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Guide to Select A Web Hosting Provider

Submitted By: SY Ho | Category: Choosing a Host | Total Views: 4798 | Word Count: 1081

Published on June 16, 2007, read more web hosting articles here.


Are you confused, perplexed and undecided? These are the major "symptoms" for those who have already designed their website but don't know which web hosting provider to choose from. Clearly, with all the attractive packages offered by the hosting company, no one would blame you for having such headaches if you were not an IT-savvy person. Even if you are an IT-savvy person, I'm sure you might face with some difficulties choosing the ideal hosting provider since there are so many different type of prices in set by different web hosting provider. Well, talking about IDEAL, do you believe there is IDEAL web hosting provider for everyone? Of course, there is no such thing as ideal web hosting provider for everyone. Please bear in mind that different people see things differently. One may say company A is very very good and reliable, then the next person may think that company B is better. So, in terms of viewing an ideal provider, it differs from person to person. Therefore, when a question such as "list the top 5 web hosting company" is asked, everyone will have different answer.

Briefly, web hosting provider will host your website and make sure it can be accessed by everyone 24 hours a day. So, it is vital to select a reliable one to make sure your website is always accessible particularly if your website is an important means of communication for you to reach your end users. Hence, I have decided to write some tips for those who need to choose a web hosting provider. There are as follows:

Types of Web Hosting Provider and What Do You Expect from Them

Freebies
Never expect too much from freebies. If you need a professional looking website to get running on the Internet, I don't think you should rely on freebies. They may not be able to provide you the features and support you need.

Paid Ones
I would personally opt for this if I were to set up an online business or start any professional looking website. As the term implies, paid hosting provider will definitely serve you better and you can select those who offer the features that you want.

The Criteria to Select Web Hosting Provider

Support
Yes, support is undoubtedly the most important thing. Not only support that you need, but make sure it's a Professional Technical support and it's advisable to choose those company that provide 24x7x365 support. Who knows if your website suddenly has problem in the middle of the night. Without round the clock support, who will be able to help you? A simple advice here, before you choose a web hosting provider, try emailing them and see how fast is their response. Whether it's a technical question or question to their customer service department, it doesn't matter. But, since you are interested in their plans, I would suggest you email their customer service department first. If they have prompt reply, give them a tick in your criteria list. So, remember this essential point.

Price
When it comes to money, people will think twice. Yup, so do I. People will compare the price from one company to another. In order to make a wise decision, make sure the pricing you choose is unbeatable and reasonable. However, do take note that cheaper provider does not necessarily mean better service. I'm sure you will have doubt when you see that Company A offers so cheap plan compared to Company B. Have no fear. Just do some other surveys or join forums to ask for other people's opinion on the particular company's review. Of course, until the end of the day, you will also have to decide and take some risks to trust the company that you will choose. Hence, the next criterion is also equally important when you take your risk to trust a company.

Money Back Guarantee
Make sure you find a web hosting company who has money back guarantee policy. The most common one is 30-days money back guarantee. Only a handful will offer 60-days money back guarantee. So, with this guarantee, you do not have to worry when you start venturing into the cyberworld and letting the whole world view your proudly developed website.

Platforms and Applications Available
In a more technical sense, it means the different type of platforms available. Nowadays, web hosting company will offer mostly Linux or Windows platform in their server. So, if your website is based on .ASP technology, no doubt you will have to go for Windows platform. Check also on the features offered for you, whether the features is supported by your website back-end technology or not. If you are unsure, don't be hesitate to ask them. That's why as mentioned earlier, support is very important. You can email them to ask or even call them if they are your local hosting providers.

Scalability, Reliability and Security
How good a web hosting provider is also depends on how scalable; reliable in terms of backbone connection and website uptime; and secured in terms of virus and SPAM filtering. Remember that all these criteria are needed to make sure your website is running well. It will be great if the provider allows simple and easy upgrade for any hosting plans. Some also provide customisation for you. So, this depends on your decision ultimately. Please remember to choose provider that allows you to easily add bandwidth, web space or email accounts as your traffic grows.

Do also check on the reliability of the web hosting company on their uptime guarantee as well as asking them on where is their server located and their backbone connection. You can always email to ask them this. And I suppose a reliable web hosting company will provide this content on their website for you to see. So, in case if they do provide livechat, ask them instantly. A proven uptime guarantee will at least ensure that your website can be safely viewed by your intended users from anywhere and at anytime of the day.

Security is what everyone needs. Therefore, it's best to choose provider that has stated clearly on their policy that they have SPAM and virus filtering feature already installed. As there is one saying that goes like this, "prevention is better than cure". So, be prepared before you are attacked by virus or malicious email attachments.

All in all, I hope this guide can more or less help you in selecting a web hosting company. At least it gives you a rough idea of what to look for.

About the Author
SY Ho is an Online Marketing Executive for www.exabytes.com

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