Webmasters are getting smarter these days – or at least, they should be.  Where once upon  a time the decision to go with a particular web host might have been based solely on price, now it’s probably the least important thing for an online business owner to consider.  Web hosting plans are all pretty much priced the same.  Instead, the decision should be based on issues such as bandwidth and disk space allowances, reliability, technical support and security.  In this article, we’ll look in more detail at the questions you need to ask if you’re looking for a web host for your online business.

Although it’s not the most exciting area to contemplate, it’s such an important decision that you need to take your time over it.  If you make the wrong choice, the problems that will cause will far outweigh any cost savings you might make – and, of course, those problems will ultimately lose you money.  Every time your website is unavailable to your customers, you’re out of pocket.

Best tips to choose a web hosting

1. Google for options.  Although high search engine ranking isn’t a guarantee of quality in itself, it at least shows that lots of other people are using this service.  There may well be top quality bargain web hosts lurking beyond the third page of the search engine listings, but do you really want to be a pioneer when it’s your money at stake?  Generally speaking, the cream rises, so bear that in mind when you do your initial research.

2. Once you’ve got a list of around ten or so well-ranked web hosts, go a little deeper by looking at other people’s reviews and comments.  You need to be quite thorough with this – there are many so-called “review” sites which are basically affiliates for the web hosts.  In other words, they get paid for every customer they send in the hosting company’s direction.  Their glowing review may be accurate, but is it really impartial?  Having said that, always bear in mind that there’s no pleasing some people, and it tends to be people with an axe to grind who post to review sites and forums.  So, keep an open mind, and look at the overall balance of opinion about a particular company.

3. Know what you’re looking for.  In other words, you need to have a very clear idea of what your site is intended to do before you decide upon a host.  The best host for you is the one that will best match your website’s requirements.  If you’re looking to run huge media files, or if you’re hoping to attract a ton of traffic to your site, then you need to look for a hosting plan that can cope with that amount of disk space and bandwidth.  If you’re looking to sell goods or services online, then your host must offer a secure payment and e-commerce package.

4. In addition, be very clear about which operating systems – Linux or Windows – will work best for you.  Also think about the sort of software you wish to run on your site, and whether your chosen host will support that.

5. Finally, set the best budget you can afford.  In web hosting as in life, if you can’t afford the best, buy the best you can afford.

Choosing a web hosting company for your online business is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.  In many ways, there’s too much choice – a simple web search will reveal hundreds, if not thousands, of hosting companies, all eager to take your money.  So how do you tell a good web hosting company from a bad one?  The following tips will help you to decide if the web host is worth your consideration.

5 tips to consider choosing a hosting provider

1. It’s Not About The Money
Broadly speaking, web hosting packages all tend to fall within the same sort of price range.  Although you might save a few dollars here or there by shopping around, price should never be your main concern.  You can always get a reasonable deal.  What you can’t always get is value for money, so look instead at all the things that will add value to the hosting package.

2. Back Up Plans
Nobody wants things to go wrong, but they go wrong anyway.  How prepared is your host company should the worst happen?  If their main data center is hit by a power failure, do they have emergency generators?  If they’re hit by a virus or hacker attack, do they have back-up data centers ready to roll?  Never be afraid to ask these questions, since your online business depends on the hosting company keeping your website up and running, no matter what happens.

3. Security Issues
In the same vein, what sort of security measures do the hosting company have in place?  Can they protect your website from the legion of cyber-threats that are out there?  If you have even the slightest doubt, don’t sign up.  The security of your website is too important to leave to chance.

4. Customer Service and Technical Support
How does the hosting company treat its customers?  What do its former customers have to say about it?  Do a little digging to find reviews and comments.  A good web hosting company will be quick to respond to its customers’ requests and feedback.  It will also have quick and efficient technical support arrangements in place.  If your website goes down, you need to know that they can bring it back up again with the minimum of delay.

5. How Easy Is It?
As an online business owner, you’re there to serve your customers and to make money, not to become a technical expert.  So you need to find a control panel that allows you to create, update and publish your website with the minimum of fuss.  Good web hosting companies will be only too happy to give you a preview of their control panel programs.  They should also have an extensive knowledge base and online tutorials.
A good web hosting company, therefore, scores highly in terms of value, reliability, security, service and ease of use.  You should base your decision on these criteria.

