All shops, whether they are brick or mortar or an online business, need a website. A website needs a host. A web host stores all pages on your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. Like most internet services, there are many options. Web hosting is no different. When it comes to choosing a hosting company, you have two basic options, do it yourself or choose a hosting plan.
For the small to medium businesses, hosting your own site is likely to be too many obstacles to be worth the effort. The initial costs of purchasing, installing and organizing all necessary hardware, licensing of the software can be overwhelming and time consuming. Not to mention the recurring costs of a stable and reliable Internet connection. For most companies, in addition to the largest companies, it is not meaningful to host your own website. It leaves the second option, finding a web host and choosing a plan. Lets start by looking at choosing a web host.
Choose your hosting company
There are literally thousands of web hosting companies to choose from and evaluation of them can be difficult. The first question you will want to ask a potential web hosting company is what types of hosting plans they offer. It is likely that there are several choices from starter to platinum version with all bells and whistles.
Here are some basic criteria to investigate:
Service and Support:
Money Back Guarantee Finding a web host is an investment but you do not want it to be risky. Look for a host who offers a guarantee.
247 technical support this is important. What happens to your business if your web hosting crashes? If you have an online business you are dead in the water. Knowing that not all technical support is created alike and just because someone offers 247 customer service does not mean that they are actively available. This may mean that you can leave a voicemail or stay for hours and they will come to you whenever they can.
Testimonials and references can be very useful. Find out if other customers are satisfied with web hosting and
A control panel is your central hub for information. This is where you will find all your statistics and can handle all of your account features. If your hosts control panel is too difficult to navigate or not offer the tools your business needs, its best to look elsewhere. Your website is your business and your control panel needs to be easy for you to use. You do not have time to spend searching for information and tools you need.
You will be sure to upload messages for message cards, email forums, set cookies and the like. . If so, you want a web host that allows you to install and run scripts. Most web hosts offer CGI, Common Gateway Interface, a protocol that allows web pages to interact with scripts on a server.
You want email accounts for your site. For example, admin yourcompany.com and salesyourcompany.com, etc A POP Mail Account Post Office Protocol Email Account is an email account that hosts your site and you are likely to have more than one. Most web hosts offer packages of different levels. For example, a beginner or starter will have 15 email accounts, a center of the road type account can offer up to 50 and a full business package may have unlimited email accounts available.
Website Builder Tools and or Microsoft FrontPage Extensions. You must be able to design and develop your website. Many hosting companies offer templates and design tools. In addition, they can offer FrontPage Extensions. FrontPage is a web design application that is quite easy to use and if your host allows you to upload your site to the server.
Want to know who visits your site? What about the pages they visit or how long they stay online? How about clickthrough rates? Each effective market plan or site plan needs to evaluate these statistics. This means that you need to find a web host that not only traces this information for you, but makes it easy for you to access and understand.
Marketing features like autoresponders and mailing list management are a great feature but not all web hosting companies offer them. Take a look at what your business needs before signing in with a business. Sometimes a web hosting company has marketing features in your package and sometimes they are offered ala carte.