How to Choose A Commercial Web Host?

We should see reliability, uptime and access speed of the web host. Low uptime would impose bad impact on our visitors and it is also possible they would never come back to our site again. You should keep your web pages smaller in sizes so that they can be downloaded easily and quickly. 

Reliability & Access Speed
We should see reliability, uptime and access speed of the web host. Low uptime would impose bad impact on our visitors and it is also possible they would never come back to our site again. You should keep your web pages smaller in sizes so that they can be downloaded easily and quickly. There are many other things to consider such as;

Traffic (Bandwidth) / Data Transfer
Traffic or Bandwidth is the amount of bytes that are transferred from your website to the visitor at a time when he / she accesses it. If you have less bandwidth then your site will download slowly and in case of large bandwidth the speed of downloading will be better. Web hosts say unlimited bandwidth but that is limited in some way. In the beginning your site will not be popular but with the passage of time when a large number of visitors will access your website the web host will increase charges. Web hosts will not bear huge traffic on your web site silently therefore always make sure and ask for detail when you are going to place your web site on web server. Bandwidth varies according to the personal, business, dedicated or shared web hosting plans.

1. Expected  number of visitors / Number of visitors
2. Page size including its contents
3. Expected pages viewed by each visitors
Multiply all the above three observations to calculate your required bandwidth.

Disk Space
Mostly websites need less than 5 MB space but it does not mean to purchase just 5 MB space. It is better to purchase more space than the required. The hosting companies are well aware of your current as well as future needs so don’t consider it too big space of 500 MB especially for E-commerce and Business web hosting plans or dedicated server web hosting.

Technical Support
Technical support is very important feature when you are going to select a web host. Always try to choose a web host which is providing technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year. Once you have chosen a web host check its technical staff’s availability by emailing them at mid nights, Saturday nights, Sunday mornings and on public holidays. Note the time taken for response.

FTP & Scripts Facility
Always check whether your web host provides the facility of FTP and PHP, Perl CGI-BIN access, SSI, .htaccess, telnet, SSH etc. because some web hosts do not allow you to install PHP or CGI scripts without their approval. Place your website on a web server where all these facilities are provided for the complete functionality of your website.

SSL (Secure Server), MySQL
If you deal with credit card information then you should make sure of SSL. These kinds of facilities normally charge high amount for this facility. This feature is very important for E-commerce and business web sites so make it sure that all facilities are available on your plan.

Email, Auto Responder, PoP3 & Mail Forwarding
When you purchase space for your website then you want email addresses at your own domain e.g. info@yourdomain.com . Do you have this facility with your package? Can you control all email accounts? Do you have auto mail responder facility? Can you forward your emails to current account?

Control Panel

It is a place where you manage your website or as it is evident from its name to control your web activities. It is common to create or delete email accounts and change password of an email account on your domain.  It also gives you access to FTP accounts, sub domains and databases that you want to add or create. Which control panel is the best? It depends on your requirements and the operating system (Linux, Windows, and UNIX). It is normal that web masters always update or maintain their websites and it would be a great hassle for you to wait for the technical support to work for you. Mostly if you are using dedicated server web hosting plans then you need to manage your server yourself or you acquire the services of technical experts.

Sub Domain, Virtual Hosting
The concept of sub domains or virtual hosting has become very popular in these days. Check if your web host sales web space having multiple domain in your account to some one else and charge extra money for this.Server
Server type and operating system depend on your site and the technology you used. If you have used ASP your choice would be Windows NT/2000/XP machine as a server. On the other hand if your want more security and reliability then you will choose LINUX/UNIX based systems.Price & Payment Plans
You should get what you pay for and it is true that expensive hosts are the best. But it is not the guarantee that you are paying high so your web host is the best. Different web hosts provide different pay plans from monthly to annually. The annual pay plans are cheaper than monthly but in my opinion monthly payment plans are better. Although the web host is honest and reliable but monthly plans are good because if you are not satisfied with the service of your web host or your requirements are not fulfilled you can switch to other web host. E-commerce and Business web hosting plans on dedicated servers are different than on shared servers.Resellers
There are many companies which are not web hosts but get server storage at discount price and sell it to the customers. They can get discount up to 50% and they offer this service just to complete their other services e.g. a web designing company, Web developers etc. Resellers are allowed to establish their own pricing, structure and branding. They provide same web hosting package cheaper than their original web hosts. Some resellers have not enough knowledge of web hosting and they do not provide good packages as well as technical support. So it is necessary to see whether the web host is reseller or original web host and compare their packages.
International HostingYou can host your website on your local web host. It has many advantages because you can easily deal with the web host. You know the local laws and policies regarding web hosting. It should be your choice if your audience is local. But on the other hand if your audience is international then hosting in U.S.A is better. It provides faster access to the web site. There are many cheaper and different dedicated as well as shared web hosting companies fulfilling you requirements.
Other ReviewsCollect information and reviews about your selected web host from your surroundings and from internet. What others say about your chosen web host, will guide you better. It will entice you to think on different aspects before committing.

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