Now that you have a website, how do you go about finding the best possible web hosting? This question is more important than many people realize. Your web host will play a very significant role when it comes to the success of your site.
Naturally, you are responsible for creating a great site and attracting visitors. However, you also depend a great deal on the technology and servers provided by your web host.
Let’s look at some of the main points to look for when shopping for a web hosting plan.
Most Important Features of a Web Host
What are the key features and characteristics that you should look for in a web host?
Reputation and Experience – You can look at how long the company has been in business and approximately how many customers they have. If you choose smaller, lesser known companies you are taking a chance. They may not have the resources to ensure that your site is fast and secure.
You should also look into their overall reputation. This can be investigated by seeking online reviews of the web host. There are many popular web hosting review sites and one of them that I always use is 100Webhosting.com. This site not only shares good web hosting tips, it also has some very good articles on website building and SEO.
Domains, Bandwidth, Disk Space – Each web host offers a certain list of basic features that come with their plans. Some companies, like HostGator, offer a few options for shared hosting. Others, like Bluehost only offer one main plan.
You should look at whether you are allowed to have multiple domains, sub-domains and add-on domains in case you want to build more than one site. You can also find out if you get unlimited disk space and bandwidth with your hosting plan.
Website Builder – Many web hosts have a “site builder” – a drag and drop type system that allows even beginners to create websites without any technical knowledge. Some of these tools are better than others, however. The best site builders include a wide variety of templates, so that you can build sites with certain themes, such as for your business or a hobby.
Some web hosts offer good WordPress themes. In this case, if you are using WordPress, this will be a great option to consider!
Customer Support – This is extremely important, as just about everyone needs to contact support every so often. It’s best to find a web host that gives you a few different ways to contact them, such as by chat, phone and email. Some companies boast about how short the average wait time is. This will matter to you if you ever need to call their support center. Support is another area that is often mentioned if you read customer reviews on hosting sites such as 100Webhosting.com, WebhostingGeeks.com or WebhostingTalk.com.
Cost of Web Hosting – The price you have to pay for web hosting is also something to consider. Prices are usually given in terms of the monthly cost. However, in some cases you may have to pay up front for a whole year (or even longer) to get the cheapest advertised rate. You will also find that web hosts often run special promotions when they offer especially good deals.
As long as we are talking about cost, you should also note what type of money back guarantees the company offers. This is the amount of time you can try the service and still get your money back.
Bonuses or Extras – Aside from the basic features, you will often see some bonuses thrown in. For example, many web hosts give you a free domain registration for a year with your hosting. Other common bonuses include advertising credits with Google, Facebook or Yahoo. Such extras are not the main reason you should choose a particular company, but they can give you an added incentive if you like them in other ways.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a web host, you should take your time and look over many different options. There is certainly no shortage of web hosts out there. You can compare them in terms of features, price, reputation and other criteria that is important to you. Having a trustworthy web host goes a long way towards helping you build the kind of website you want, so choose carefully!