Just like many other important business decisions, getting the best web hosting service provider is a tough and difficult decision to make; keeping in mind the numerous offers and promises potential web hosting companies make. There is thus need to critically analyze and cut through all the technical jargon and promises and make a well informed decision. There are several factors though that can assist in making this decision. They include but not limited to;
Reliability and speed of access is crucial. The web hosting provided should guarantee its uptime. It is important to look for a minimum uptime of 99%. The host should be able to provide some refund if the uptime falls below the agreed minimum.
The technical support provided by the web hosting provider is an important factor that needs serious consideration. A good host should provide 24 hours, 7 days a week support. They need to have staff members who are qualified, have communication media that is easily accessible and responsive, this means an email that is responded to and a customer care line that is picked.
The bandwidth that the web host provides is crucial. This refers to the amount of bytes transferred from your website to the visitor’s site. Those hosts who claim to offer unlimited bandwidth should be pressurized to disclose the maximum allowable bandwidth that they will offer.
The price or cost of the service provision is one of the factors that interest most clients. This fact should not be the sole deciding factor though; there has to be a reason for the price differentials. Getting the cheapest web hosting provider does not necessarily mean you get the best service. One will need to take a closer look at the features that each host provides.
The security of the website is crucial, especially if you intend to do some ecommerce. The webhost must allow you to set a secure server, namely; SSL. Check if these services are offered by your prospective web hosting company.
The control panel that your web hosting provider gives you is very important. This is what enables you to manage certain aspects of your website alone, usually involves tasks like add, delete, change passwords and manage email accounts.
There are certain hosts that will not allow the installation of Perl and PHP scripts, use MySQL, FTP, .htacces and SSI. These are very important software functionalities that the site owner needs to control and have permission to freely implement or use.
The payment plans available should be keenly considered. This will assist in planning and managing cash flow issues especially if it is a start up. The most common plans involve either monthly, quarterly or annually.
It is also important to go through the available testimonials or enquire from other people or companies on their experience with a certain web hosting provider. Enquire on their customer care, charges, uptime etc. It is usually more reliable to get first hand information from actual users.
Lastly it is important to know whether your prospective host is locally based or is an international based company. This is important if you are dealing with some sensitive information, it also dictates the ease of which you can physically visit them to lodge a complaint or seek clarifications.