A good web host is an essential part of the website back-end. Most of hte web-hosting is readily available for free and if you just want to start a site you can go with Google sites, WordPress.Com, Blogger or any other service. But when it comes to having your own hosting here are five things to look for when choosing your hosting provider.
Look for a hosting powered by the Apache web-server. Apache is not only extensively customizable and flexible, it is pretty stable also. However Apache has a lot of functionality which almost is magic to the layman. The fine grained configuration, redirection and other website management stuff is real easy and flexible with Apache. In fact you should run on Apache unless your website requires other web server specifically.
Server Side Scripts:
Most of the CMS require PHP and most of the web hosts support PHP. But we mention it here because it is an essential. If you don’t have PHP it won’t be called “hosting” per se.
MySQL is the de facto standard and is the minimum you’ll require to run any open source CMS.
Multiple Domain hosting:
The flexibility of Apache allows you to host multiple sites and domains on the same host. Look for a web host which offers you this functionality because you don’t want to buy additional plans for every new site you start.
Look for a web host backed by a strong technical support team available round the clock. You never know when you get stuck setting up a site or some configuration or just in case things go wrong. Look for phone, live chat and email support.
Additionally, as a bonus here are a few things you should stay clear from.
If you are on a shared server, unlimited bandwidth really means nothing. Your shared server will be on it’s knees and low on performance long before you demand such bandwidth and performance from it. For eg. most of the shared servers can’t stand the Digg traffic.
Generally speaking, websites host plain text html or php files, images etc. Unless you are a software download portal or want to host a huge number of videos etc. you should be fine with anything around 100GB of storage.
Some web hosts only sign you for a minimum of three months etc. Make sure you can sign up for a month. This helps you to move and change your provider if you are not satisfied.
Some webhosts tag a one time setup fees when you sign up. A good web host will sign you up without any setup fees etc. Look for money back guarantee and steer clear of any contracts.
Remember, choosing a web hosting service provider is going to be a lasting decision since you can’t readily move your online data every now and then. Thus read some reviews, do your research and even chat with the web host before you sign up. Even if you don’t have any questions to ask them, their customer service and willingness to assist you will speak volumes about their attitude and commitment towards their customers.