Selecting the Right Web Hosting

If you’re looking to set up and run your own website, one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is about your web host.  Web hosting is even more important than web design or search engine optimization, because the problems caused by getting it wrong are so much more difficult to put right.  This article will give you an idea of the sorts of things you need to consider in order to get your web hosting right first time around.

Important keys considering a good web hosting

Reliability
This is top of the list, because it doesn’t matter how wonderful your website is if nobody can see it.  Nobody can guarantee 100% uptime, but most web hosts claim to be able to come close to it – 99% or 99.9% are commonly quoted figures.  Make sure you’re familiar with your web host’s uptime guarantee, and find out what happens if they fail to meet that level of service. Is there some sort of compensation scheme available if downtime exceeds an acceptable amount?

Disk Space
Obviously you’ll need space in order to build a website, so find out just how much space you get, and make sure its adequate for your needs, now and in the future.  Some web hosts oversell their disk space, in the belief that their users won’t take up their full allocation.  A little research on discussion forums should tell you whether this is something your web host has been accused of.  Avoid oversellers, as there’s a much higher likelihood of your website crashing.

Security
For obvious reasons, it’s absolutely essential that your website is secure as possible.  This is particularly important if you’re handling payments online, so make sure your web hosting company has the appropriate SSL certificates and security features in place.  Ask for reassurance.  A reputable host will be only too willing to let you know that your data and privacy are in safe hands.

Back Up
How will your web host back up your data?  More importantly, how quickly can they retrieve your data should the worst happen?  Also find out about your web host’s emergency planning arrangements.  For example, does their data center have emergency generators in case of a power failure?

Technical Support
Does your web host have adequate levels of technical support?  Can you get hold of a real person quickly in the event of a problem?  On average, how long does it take to respond to customer queries and fix problems?  Again, a reputable host will be only too happy to answer these questions for you.

Total Internet Solution
If you’re new to running a website, it might be a good idea to look for a host that provides a total internet solution – everything from web design to search engine optimization.  You may pay a little more for these services, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Once you have considered these factors, then and only then should you look at price.  You can always get a good price on web hosting, but you can’t always get good value.  Do your research, and take your time to find the right sort of web hosting for you.

Tips For Web Hosting Shopping

If you’re looking to make a serious purchase, it’s usually a good idea to shop around.  Web hosting is no different.  Follow these tips to make shopping around for a web host easier and more successful.

Tips to buy the best hosting

1. Know what you’re looking for.  Once you’re clear in your own mind about what your website is designed to do, your choice of web host becomes much easier.  A personal or hobby website will have different hosting requirements to a commercial or business website.  Make a list of your requirements before you start shopping around.

2. Look at the levels of technical and customer support on offer.  Is it an email support ticket system, a 24 hour hotline, or an emergency help desk?  Ideally, you want to be able to speak to a real person at any time of the day or night should problems arise.

3.  What sort of back up arrangements are in place?  Find out what arrangements the hosting company has for storing and retrieving your data.  Remember that it’s also your responsibility to back up your own data.

4. Check out the hosting company’s contingency plans.  Occasionally, things go wrong that our outside our control, such as server breakdown or power failure.  Whether or not things go wrong isn’t the issue.  The issue is how quickly they can be put right.  A good web host will have planned for these worst case scenarious and put contingency plans in place.  Do they have emergency generators to cope with power failure, for example?

5. Look at your web host’s anti-spam policy.  If you end up with a web host with a reputation for spamming, you could lay yourself open to a whole lot of hassle and inconvenience.  So make sure they have an anti-spam policy in place, and check that it’s rigorously enforced.

6. Does the web host accept payment through Paypal?  This is often a safer option than credit card payments, because it can be instantly terminated in the event of a dispute.  A dishonest web host may continue to charge you through your credit card, even after you’ve cancelled the contract.

7. Avoid web hosts with a reputation for overselling.  This is becoming a widespread practice, as web hosts know that most users don’t use their full alllocation of disk space.  However, if the host has sold more disk space than it actually has available, there’s a very real risk of your website crashing should people start to take up their full allowance.

