Things to look for in a web hosting company
According to webopedia, a web host is in the business of providing server space, web services and file maintenance for web sites controlled by individuals or companies that do not have their own web servers.
If you want to take part in the internet as a business, information resource and directory or as a hobbyist wanting to share data, information and knowledge with people scattered through out the world via internet, you have to own a central spot on the internet. You need to have a space in the cyberspace which is provided by the web host.
Your online presence depends on the quality of services offered by your web host and therefore, choosing the right web host is a crucial decision to be taken.
The following factors are to be considered while searching a web host:
1. Determination of the amount of storage space and bandwidth
The main factor on which the amount of storage space and bandwidth required depends on is the content of the web page. Plain text matters take the least storage space. Images take more space, audio and video files will need even more space. The amount of space taken up varies from 20MB to 2GB depending on the requirement of the user. The storage space also depends on the type of website. A personal website or a simple e-commerce site may need 25 MB space while an online shopping mall will take 2000 Mb of storage space.
Many web hosts offer more space than you will ever need and if everyone hosting websites on the server were to use the maximum space allowed it would not be able to function.
The estimated number of hits on your website usually determines the bandwidth that will be required by you. In case you presume 100 hits per day a bandwidth of 10 to 25 GB will suffice your needs. In case you opt for a plan with high data transfer but low bandwidth your site will be very slow when it gets heavy traffic.
In case your website is a static one, it will take less storage space than compared to a highly interactive website.
In case you are not certain of how to determine your required storage space the good hosting companies will be able to chalk out a good hosting plan for you after determining your needs. There are various options available, hence the services not the quoted price is the determining factor while deciding the web host.
2. Estimation of future needs
The current estimation of storage space requirement for a web site is not enough. Your host should be able to keep pace with the growth of your company. You should decide on a web host who will be able to accommodate greater storage space requirement in the future once your business grows. Changing a web host is a difficult proposition. So while deciding on the web host at the initial stages it is necessary to go for that who will be able to make necessary adjustments as your need grows. The web host who is more flexible to incorporate changes is the better one. At a humble beginning 2 MB of storage space is enough to host 10 web pages and 4 to 5 images. But as the need arises to increase the number of pages or include a few more images more space requirement automatically arises.
3. Company Profile
The web hosting company should be at least be doing business for a period exceeding two years. There is need to emphasize on the financial stability of the company as this determines the stability of the company. The company should have at least 95% uptime and a solid infrastructure to tackle the day-to-day technical problems. They should be able to provide upgrade path and undertake the responsibility of adequate maintenance. You need to go through the terms and conditions thoroughly and ensure that the host doesn’t include extra charges for additional services offered, if any. Moreover in case you need more than one website your web host should give a hosting plan that accommodates more than one domain on your section of the server. A feedback from the past or current clients should be taken before choosing the web host.
4. Customer Support
The web hosting company must provide competent technical support 24x7. Today the price charged is not the only priority in deciding on a web host. The other important criterion is the quality of service. The service provider must have a competent team of professionals to tackle all problems of the client. They must be eager to respond and have a good understanding working relationship with the client.
5. Track the visitors
The web hosting company should provide the facility to track site statistics. In other words they should not only give the number of visits but should also provide other details. This helps to track down the visitors, interact with them, understand their needs and develop marketing strategies keeping their requirements in mind.
A careful analysis of the above factors will help to determine the most appropriate web host. We should always look for a web host who is comfortable with our working terms as a client- web host relationship needs to have mutual trust and confidence to develop into a longtime association.