A Guide on Choosing Web Hosting Providers
March 17th, 2013 by admin | Type: Standard

Doing Business in the 21st Century

In our connected and globalize society, the way of doing business have change radically. The time of brick and mortar stalls is slowly coming to pass. E-commerce and social media advertising is now the norm in all entrepreneurial activities. Companies can no longer afford not to be notice by an increasingly tech savvy and mobile generation, who would not give you the time of day if they can’t reach you in the push of a button. Having a web presence is no longer just an option. It is important for a company to find a good web hosting service provider that can tailor solutions for their particular needs.

What is a Web Host and how can it help my business?

A web host is a service provider that allows your website to be viewed by people browsing and surfing the net. A web hosting company basically rent out web space for those who wanted to upload their websites. This is much cheaper and cost efficient than buying your own server or data centre. Different web hosting companies have different plans but the following are the most common features.

  • Type of Server. Refers to the type of software that a server is running. Windows 2000, Linux and UNIX are the most commonly used server softwares
  • Disk space. This is the amount of space in a server allotted to your website.
  • Bandwidth. This measures how much data can be transferred from the server to a web browser. It determines how much web traffic can be made available for your website.

What kind of web hosting plan should I use for my business?

Every enterprise is unique. The type of web hosting plan you may want is dependent upon your needs and requirements especially amount of disk space and budget. Here are a few examples of web hosting plans that you may want to consider:

  • Free web hosting– the usual choice for small websites. It has limited to no support services and usually fielded by advertisements.
  • Shared Hosting– your website shares server space with other websites. This is the most common web hosting type. It has low monthly fee and some support services but the trade-in is limited disk space and low bandwidth.
  • Dedicated Hosting– with this type of plan you get to have your own dedicated Web server with full administrative access. This is usually best for large companies.
  • Co-Located Hosting– instead of just renting space you actually get to have your own physical server. You only pay the web hosting company for maintenance and bandwidth.

What should I look for when choosing a Web hosting service provider?

It might be confusing to decide the type of web hosting you should use for your business especially since there are literally hundreds of service providers hawking their wares. However, your search need not be that hard. You just have to determine which ones can provide solutions for your particular needs. You should also avoid the temptation of deciding base on unwarranted promos or offers. They mostly never live up to their promise.
Here are some tips on what you should look for in a reliable web hosting provider.

  • Customer support– you should make sure that the service provider offers 24/7 support. Nobody wants to have their website crash in the middle of the night and have no one to turn to. You should also determine what type of customer support you need. It is always good to have several support options i.e. chat, skype, phone, email, etc.
  • Uptime– this is the percentage of time that the server is up and running. Make sure that the server has a good uptime reputation and a 99% uptime guarantee.
  • Accessibility– make sure that your web hosting service provider allows you access to the server so you can easily make changes or updates to your website.
  • Add-on services– always be wary of extras especially if they are offering low start-up rates. Make sure you know what you are paying for or you might end up saddled with a bill bigger than your intended budget.
  • Service Upgrades– make sure that your web hosting provider allows you to easily upgrade your plan if and when your business takes off.
  • Exit Strategy– make sure to read the fine print before signing a contract with your service provider. They should not make it difficult and costly for you if you decided to take your business elsewhere.