Every website on the web is hosted on a server. Buying web hosting is an arrangement in which a person or a company rents space on a server to store data so that its website can be displayed and accessed online. It is important to choose a reliable website for it determines load speed and at the time reduces downtime. There are some important factors to consider if you want to get the best web hosting service for your website.
Free vs. Paid Hosting
This is by far and large the first most important consideration. A free service allows you to occupy a certain amount of space on a public server for no charge. Free hosting is a good option for those just starting out or for those who want to set up a personal website with less space requirements.
Free hosting it not a good choice for a business website for a number of reasons. The first is the space constraint. Secondly, you can register a domain name that is relevant to your website. Thirdly, it solves the problem of pop-up ads. Free hosting services make heavy use of pop-up ads which can be annoying and unprofessional to a customer or associate wanting to do business with you. Also, if you have ads on your website, you are indirectly promoting a competitor. Paid hosting offers greater commerce ability in comparison to free options.
Other Factors to Consider
- It is essential to enquire about the speed of the internet connection used by the host’s server. A T3 connection is the fastest; however, a T1 connection is also good enough. A dial-up connection is the slowest of all and hence not desirable.
- With web hosting, whether it is paid, free or shared, one server will be shared by many machines. The number of machines sharing a server with you will impact the load speed of your website as traffic to other sites tends to slow it down. It is advisable to choose a hosting service wherein a server is shared by a smaller number of machines.
- There are two payment plans. The first is a flat monthly rate and the second is a rate based on use. The former is a better option.
- Consider the limits on the bandwidth. The bandwidth basically refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a connection. The web hosting service will charge you if you overstep the bandwidth limit.
- A good web hosting company is one that is scalable. Each host offers a certain amount of web space with every web hosting plan. You should consider your space requirements based on the nature of your website. The hosting company should offer varied options for growth as your website grows.
- There are a few must have features that you must look for. They include domain hosting and registration, email accounts and FTP and Telnet access that enable one to upload files and edit CGI scripts.
- Finally, consider the kind of customer support you get. It should be free and the company should offer round-the-clock support.