Trying to select a hosting package is much like purchasing a new car—there are many different types and ways to go, but in the end it really boils down to how you are going to get where you want to be and the features you’ll need to get there. You certainly would not buy a Honda Civic to make an off-road journey across the Mohave Desert. Nor would it make sense to buy a Hummer to just drive around town.
So in considering the type of hosting package and company to host your website, you should first assess where you want your website to go and what you’ll need to get there.
But first, let’s understand what web hosting is exactly, and the many different features that need to be considered.
The Internet is a vast network of interconnected computer servers which house or host various pages of information, called websites. Hosting a website means to store and maintain a computer folder of various web pages. Hosting companies offer this service by providing computer hardware and software services. These services vary as much as cars do.
Some very important hosting features that should be a must for your hosting package, much like the importance of having a car with a motor and wheels, are the following:
* Security – Protection from Internet hackers.
* Space – Ability to grow my site without size constraints.
* Speed – How fast my website will load onto visitors computers.
* Up Time – Dependability of the hosting servers from crashing.
* Back Up – Protection from loss of data from my website.
* Support – 24 hours support to handle problems.
* Administrative Tools – For making changes to your site.
* Email – The number and size of email accounts.
* Hosting Company – History and track record for support.
* Search Engine Submissions – Submitting to the major search engines.
Now, let’s consider where you want your website to go and what you’ll need to get there. Some questions to ask:
* Do I want my customers to be able to look up information on my website? If so, you’ll need a database driven website with a hosting company that supports it.
* Do I want movement on my website? If so, you’ll need a web design company that can program flash for your site, as well as the ability to host the flash program.
* What type and how much email traffic will I anticipate? This helps to determine the size and amount of storage you’ll need for your hosted website.
* How many web pages will I need? This also helps to determine the size of space needed for your hosting package.
* Will I want to make ongoing custom changes to my website? If so, you’ll need a hosting company that supports ongoing custom design changes.
* Will my website have a lot of images and movement? If so, you’ll need additional space for larger web files for these functions.
* Do I want Internet Traffic to my Website? In order to receive traffic to your website, your hosting company needs to offer this service, or you’ll need to hire a third party for this service.
* Will I need Internet marketing help and consultation? In this fast-changing Internet world, it is important to have professional help and consultation.
The Better Business Bureau offers this advice:
“Choosing a Web Hosting Service for your Business Web Site. Is your business web site down again? Does it seem to have more downtime than uptime? You may want to consider changing your web hosting service. One of the most important decisions you will make for your business web site is selecting which web hosting service will display your web pages to the Internet. Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP) to host your business`s web site may feel like finding the right day-care center for your kids these days: Are they reliable? Will they be there next month? Do they know what they are doing? What services do they provide?"
Basically, it is important to find the right hosting company that will partner with you for all your hosting, design and consultation needs. The cheapest hosting is typically not the best route to go. It’s cheap because it is a bare bones package, with little, if any support. That is a sure way to online business failure.
About The Author
Brad Stone is CEO of Heritage Web Solutions, a USA Based Company, specializing in Designing and Hosting Affordable Websites for Small and Medium Size Businesses. With a staff of over 160 employees, Heritage Web Solutions has grown to a multi-million-dollar company in just 4 years, achieving a Top 1% National Ranking. For more information, call 866-754-1474, or visit http://www.heritagewebdesign.com.