Factors to consider when choosing a Web host.
Web Hosting Technical Support
This should be the number one consideration if you’re not a technical guru. Is their tech support available seven days a week, 24 hours a day? How many members do they have on their support staff? How many customers do they have to support? There are many companies that have over extended themselves and can’t offer adequate support.
A sharp web hosting company should not only have a hefty library of scripts that you can use to add guestbooks, forms, statistics, counters and so on to your site. The host should also be prepared for e-commerce with shopping cart software, merchant account setup support, real-time processing availability, and more. They should have support for Java, Shockwave, Cybercash, Real Audio, Real Video, VRML, secure transactions, and other utilities available to their customers as well
Web Hosting Bandwidth
A number of businesses have had to move their Web site because their web hosting service couldn’t handle the number of hits, or charged exorbitant fees for hits above a certain level. What is the policy if your site becomes popular? How many other Web sites share your server? This may be a concern if the other Web sites on your server are flooded with visitors, your customers may not get through.
Speedy Connections, Peering
T3 lines, also known as DS-3, are a must. Anything less means the host, as a whole, runs slower; thus your customers will have to wait. Ask your host what the collision or saturation rate is. If it’s over 50% it may cause problems. A new technology hot on the market is called peering. Peering is when your host has multiple Internet connections and can automatically route traffic to the fastest line out. Less than 2% of hosts have this technology. Does yours?
Web Hosting Site Administration
You’ll need to update your pages, manage files, collect orders, retrieve data from forms, get statistics, make counters, and perform other housekeeping chores to your site. How secure and user-friendly is the software you’ll be using to do these things?
Web Hosting Security
What security features does your web hosting service offer or support? Many hosting companies claim to be secure, but when closely examined fall far short of their claim. Can they truly protect your data from the growing menace of hackers? The company should have a maintenance crew quick enough to dispose of such attempts.
Web Hosting Customer Services
The Internet market is suitable for the old saying “you get what you pay for.” A quality web hosting company should offer an online area with FAQs (frequently asked questions), guides, tips, and other resources. Can they help you find a designer or programmer for your site? Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Web Hosting Price
Cheaper is not necessarily better, but a large price tag doesn’t mean your getting the best out there either. There are many start-up companies offering unbelievable prices. Be wary of “deals” that sound too good to be true. Often these “great deal” companies go under or can’t really live up to their promises. Make sure your web hosting company has a lengthy track record. Good service, support, and connections are worth a lot to your company image.