A business can be crafted to be unique, affordable and brilliant… with a best selling product, but to be recognized, and to reach its target audience it needs to have an excellent global marketing strategy. And the cheapest and most efficient way to achieve it, is the Internet.
The Internet is a busy place, having a website is not enough. It needs to be well made, error free, and most importantly always available. If your most important communication channel is down, the business will suffer. Internet clients are impatient, and if your competitors are available, they will move on. So being constantly available is high priority for any enterprise that hopes to do well.
Due to this a safe and reliable web hosting company is crucial. Picking one that suits the needs of your company is equally important. Here’s a checklist of 15 things to consider while picking a suitable web hosting company
1. Storage Capacity The primary concern. The more features your website has, the more space it will require. So always check if your host provides you the space required on the server or not.
2. Price Tag Your next concern should be cost per megabyte for storage space. The offer of unlimited storage for a minimal fee may sound very appealing but its better to check their terms and conditions before choosing any such service (as things that sound too good to be true, are usually just that ).
3. Look out for bandwidth Bandwidth decides the amount of traffic you can receive. It sets the limit for you and your visitors to upload or download data through your website. When choosing a web hosting company you need to have a check the amount of bandwidth and limitation. Starting out it’s wise to choose a hosting provider that allows you a good number of visitors and can offer upgrade in at a descent cost with increase in visitors. Again, unlimited bandwidth, like storage capacity might put you in trouble, so it’s always better to go for a hosting that clearly outlines the limits and sets a clear limit.
4. Multiple domains hosting on Single Account After hosting a website successfully there always is a good chance that you need to setup another domain or a sub-domain. Having single account for multiple domains can be a convenient option. Make sure your hosting service allows you to do so. However in general there is a limit on the number of multiple domains you can have on one account; so while selecting your match be sure that you have enough room for the domains you might need.
5. Rights to ‘.htaccess’ .htaccess is quite important when it comes to the selection of a web hosting provider. You need .htaccess file for authentication, authorization, URL rewriting, redirecting or any other decentralized execution of web server. So, check if your host is providing you with the rights to this file or not.
6. What Language Support Will You Have Although every hosting service supports almost all programming languages, but with a rapid increase in these languages, its better to always check if your web hosting service provides support for the server-side languages you will want to use (for instance ColdFusion). You can probably find this piece of information through the list of supported frameworks. Having multiple options is always good so don’t get stuck with PHP as your only option unless you’re sure that’s all you’ll ever want.
7. Mobile Websites and Applications Internet is growing fast but mobile Internet is growing even faster, so mobile website support is an important feature to look for while choosing a web host. However, it’s even better if your host offers mobile website as well as applications to access your site administration through your cell phones on the go.
8. Technical Support This particularly important: While choosing a web hosting provider, always know about the tech support your potential host has to offer. Do they offer email support or have a ticket system? Can you call
them when needed? When can you call? How fast will they respond? Do they offer tutorials or self-help articles?
– Choose a host only when you know exactly what support they offer. This may sound like a lot but you’ll benefit in the long run.
9. Selection of OS This one’s a bit obvious. Of course an ASP.NET site (or for Microsoft Developer) would need a Windows hosting (though it may be a bit expensive and not very easy to find). On the other hand for an open source language you can conveniently use Linux/Unix.If you have some preferences, its worth mentioning, to check if your potential hosting service provider supports it or not.
10. Site Back Up
Your Hosting Service is as susceptible of losing data as your computer. After all, servers are just larger computer holding your information so it is always recommended to confirm if back up is available, and suitable to your needs. Site files and database both need backup, so if your host is not offering site backup, you should have your own backup plan.
11. Easy Access for Frame Work Support
Another obvious point, as almost every popular framework, Content Management or blogging systems are supported by a lot of web hosts. However, it is always better to ensure if your web host offers one click installation for Word press or any other CMS (if needed).
12. Extra Applications are a good thing
Its not extremely important but having a few extra apps is always a good thing, so it wouldn’t hurt to inquire about some social networking features, for instance, forums, bulletin-boards, news feeds… etc. Some hosts even offer eCommerce solutions for your online store.
13. Access to Shell Access? Shell Access is a great feature to have on your web host. What’s Shell Access? It is access to run command line programs, copy or delete files and more from any computer system. So you can connect to your site through shell access from anywhere at all and work without any hindrance.
14. Cron Jobs
There is a good chance that your host offers Cron Jobs if they are supporting Shell Access. Cron Job is a job scheduler through which you can carry out tasks on the server at a mentioned time. While it is not necessarily something you may need, it can be a useful at times when you when you’d like to automate the execution of a particular maintenance tasks on your web server such as backups, monitoring, etc.
Database is a technical question that your web designer can answer best according to your site design requirements. While choosing a web hosting program, ensure that the database support is clearly specified in your service contract before you seal the deal. Settling for anything less will only cause you a good deal of trouble and money.