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Top Ten Tips for Finding a Web Host

Jul 28, 2008
The success of a business in today's high tech world depends on their web presence. The internet provides mass appeal and worldwide targeting to audiences not easily reached before. The web host is what makes this possible for business by hosting their websites on a server. This allows businesses to sell products, provide services; exchange data and information with ease, and communicate with their customer base effectively. Many people also choose to provide information on a personal level and websites allow such functions. They can display pictures, and data, as well as music, video, and more along with having discussions on chat rooms, and forum, along with the very popular blogging platforms.

In choosing a hosting service it is a good idea to consider any limitations each one has. Some companies have advantages and disadvantages and weighing them wisely will help you make the best choice for your businesses success online. There are several essential factors you should take into consideration when deciding on which web host to use. Some include pop up ads, disk space limits, among others. Some of the considerations are listed below:

1. The exact amount of disk space: It is very important to calculate the accurate amount of required disk space even before opting for a web host company. A large website, with several of pages filled with content and various other features will need a hosting plan, which provides unrestricted disk space. There are certain companies that grant only a limited amount of disk space. They further provide no facility to upgrade the disk space in case it reaches the limit. In such conditions, the website owners require to find a new host that can grant more disk space and transfer the entire website. This is a very costly, time consuming and stressful procedure. Thereby, it is always beneficial to consider a web hosting company that grants more disk space and also has adequate facilities for up gradation.

2. The number of domain names: A large business organization, which needs a number of different websites, will have to hire a web hosting company that offers numerous separate domains. This eradicates the need of creating a new account for every domain name. However, it is essential to keep in mind that all web hosting companies don't have the ability to host a number of different domains on one account.

3. Bandwidth availability: Every time a visitor views your page, tries to download an item, saves a picture, listens to music, or buys something in your shopping cart you use bandwidth. If you have a high volume of traffic you can eat up your bandwidth very quickly and your site will go down until the specified time has passed. If you are not sure how much you need it is best to start small, and upgrade as you need.

4. Access to SSL, MySQL, and shopping cart: It is extremely essential for the business organization to decide beforehand whether their website needs access to any special features such as MySQL, SSL or to any other shopping cart. The websites that use MySQL, and SSL need to opt for a web hosting company that has the ability to create MySQL databases. Simultaneously, websites collecting credit card related information will require SSL for encrypted security.

5. Windows/ Linux server: Earlier it was considered to be a very important factor when there were several major dissimilarities between Linux and Widow based servers. However the recent software developments have reduced those differences to the point that a business organization can select a web host based on the features provided by them rather than the operating system.

6. Dedicated or shared server: It is very important for the organization to decide in advance whether it wants a shared server or a dedicated server. The major problem of a shared server is that, it allows a small amount of data transfer and disk space. Moreover, since it will also host several other websites, there is a huge chance of reducing the loading speed. On the other hand, a dedicated server is a much better and safer option as it is meant for only one website and thus provides more data transfer and disk space.

7. Live support: It is one of the most vital factors while selecting a web hosting company. If a website faces major technical crisis, it is indeed very frustrating to wait for days together until the help desk ticket is answered. A web host company that provides live support has professionals who can straight away solve any technical issue. In fact, live support is an extremely important for the websites that have urgent launches, as during this time a business organization can never afford major technical crisis such as server failure.

8. Email accounts: A custom email account is not as necessary for a personal website as it is for a business presence online. For those wishing to impart a professional and polished appearance it is important to find a web host that features personal email accounts. If your business requires many email accounts that is something to search for as well. Not all web hosts have the ability to provide these services. Other email services include such things as forwarding, POP3, catch all addresses, retrieve, forwarding, auto responder, and other more advanced features not offered with most plans.

9. The latest software development programs: The need for directories, forums, blogs, shopping carts, and others necessitates software like Perl, PHP, CGI, and JavaScript. If you desire these functions on your website it is important to be sure your host can provide this software. It is best to look for a provider that offers all of these scripts as you are likely to desire one or more of them along the way.

10. Support for FrontPage as well as DreamWeaver: If you use these programs to build your website then you must find a web host that is compatible with them. It is even better to find a web host that can use both of them in case you desire to change off, or swap between them.
About the Author
This article is published with permission from http://www.webhostingmadness.com, a provider of hosting company ratings, articles and helpful guides on web hosting.
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