Home Based Business

Simple Steps To Web Host Selection

 

 

There are hundreds upon thousands of providers of web hosting. You can find them in your phone book and online. Sifting through the myriad options to find the one that will best suit both your need for affordability and reliability can be painful and time consuming. Use the list of tips and checkpoints below to discern the right provider for you.

The first thing you should check for any web hosting provider is whether or not their IP addresses are on any blacklists or if they are blocked. These blocks or blacklists can be put in place by both search engines and Internet service providers. If any of these are in place, your hosted page is not accessible or visible to users of those search engines or ISPs. This defeats the purpose of having a website.

Does the web host you are looking at offer phone support? If you notice a problem with your web page, you want to be able to call someone and report it immediately. If all they offer is email tech support, it could take a full business day to hear back from them. Actually settling an issue could take a week. That is just downtime that does not serve your page or you.

If they do have phone support, give them a ring. Talk to them. See how friendly, professional and skilled they are. You might be relying on these guys in a crunch, so kick the tires and test them out. A good tech support department likely indicates a company that has few problems and solves the ones that do come up pretty quickly.

Any web host that wants your business should be willing to accept the form of payment you would like to use. All major credit cards should be immediately acceptable either online or over the phone. Other possibilities include PayPal payments and direct debit from your checking account at your local bank.

Does the web host you are looking at offer an easy and convenient way to look at their uptime statistics? Any decent web host not only has nearly perfect uptime, they want to brag mightily about it. These statistics should not only be available, but prominently featured as part of their sales pitch.

Could your account expand? You hope your web page will possibly take off. This can mean more visitors, needing more content and more bandwidth. Can you avoid getting locked into a contract that might choke you six months down the road. Look for a company that you can grow with.

Check out possibilities for affiliate programming with them. By having this feature on your website, you might be able to save some money off of your monthly fees. Or, if your site is big enough, you might just get the web hosting for free.

Check out the age of their server software. If it’s not up to date, than the latest bug or malicious piece of programming floating around the Internet might take them down. Your website could also fall prey to hackers whose interests likely do not align with your own.

See if they offer unlimited packages. If they do, find out exactly what the unlimited portions are. You will likely never find unlimited server space. Some might offer supposedly unlimited bandwidth, but you need to find out what speeds. If users of your website have to wait for long loads, you will start losing visitors.

Find out how they specifically handle back-ups of their server. Do not do business with a web host that does not do back-ups. If possible, find one that has their back-ups in a different geographical region than their primary server, as to avoid losing everything to a local disaster. Also see when these back-ups take place and if your site will be offline during them. Ask about their liability plan. Know exactly what they cover, what your reimbursements would be and what your personal obligations are.

Find out what length of time you have to commit for in a contract. Know how many months your are committed to, and how many of them you have to pay for up front when signing the contract.

As you look at potential web hosts, ask all the questions listed above and you will quickly start narrowing your options down to the ones that will best serve you. As you work with your short list, consider their rates and choose the one that best fits your budgetary requirements.