Once we have determined our domain name, we’ll have to host it somewhere to make it available o he internet. There are important things we must consider when choosing a hosting service. So, let’s get to the point, we all want our business earn as soon as possible, right?
First, if you’re not really really low budgeted, you should use a paid hosting. Not all free web hostings out there are mischievous, but there are more things a paid hosting can do than a free one. If you however haven’t got much choice, I recommend WordPress.com or Blogger.com for free hosting services.
You also have the right to know that when your site grows and become known better, you will want to do modifications to your site and some of them may won’t be able to be done. This will make you purchase a paid hosting and a new domain name to be hosted. And you will have to build another awareness for your new site. So, decide wisely!
Depends on your target market, you better choose a hosting server in the same area. For example, if USA is your target market, then pick a list of US based hosting companies. Even if you’re targeting international, you need to know where the most of your visitors come from and then choose a host server in the same or the nearest location. Sometimes local web hostings are pricey, but if you have a product only fits on a specific region and has a bright prospect, a few more dough shouldn’t be a problem.
In order to make our site/blog accessible from around the globe, we need to put our site’s files in the host’s server, using their disk space. There are many web hosting packages each offering a different space quota to store your files. If you’re beginning to start a site from scratch, you won’t need a large disk space. A 50 MB of disk space should satisfy your needs for a year. But along with the size increase of your site’s content, you’ll need a bigger space for your site. There are two options for you, you can decide which to take based on your current budget. If your budget is limited, you can refer to web hosting services that provide packages on monthly basis. But if you have more to spend, it’s better to take offers with a longer term, like yearly or bi-yearly basis. They offer a lower monthly fee, but you’ll have to sign-up for one or two full year’s service.
When a visitor views your web page, they have the site’s files like images, texts, videos, sound, etc stored in their temp folder. The amount of data transferred into your visitor’s computer every time they view your page is what you require to estimate how many bandwidth quota you’ll gonna reserve for a month. If you’re starting a new site, a 200 to 500 MB a month should cover your data transfer. To make pictures clear, a common hit usually transfers 10-30 KB of data (may exceed if you use many images or videos), so if you have 200 MB of bandwidth quota, your site can receive 6,000-20,000 hits per month, where a brand new site usually gets (without discouraging you 🙂 ) lower than 6,000 visits a month. Therefore, you don’t have to spend your budget on something you don’t need yet.
This is very important! Since you’re gonna need it to upload new files to your site, edit or delete some contents. It is not recommended to choose a service which alternates FTP Access with their own site builder unless they provide FTP Access too, since they usually limit the modifications you can make to your site. You can have more privileges and broader areas in administrating your site using FTP Access.
First, determine how much you’re gonna spend on web hosting per year. Then list your web hosting services you found in the internet. Then, look for the price for a whole year or two. As I suggested above, if you can afford to purchase a longer term, do so! If you dont, pick an alternative package with lower price. They usually come with shorter period, less bandwidth of disk space. However, if you feel that is enough for you, purchase immediately and make sure you make a good use of it, because how well you use your resources determines more than having a great resource but know not how to utilize it.
Those are the things you can observe by reading their web page. There are also information you need to look or hear from others. You can find these information on hosting comparison websites or forums.
Security and Backups
Even if your site’s a new kid on the block, you’ll want a secure host to make sure your money maker is not going to be easily cracked. Especially if you choose to run an ecommerce website, security becomes one of the most vital to ensure your business survives.
Like your PC or laptop, you need to back up your system and data periodically (you do, don’t you?). As well as your online business. It is your source of income and you do want to make its duplicate when something unexpected happen when all your anticipations fails. At least you don’t have to start all over again.
Uptime, support, and access speed
Uptime is usually counted in hours per month. This represents how many hours the servers suffers downtime where sites hosted are inaccessible. An ideal downtime is at most 80 hours per month. Most hosting companies promotes 99% uptime guarantee. While not all of them lies, you can keep your eye on this factor while searching infos in forums, reviews and hosting comparisons.
When you’re having trouble with your hosting service, you must know where to ask. Are those hosting companies provide a support team who really supports or it’s just an answering machine? Look for infos for these from users’ experiences written on forums and reviews.
What will you do if you have to wait a whole minute just to see a headline is being loaded. And it takes another 3 minutes to display the whole page. It’s true that access speed is influenced by the number of multimedia files and text displayed on your page, but the hosting server’s performance takes the same effect. If a simple web page consisting of mainly text in a lagged server loads as slow as a multimedia page, visitors won’t mind leaving and go to your competitor’s site. Take account also that speed of access plays a major role in earning visitors and keeping them come. Read or listen to what people say about their experience hosting their site and see how do they think of their site’s access speed.
Extra tips below will help you fast decide which hosting service you need to observer more and which to forget. This’ll save your time and minimize your chance of being abused.
Don’t buy “unlimited” data transfer or disk storage. It’s impossible! Limited numbers of domain hosted promotion is acceptable, but believing an unlimited storage is like believing a man lives forever.
If you can’t find their Terms of Service on their site or you need to spend hours looking for it, don’t bother studying their offers. ToS is your protection! If they’re hiding it, they don’t care for your site and your business. So select your partner carefully!
To be more objective, I suggest you to collect information from different hosting comparison. If a hosting company is in the top-ten or top-five list on more than one hosting comparisons, then most likely it’s a trusted hosting company and many people are satisfied with their service.