Web Hosting Guide: How to Choose Best Web Hosting Provider

 

Why do you need a reliable web hosting company for your website?

A good web hosting provider is essential to make functional website. Your website or blog is a convenient avenue to communicate with your existing and potential customers. The functionality of a blog largely depends on efficiency and performance of the website hosting company.

How to choose the best web hosting provider

It is therefore very vital to select a reliable web hosting provider, the reputation of which had been proven through several years of efficient operation and quality service.

You need to be extra careful in making decision on which web hosting company to choose for your business website. This article is a guiding manual on how to choose best web hosting provider for your business and internet marketing website. Below are what to look for in a web host.

Reliability of the web hosting company

Reliability and technical performance of web hosting providers should be considered. Uptime and downtime of a web hosting company have significant effect on the success of the website hosted with the hosting company. The uptime is the time duration your site is functional and fully accessible to users while the downtime measures the time the host server fails to run making your website inaccessible. The performance and reliability should be guaranteed by the web hosts. Some web hosts do claim 99% while 99.9% uptime guarantee is a crucial necessity.

“It is vital to investigate whatever claims a web hosting provider makes. It is easier said than delivered. Don’t judge any web hosting company with its utterance”

 

Bandwidth allowed by web hosting provider

This is the amount of data transfer granted by the web hosting provider for a given hosting plan. It is the amount of data used as your visitors browse your website. Bandwidth usage has direct link with your traffic. As your site traffic increases, so is the data download through your website. Traffic is the lifeblood of every business website. It is therefore worthy you plan ahead for this at early stage before choosing a hosting provider. My only one recommendation is a hosting service with unlimited bandwidth. Nothing less.

Disk space for the web hosting plan

The amount of disk space the web hosting company provides determines the size of the web contents you can upload to your server with the host. Website contents include photos, videos, texts and scripts (applications that run through your website). You’ll ensure that you go for a web hosting plan that can accommodate the contents you wish to share with your website audience and how you want the information delivered.

As your site grows with increasing contents, disk space requirement increases. I recommend that you go for a web hosting plan with unlimited disk space. Some web hosting companies provide this without additional cost.

“It is important however, not to be freaked with unlimited bandwidth and disk space offered by web hosting providers at the expense of other vital factors (discussed below). Most niche and small business websites require small bandwidth (less than 5GB) and disk space (less than 50MB).”

 

Web hosting customer support service

What is the extent of the customer support service the web hosting company provides? Does the company have toll-free phone call service? What is the response time for technical queries and how technically competent the support staffs are? The support system offered must be multi-dimensional:

  • Telephone support
  • Online life chart
  • Email assistance

“Put emphasis on technical support, some web hosting providers fail in this regard though may be efficient in sales and billing support – even close to perfection. “

 

Web host in-built Site builder

If you’re just starting out and new to website running activities, you might give site builder facility a consideration. Most web hosting companies have easy, user-friendly site builder system that is accessible through the web hosting control panel (CPanel) and provide video tutorials on the use of the site builders. Website builder helps build a stunning, cool and attractive websites with mouse clicks without website building skill or coding.

Even though this facility can give you an easy start, I don’t recommend using web host site builder for your site because it may not be feasible to transfer the website to another web hosting provider without overhauling and rebuilding of the website (In case you decide to change the website hosting provider). The best and easy approach is to power your website/blog with WordPress. We want a hosting company that fully supports and allows one click WordPress installation.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access

Does the web host have FTP facilities? Today, almost all web hosting companies offer FTP access. File transfer protocol is a protocol used on the internet to exchange files between computers connected to the internet. When you finish your web designing and you are ready to upload your web pages to your host server in order that the web pages be accessible to internet users, you’ll need a FTP access to the web host through FTP client. One of the common FTP clients is Filezilla.

FTP remains the common system adopted by webmasters to transfer their webpages contents to their web host servers. Choose a web hosting that offers FTP access so that you won’t be limited to other options. Other related features worthy attention are PHP version supported, .htaccess, MySQL and Perl.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) /e-commerce facility

Does the web hosting provider have support for SSL? If supported, what additional cost charged by the web hosting company to provide the service? These are questions you need to ask.

The secure socket layer (SSL) is an internet protocol used to enhance the security of information transmitted on the internet by users. If your website engages e-commerce transaction where payment processing is executed right on your website, It is mandatory to put in place a security measure by purchasing SSL certificate to protect the customers’ personal information.

