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How to Choose a Web Host

Once you decide that you need web page either for your business, non-profit organization or simply a fun personal page, you then have the Herculean task of choosing a web host. Hopefully, the host you choose will be easy on the pocket, and offer maximum uptime, enough bandwidth support, appropriate web-space, and excellent customer service and support. Most web hosting services will not excel in all areas, however if you take the time to make an informed decision you can have it all!

The type of web services you desire and the purpose for which the web site is being created plays a major role in the choice for a web host. If the web site to be hosted is a commercial website, checking uptime period of the considered server is vital. Anything less than 99.5% uptime would be unacceptable for most commercial web sites. This is because search engines may be indexing your site at any moment of time and if your site were down it would lose its chance to be indexed on that particular search engine and hence lose probable business. Also, existing customers who would be visiting your site and are unable to load your web page may develop a negative impression about you that could harm business reputation. If the site is for a non-profit organization, a club or any personal page intending to only keep related people informed about certain aspects, a requirement for 99.5% uptime might not be a major criterion in your decision.

Another important aspect is the amount of file space that host offers. An average commercial web site normally contains not more than a few hundred web pages, some java or php scripts and image and multimedia files. All this information ordinarily does on not require web space more than 50-100 MB. Some hosts will charge a lot for additional space, while others will provide much more than 50-100 MB at a minimal cost.

Bandwidth is another issue you should carefully consider. If your site is just a personal homepage, it is unlikely you will get much traffic. However, if your site is an ecommerce site and you are expecting upwards of a thousand visitors a day, you should check the monthly bandwidth allowance that the host offers, since you will be charged if your site goes over this amount.

Make sure to check what “extras” the host offers. Does it give you up to 3 email accounts, or up to 100? Does it allow you to setup subdomains? What technologies does it support? For instance, if you plan to use PHP, make sure that server actually has PHP installed!

Finally, you should check out the web host’s reputation. Have they been in business a long time? Do they have a good reputation within the industry? Are they known for customer service? If your web site is a critical piece of your business, it would be wise to entrust it to a reputable hosting service.