all the time so it’s no good if your hosting company does not work during the holidays. Do not take the word for web hosting companies, claiming all 24 / 7 support, but few back up with consistent performance. Sure to test them at different times of day and night by phone, email and chat if they offer to live.

5. Support
An extensive knowledge base or faq can be a real time saver but also as an indication of the level of customer support and expertise you can expect to receive. Spend some time browsing the supporting parts of the website and see for yourself the level of support.

Questions are thoroughly answered in the knowledgebase?Solutions are real or are they just cut and paste answers?

6. Longevity
Do a whois on the domain name of the web host and find the creation date, less than one year ago and the risk that they will not be around next year increases. They had a large army, but having more than 95% of new hosts go out of business within one year that’s really not something you should take a chance.

7. Uptime
It is a fact of life that a web host can not be online 100% of the time, servers re-booted for the security and software updates and not updated any webhost that is facing the increased risk of successfully hacked.

99.9% uptime guarantees are fairly standard in the industry, however, a guarantee is only as good as how it is defined and the company behind it. Look for no less than one full month free hosting they do not meet their guarantee, a pro rata refund based on the amount of downtime is virtually worthless. Say you pay $ 10 for one month of hosting and your site is down for 24 hours. They will refund you for one day of downtime which ends is about 33 cents.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.