What should you look for in a Web Host?

There is a checklist for your web host, which you should look. If you can ensure those, we think that your hosting server will work fine. So, what should you look for in a web host?

Up-time: Up-time is the percentage of time that the hosting server has been working and available. The vary lowest up-time your hosting company should guarantee is: 99% and preferably 99.9%. If it’s 99.5%, it means an average of 3.5 hours down time per month and if it’s 99.9% then it is an average of 40 minutes downtime per month. The equivalent of a “closed” sign on the door of your 24 hour business. Make sure the server has multiple backup locations (mirrored servers) so that if, one goes down, they have another already online and ready to go.

Disk Space: Disk space is the amount of space that you are allocated for your website. You should make sure you have a plan that offers you at least 20% more space than you are currently using or plan to use (this will give you room to grow). If you use lots of images, sounds, animations or applets, then you’ll need more space. Don’t assume that unlimited is better than a limited amount of space – consider trade-offs. Determine the costs for extra space so that you can expand when you need to.

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Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of data that your host will let you and your visitors upload and download in a given month. “Unlimited Bandwidth” doesn’t necessarily mean unlimited. Make sure that you know what will happen if your site goes over the allocated bandwidth. Videos and graphics take more bandwidth than plain HTML. Be aware of the prices for extra bandwidth.

Email: For a professionally operating website, email is extremely important for keeping in touch with visitors and potential customers. Find out about the email server including: A. POP3 and IMAP4 features, B. Business mail and hosted exchange, C. The number of email addresses, the host will provide with a particular plan.

Accessibility: Access to the server will allow you to easily create email accounts, make changes to server settings, etc. Not having access means you’d need to go through technical support for changes.

Customer Support: Technical problems can occur at any time, so it is extremely important to have quality customer service available 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year.

Security: It is important to verify that your website data is secure from outside threats and hackers. Just about every host will have some kind of Internet Firewall in place to keep uninvited visitors out of its server. Make sure your host conducts regular security audits and take other proactive steps to address potential security threats. You will need a SSL(Secure Socket Layer) if you have an eCommerce site and process credit card yourself.

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Multiple Domains and Sub-domains: There’s a good chance you’ll eventually want to run a few more sites. Make sure your web host will let you host multiple domains and sub-domains.

FTP Access: You should always have the ability to access your web host from ftp access. FTP is the best and easiest way to transfer a lot of files to your web host.

Programming Services: While you can create web pages with just HTML and CSS, most designers and developers will eventually want some type of programming and database ability. This includes languages like PHP and ASP as well as databases. PHP and MYSQL are the most common language and database.

Site Backup: What back up options, if any, does your host provide? You want to backup both your site files and databases in case something happens.


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