Work & Finance Home >>
HOW TO CHOOSE A WEB HOSTING COMPANY
Copyright 2002 Herman Drost
Ok, you have your web site built and are now confused as to all
the choices you have in order to find a home for your site.
It is good to make a right choice the first time, because if
you have to move to another hosting service, it will cost you time
and you will lose some of your valued customers due to the
downtime setting up with another host.
You will also have to pay set up and hosting fees for a new
Here are some basic things to consider when choosing a Web
1. Speed and reliability of the servers and hardware
Make sure they have a high-speed connection
(preferably T3 or higher) to the Internet.
*Effective Bandwidth Management –
opt for unlimited bandwidth for your site.
*Backup Systems – good hosts will have back
up systems in place to guard against power failures,
which will cause you to lose data and customers.
Compatibility with existing Software and Skills
Is your host’s server, software and support services compatible
with the skills and software you are using? For example if you are
using FrontPage to create your site, make sure they have FrontPage
extensions installed on their server.
Some of the basic features of a hosting service should include:
- Domain name registration
- At least 5MB of allocated space
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free Technical Support
- POP3 E-Mail Accounts
- Email Forwarding
- Email Auto-responders
- Email Aliases
- FTP Access
- FrontPage Support
- Own CGI-Bin Access
- Free Perl, CGI
- Server Side Includes (SSI)
- Password Protection
- Reseller/referral program
- 30 day money back guarantee
Flexibility and room for growth – Keep in mind the
future needs of your web site. If the traffic to your site
explodes, or in the future you may need a database solution then
your host must be able to accommodate the changes.
Quality of their support services
- Quality of existing customers – ask for any BIG current
customers that are hosting with that service.
- Opinions of existing customers – ask for any testimonies of
existing customers to get feedback from them concerning
reliability and support.
- Stability – you do not want your hosting service to go out
of business (like what happened to many of the free hosts) and
leave you stranded. Check how many years they have been in
- Support and Responsiveness – Make sure you can contact them
24/7 by phone or email. Test the quality and efficiency of
response by sending them an email pertaining to some question
you may have before you sign up.
3. Types of Hosting Services
Free sites are for people whose sites are small and do not expect
For small non business sites
No usage of domain names
Limited technical support
Unreliability of servers, software
Limited web space, technical support
Host may shut down due without notice
Virtual Hosting: (also known as domain or shared
This is the most popular and cost effective form of hosting.
Great for the average business sites
Good technical support
Multiple sites on server
Sometimes slow updates
Limited security and control due to the large number of sites on 1
Use your own domain name (www.yoursite.com)
What can you expect to pay?
Expect to pay $5 - $50/month for a small web hosting package of
20-50MB of allocated space for your site. This will be enough for
up to 20 pages with a few graphics on each page. You may find less
expensive ones if you are lucky.(isitebuild.com/sitehosting.htm).
Most small web sites use only 2-3MB. Make sure you can upgrade
your hosting plan, should your site expand.
When you sign up for a monthly service, there is usually no
fixed length contract, so you can terminate your contract at any
time. Your commitment is month to month although you often will
get a discount if you sign up for 1-2 years.
If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable,
efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to
the success of your business for many years to come.
|About the Author
Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster
(CIW) owner and author of
iSiteBuild.com Low Cost Hosting and Site Design
Subscribe to the “Marketing Tips” newsletter for more