Choosing a Web Host
|Are you considering choosing a new web host for your existing website or are you venturing into your first web project ever?
In either case there are some important points to keep in mind.
The best way to organize them is by making a checklist. This way you can check off each point as you confirm it. It may sound like
a simplistic and unnecessary approach but such over-preparation can prevent disputes with your future web hosting provider and save you a lot of time and money in the process.
Have you verified that the web host provider can guarantee a certain amount of bandwidth per month? More importantly is your total bandwidth adequate for your targeted audience? If you purchase a plan with too many gigabytes of bandwidth you may be paying too much money for accommodations you will never use. On the other hand if you plan to have a large amount of video or audio content then you will need much more bandwidth per month, perhaps well over 35 gigabytes. For the best results try and compare your gigabyte maximum to your estimated visitors. A few hundred can be accommodated by 10 but thousands of visitors might best be served by 40 and over.
Server space is how much space the web host provider rents to you so that you can upload files, images and individual web pages. One of the most important features here even beyond numbers is the flexibility the company offers you. The best web host providers will upgrade your space whenever you have need of upgrading. This amount is much less than bandwidth and is usually never over 50 megabytes for even a competitive online business.
Never underestimate the importance of excellent customer support including technical assistance. If you are new to web marketing and a technical problem arises is the company going to guide you through it free of charge? Some web host companies charge extra for technical support, while others may offer no assistance whatsoever. Make sure you can get emergency assistance for your website on any day and in any hour. 24/7 assistance is vital for a web hosting company.
Will you be using payment processing for eCommerce? If so then you will need a protocol called Secure Socket Layer (SSL*). If you want your website to react dynamically with the web hosting server (for various applications that require online forms) then CGI* scripting will be a necessity. Other common programs and applications that may be necessary for a standard professional site include Front Page Extensions, extra email addresses, PHP*, ASP* and MySQL*. Make sure that the web host allows these extensions and applications before agreeing to do business with this web hosting company. Otherwise the most important feature of your site may not be available and thus the entire website will be useless.
Short for secure sockets layer this is a protocol for transmitting private documents via Internet.
Is a scripting language designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages.
Provides computer based services to customers over a network.
Is a database management system that runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases.
CGI programs are a common way for web servers to interact dynamically with users.
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John Hillbreak is one of the founders of Web Hosting Top10