No one will feel comfortable to give his credit card information or personal detail on unsecured servers. The easiest way to avoid the SSL for your website is to employ the service of a third-party payment processing services such as PayPal, Clickbank and Google checkout to collect payment on your behalf.

Email related services provided by web hosting company

These include email creation, autoresponder, email forwarding and mail clients facilities.

  • Email address: When you get your site running, you might consider having email address associated with your domain name. If your domain is ‘example.com’, you may need email address such as info@example.com, billing@example.com, contact@example.com for the business and sometimes your staff as well. In this case you consider a web hosting company that offers email service suitable for your need. The numbers of email addresses offered by the web hosts do vary. Some however offer unlimited email address creation.
  • Mail forwarding: Does the web hosting company allow email forwarding? This helps you to forward one email address to another for easy access. You might consider forwarding the messages of the email address associated with your domain name to a third-party email addresses you manage like Gmail, Yahoo mail or Hotmail etc.
  • Autoresponder: This allows pre-set messages to be sent in response to the messages received through the email.
  • Mail User Agent (MUA): This is commonly called email client or email reader. It is a program that is used to access and manage email i.e. user email mailbox. Most of the web hosting companies offer web mail service integrated in their control panels (CPanel) through which webmasters can access their emails. Your company however may require to set up locally installed email client such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla’s Thunderbird and Apple Mail. Check to be sure the web hosting company allows the service. Don’t forget to check for POP3, SMTP and IMAP email infrastructure support to enjoy full email capabilities.

 

Web hosting control panel (CPanel)

As the name implies, control panel is a gateway to manage everything related to your website. Various aspects of your website can be controlled through the CPanel provided by the web host. You can manage your files and folder, email service, robot text, .htaccess, scripts installation. It is not limited to these, you can manage your email accounts, domains and sub-domains, access software and script installation and content management system (CMS), blog, forum script and many more.

It is a good move to go for  hosting company with user-friendly CPanel interface and ease of use software. A beginner may have it daunting to understand various segments of complicated CPanel. Most web hosting companies provide knowledgeable base for their clients to understand the CPanel interface and functions. I recommend you check for a hosting service with ‘Softaculous’ to enhance software and script installation or at least Fantastico-De-Luxe.

Web hosting company server infrastructure

The web host infrastructure has a direct influence on the performance of websites hosted with the hosting company. These include but not limited, to the processor speed, the RAM of the host server. How does the web host distribute the server for their shared hosting service? It could amount to serious error to consider the software configuration of the web hosting provider at the expense of hardware quality and performance.

Web hosting price for a given hosting plan

High price isn’t always an indication of a quality web hosting service. Hosting price is a very important factor to ensure you get value for your payment.Care should be taken though, not to fall prey of epileptic web hosting company all in the name of low price. Pricing decision is better be the last criterion after you might have listed the reputable hosting providers that offer the value you need.

So you enjoy price cut without compromising the quality services which are essential for successful website that makes money. The best way to get efficient price for your chosen hosting plan is to compare prices of some web hosting providers that offer the same value. You might search the web for the best deal and web hosting coupons for the desired hosts.

Does the web hosting company offer unlimited domain and sub-domain hosting?

You need a web hosting service provider that allows hosting unlimited number of domains in the same hosting account. For some hosting companies, this service comes with every plan offered while some do not.This depends on your target and need. For most internet marketing business, there is a need for hosting many domains for each niche or product promoted. This might make this factor worth preference.

 

Do you have any experience with your current web hosting company concerning their services and efficiency? Probably you have some criteria to be considered and added to the resource. Please let us know through the comment box below. Also share the article with friends and fans.

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About Lasisi Afees

Professional Blogger and Internet Marketer. He has deep passion for blogging and sharing ideas on making money online. Connect with him on Twitter,   Facebook  and Google Plus

Comments

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  2. I have found a secret and simple method that works very well:

    Just search in Bing or Yahoo (not in Google!) for “what is the web hosting company with the world’s lowest account cancellation percentage”. You should use this complete search term WITHOUT the quotes and you can copy this long search term here if you want.

    If you follow this advice, a handful real good very best hosting providers (guaranteed) will appear at the top of the search results. These are the only 100% reliable ones.

    These are the providers who are not afraid to be transparent by publishing their web hosting account cancellation percentage. Don’t use Google for this because their search results are much less relevant than Bing or Yahoo. Good luck!

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