Above all, dig around discussion forums and comments to get a feel for the different web hosts that you’re considering.  This will provide a much better guide than a straightforward price comparison.  When it comes to web hosting, you’re looking for value, not price.

How to Find the Best Web Hosting Company

If you’re new to the game, finding a decent web host can be a very frustrating business.  Just as you can find pretty much anything you want on the internet with a simple search engine enquiry, so you can find hundreds of hosting companies eager to take your money.  Finding a hosting company isn’t a problem.  The problem is that you can find too many of them.  How do you begin to choose between them?  In this article, we’ll give you a six step guide to finding the right web hosting company for you.

Steps you should consider choosing a hosting provider

The first thing you need to do is to be very clear what your intentions are.  Are you looking to host a personal website, a professional website or a business website?  Your requirements will be very different in each case.  A business website, for instance, will need a payment system and enough bandwidth to cope with large numbers of visitors.  A personal website may need to accommodate lots of pictures or media files.  Once you understand what your website actually needs, you can sort through different web hosts according to your criteria.

Know your budget.  When it comes to web hosting, the sky is the limit, so be very clear in advance how much you’re prepared to pay.  Although price should never be the main criteria on which to judge a web host, setting out a budget will help you to narrow down the search.

Look for reliability.  This is probably the most important thing when it comes to choosing a web host.  There’s no point paying for web hosting if visitors can’t actually see your website.  Look beyond the guaranteed uptime, and find out how quickly they can get a server back up and running in the event of an emergency.  On a similar theme, check out how long the company has been in business.  Companies come and go with astonishing rapidity on the internet, so a web host that’s been around for a few years is obviously doing something right.

Look at disk space storage and data transfer speeds.  Good web hosts will give their customers lots of storage space and generous bandwidth allowances, since these things are the lifeblood of online businesses.  Does the hosting package allow you to upgrade easily should your business expand?

What sort of features do you get with the hosting package?  Look for user friendly control panel software, add-ons and plug-ins, and the number of email accounts you’re allowed, since all of these things will help you to run your online business more effectively.

Finally, check out your web host’s security arrangements.  Whether its personal or professional, your website data is too precious to be left unprotected.  Before signing anything, reassure yourself that your web host can protect your site from virus corruption and online hackers.

Qualities of a Good Hosting Provider

Well, if this is the first time you are searching for discount web hosting, you will most certainly experience difficulties locating a potential service provider as you will not know what qualities you have to look for. It will surely not be in your advantage if you signup up to a hosting service provider who will fail offering you the required quality services.

Although there is no surefire method to locate the perfect service provider, there are certain ways that will enable you to select a provider that meets your requirements. With that, your website will have a great influence on your online visitors and you have to make sure that they are indeed interested in what your site is offering and that they are  encouraged to revisit your website.

The most important aspects of a web hosting provider

So, the big question that arises is: “what you really need to look for when searching for a web hosting provider? What are the aspects that should be considered and what are those features you have to be extra careful?” The truth is that as a customer it might be quite difficult to identify a great provider out of the blue, so it would be a great idea to sit down and compare the different providers and what they are offering to get a general idea about it. Most service providers will be anxious to explain you what certain terms mean, so if you are not sure about something at some point, ask for further details and clarifications for you to analyze in your own spare time. It is possible to be lucky enough to be able to settle for a custom made, personalized web hosting package that will suit perfectly your own individual needs.

One of the most important aspects of a reliable web hosting provider is the existence and availability of a dependable customer service for you to contact in times of need. You have to foresee the worst case scenario. For instance, your website is hacked and serious damages are caused. Customer orders are still coming in but you are unable to access the database with their details. How you are going to fix this problem? The available customer service is basically a safety net, a protection against any problem you might experience. Keep in mind that you are paying the hosting provider to offer a service, including full technical support. If the quality of the provided technical support is rather poor and needs serious improvements it is highly recommended that you find another provider that offers you more for your money.

It is equally important that you are comfortable with your selected hosting service provider, meaning that you can contact them with any issue you are having without any shame or reluctance. Most independent hosting service providers are more inclined to offer custom made packages in an effort to gain more new customers, compared to some well established hosting companies with “take it or leave it” approach.

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