A web host is a web server provider which offers space for “hosting” websites. Apart from the basic feature of hosting the site, it also provides a number of features to keep your website stuff safe, sound and easily manageable. While GoDaddy, HostMonster, myHosting are some of the names to decide from, you can ascertain the credibility of the hosting provider on the basis of considerations discussed below.
The first and foremost thing to consider when choosing a web-hosting company is reliability. So, how can one assess the reliability of the web-host. Is it the hosting ethics, security system or quality support which determines and establishes the reliability of the web host? Here’s a quick checklist of features which define the reliability of the web host.
- Uptime Guarantee: As per the industry norms, 99.9% uptime is the established standard (which accounts for grossly 45 minutes p.m). While such a high rate of uptime is desirable only when for e-commerce site, 99% uptime is good enough for business website; with a surety of compensation for exceeding downtime.
- Sound Support: The web hosting company should provide technical support on round the clock basis. And should focus on solving the problems and issues in given time-frame.
- Security: Well-established security system supported with SSL certificates and digital encryption raises the confidence of customers.
- Regular Backups: Regular backup insures the websites against unpredictable nuances and help you recover the website in convinient manner.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Money-back guarantee reflects the confidence of the service providers and assures customer of quality service.
Even though sound support is one of the attributes of reliable hosting, it needs a special mention and a dedicated focus. Just like any service is about keeping the customers happy, the same holds true for web hosting services as well. And providing the quality support is the determining factor for customer satisfaction; where the quality of the support is assessed on the basis of following factors.
- Responsive Tech-Support: Effective communication (like informing about the server maintenance, etc) and quick solution of the customer issues determine the responsiveness of customer support system.
- Well Established Support Base: The web-host should provide a self-help support system, in terms of FAQs page, knowledge base and elaborate tutorials for solving the common issues faced by the customers.
“Value for price” is an important consideration when paying for the services (being intangible in nature). While the web-hosting company may make promises of unlimited bandwidth, disk-space and additional features, step back to assess your requirements and part away with the services which are of no good use for your website. Following are some of the things to consider in this respect.
- Free vs Low Cost Hosting: There are a lot of host providers which offer free hosting. But remember that the free hosting brings along with it the disasters like slow loading pages, limited disk space and bandwidth, absence of well-established support system and so on. It is therefore better to invest in low cost hosting to ensure sound health of your website (which is crucial for competitiveness).
- Avoid Unnecessary Expenses: A high-end storage capacity, no compromise on security fronts and unlimited bandwidth come at the cost of huge payment. If your website is good to go without these luxuries, cut down the expenses by avoiding unnecessary expenses. You can always upgrade the plan and feature-set once you are comfortable with the host provider.
- Select The Plan Judiciously: The web host companies provide a number of plans, each varying in feature set and time frame. Assess the features needed by your website and accordingly pay for the services you will actually be using.
Disk Space And Bandwidth
Disk space is analogous to the size of your website and refers to space allotted for storing the files on server. Bandwidth, on the other hand signifies the traffic handling ability of your website. The hosting providers offer tiered plans with varying disk space limit and bandwidth at varying price. Assess the requirements of your website and choose the plan which fulfills the disk space limit and bandwidth of the website substantially.
A web hosting provider provides scores of features, tools and benefits to the webmasters. All the features offered by the web hosts are not meant for everyone, here are some common (and self-explanatory features), which you should look into when choosing a hosting service.
- Multiple domains, which allows you to host multiple websites on one account at one price.
- Provide customized E-mail addresses to provide professional backing to your online presence.
- Control panel and programming support makes it easy to dive into the website for troubleshooting.
Customer And Expert Reviews
Before finally signing up for the hosting service, take a step back and assess the reality of promises (and features offered) made by the service providers. Read through the testimonials and expert reviews to gain a firm grounding about trustworthiness of the web-host.
Last but not the least, don’t be lured by the scores of features offered by the host providers. Step in your shoes and look for features needed by your website. This will help you in deciding the credibility of the web host (and of course help in selecting one).