Hosting is an expensive and very important part of your website and its reputation. It affects website availability, load time and search engine rankings. So it is important to take care of certain things while purchasing hosting space for your website. You need to choose a reliable hosting provider, and a suitable hosting package that cater to your requirements. It should neither be unnecessarily expensive for you nor it should be intolerably low on features and performance.
The web servers can be most easily classified as Windows based or Linux based. Usually, websites that uses PHP files need linux based web servers, while the ones using ASP need Windows server, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration. Your web developer will be able to tell you which one you need to host your websites.
Things to know before choosing a hosting provider:
- Hosting provider should be reliable, easy to reach and available (preferably 24/7)
- The hosting provider must have good feedback and impressive history in terms of good service and server reliability
- The web server should be located within your targeted audience’s location. It helps in getting better search engine rankings if you are targeting a local market.
- Understand the terms of services with your hosting provider, for example, will they be able to restore files and database in case of accidental deletion.
- Will their control panel (CPanel) will have auto install options for scripts like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Zen, etc. Most hosting providers provide this.
- What FTP softwares (Filezilla, CuteFTP, etc.) can be used to access the files on the server.
- How safe is the server to use online transactions and payment gateways?
Choosing Hosting Package:
- Estimate your space requirement, and choose accordingly. Consult your web developer on how much space you will be needing to host files.
- Also take into account the space you need to host your emails.
- Take into account the monthly bandwidth provided by the provider. Prefer buying the package with unlimited bandwidth. If at all the bandwidth limit exceeds, is there a possibility to upgrade, if yes what extra does your provider charges for it.
- Similarly, for the hosting space, how much extra you have to pay in case you wish to upgrade the package.
- Check how many free email accounts the package provides
- If you are choosing to host your emails elsewhere (like Google Apps, etc.) then you can choose package that comes without emails
- If you are migrating your website from one hosting provider to another you can ask for free migration of files, DB and emails.
- Few hosting providers (Net4) charge extra for Database, please be careful and sure before ordering.
- Check how many Database are provided with the package.
If you intend to host several websites, opt for a package that allows hosting multiple domains, check the package details.