A host is generally a server or rack of servers that “hosts” the files composing your website via the Internet. Companies usually offer various packages at different rates for their hosting services, but it’s important that you make a choice with your future company in mind, and not just saving a few bucks at the moment.
Make sure any offers of “unlimited” data transfer are actually unlimited. Many web hosts advertise unlimited data transfer in their offers, but tuck exceptions in the terms and conditions for the package. Common exceptions include video or non-HTML file downloads being limited, limits on CPU utilization, and general prohibitions on using “too many resources.”
Choosing a web host which is physically located in the same country as your visitors will boost the speed of your website dramatically. For example, if your targeted traffic consists of people who reside in Europe, you should try to obtain your web hosting service through a company that has servers located throughout Europe.
Make sure you, and not your web host, controls your domain name. If you let your host control your domain name, you may be stuck with that host if you don’t want to change domains. Some unscrupulous hosts won’t release the domain info if you leave on bad terms. If you control the domain, you can point it at another host’s nameservers and start fresh.
Make certain to read reviews to determine whether your potential web host has frequent periods of downtime. If your website is often inaccessible to visitors, there can be drastically negative consequences. For example, if you are running an online business, downtime directly translates into lost business because potential customers will not be able to access your website. Customers may also feel uncomfortable conducting transactions on your website because they might believe your website to be unreliable. Choose a web host that does not have a history of being offline frequently.
To get started with your very first website, consider a free web hosting company. After all, your initial site is the one that will teach you lessons – not make you a ton of profits. You may end up with a lot of downtime, and you’ll have ads that aren’t yours, but you’ll get an intro to running your own site.
If you want a good website, look for a web hosting service that comes with different features such as a forum, a chat room, a shopping cart or a subscription form for instance. Often, coding this kind of pages or tools is too complicated for someone with limited experience.
Ensure that the web host you sign up with has a strong anti-spam policy. If any of the web host’s customers are involved in spam activities, it could result in the web host becoming blocked which will affect your website as well. Make certain that the web host you are considering is not already blocked, and has stringent policies in place that will help it avoid getting blocked in the future.
If there was anything in your business that you should be willing to splurge on, it’s the power of a proper host. It will be one of the most important decisions you make, and if you choose wrong, it could end up meaning months of lost service and lost profits.