Web Hosting Glossary

Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

Choosing a Web Hosting Provider - what you should know, and how to do your homework

Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

Where you choose to host your website is a decision that should be based on your business needs. There is a web host for every possible scenario, but understanding your specific business needs is a key component of selecting a web hosting provider. In order to make our website publically accessible, you will need to ‘host’ your website on a server with connectivity to the word wide web.

Much like the concept of real estate, you need ‘virtual real estate’ to park your website, and provide an appropriate environment of it to run and operate. In order to choose the right web hosting provider, you must understand your needs, and what the core functionality of your site needs to work. Are you using MySQL Database functions, or multi-media? If so, you need to assure that your web hosting provider you choose has the right tools for you to accomplish what you need. Once you understand your needs as it relates to web hosting technology, choosing a web hosting provider can be simplified with a little bit of homework. Here is some core concepts you should know the answers to make choosing a web hosting provider an easier task.

• What is your monthly budget for web hosting?
• How much storage space will you require to host your web site?
• How much bandwidth will you be utilizing every month?
• Are you going to need any advanced web scripts, or technologies such as MySQL, web analytics, FTP, blogging software, community features?

Perhaps the best method of choosing a web hosting provider is to make a list of all the features and tools you will need to make your website a success. Once you understand your core needs, you can examine the choices for web hosting providers with a better understanding. Just as important as your list of web hosting requirements are these 2 factors the Reliability and Customer Service. This warrants repeating; when choosing a web hosting provider, beyond making sure your core technical requirements are covered, make sure you choose a web host based on Reliability and Customer Service.

If you find a web hosting provider that fits your budget, has everything you think you need, but they are constantly going down, or are unavailable to help you if you are having a problem with your site, what’s the point? So, how do you gage reliability and customer service? Look around. One of your favorite methods of testing customer service is to use the online help chat. Most web hosting providers provide this, and within a few seconds, you can be chatting with a customer service representative in a chat. Measure the response time, and see your yourself how helpful they are. Pick up the phone and call the technical support number. How long do you have to wait to speack with a real person? Do they sound like they know what they are doing? Here is another great tip, call or try to chat with customer service representatives late night or after hours. Anyone can provide customer service 9-5, see what happens at midnight.

There are also some great webmaster communities and forums that talk about this web hosting reliability or customer service. Check out Web Hosting Talk, and see what the pros are saying. Choosing a web hosting provider can be made much easier with the right amount of research. Make a checklist, make some late night calls, and get online and search forums and other webmaster resources.


Glossary of Web Hosting Terms