If you’re going to have a website — and you should — you need to have a reliable web host. How do you find a web hosting company with the features, support and price that serves your needs? Here are some tips that will help you select the right web host.
When transferring your site between hosts, have a copy of your website at both your old and new hosts for a few days. It’s important to do this because it takes 6-48 hours for the DNS to propagate. During this time, some visitors will be sent to your old website, while others whose ISPs have updated their DNS info will be sent to your new site.
Go for Linux hosting unless you need to use certain applications or server-side languages. Linux hosting has a better reputation for uptime, stability, and resource use. Shared hosting that runs on Linux tends to be somewhat cheaper, as well. There are, however, certain applications that need Windows hosting, including Plesk, Microsoft Access, Silverlight, MSSQL, and ASP.net.
When choosing a web hosting service, always check their record for down time. If you are conducting business through your website, you will almost certainly lose customers if they cannot access your website at all times, day or night. Check not only how many times they have outages weekly, but what the duration of these outages are.
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.
Keep track of how many often outages occur and how long they last. If they are too long and too frequent, you should think about choosing a different service. Most services encounter issues once in a while but if they are not fixed quickly, you are not getting your money’s worth.
When selecting a web host, consider how much the host costs. Some hosts charge on a per-year basis while some may be month-to-month. Look for a host that costs an average of about $5 per month as this will most likely give you a great value for your money as opposed to a free hosting site that may not offer as many options.
Before choosing a web host provider, check to see how fast files can be uploaded or downloaded from their server. If this information is not readily available from them directly, use a “website speed test” service who can run a test for you. Realize, however, that accuracy varies and can be different depending on the time of day.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but not all will be suitable for your site. Take the time to compare hosts, and put these suggestions to use as you assess your needs, make comparisons, and ultimately select the right web host with the service and features you need.