Choosing a Web Hosting Company: Five Things You Shouldn’t Let Pass You By
You know first-hand that managing a business is not easy. Fortunately there are ways to help while still keeping your business up and running—one of the biggest being web hosting. The way web hosting works is this: A web host stores all the pages of your company website onto one machine so that you have the space to store all of the videos and pictures you have displayed on your website. In other words, virtual hosting allows companies to put all of their data on a server that isn’t in the office building. According to Gary Eisenstein, author of In-House vs. Outsourcing Web Hosting, those who choose web hosting services can expect a 25 to 85 percent cost savings over in-house solutions. The chart below explains why web hosting is more attractive than an in-house server to business owners:
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A web host is an important aspect of your company because it controls so much of your social media. There are free web hosting companies as well as commercial web hosts. Since web hosting is so important to your company, it is often worth the money to find a good, quality web host. Below lists a few things to look for when choosing a web host:
Top 5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Web Hosting Company
1. Disc Space/Domain Space – This will depend on whether you want to host one website or many, and whether your website will include things such as mp3 files or a collection of videos. If you have just a normal website, 50 MB should work, but if you have large files you should splurge for something with at least 100 MB of space.
2. Uptime – A web host should guarantee an uptime of at least 99%. There are many web hosts that offer refunds if the uptime falls below 99%, so do not settle for less.
3. Bandwidth – According to Christopher Heng, writer of “How to Choose a Web Host,” most new sites use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month, so this is a good place to start. Once your site gets more popular and drives more traffic, you may need more GBs, so also check to see how much the web host charges you if you need to use more than your allotted bandwidth. It is a good idea to start small first since you never know when your site will become more popular or by how much.
4. Control Panel – This is the place where you add or delete accounts, view visitor statistics, and make any changes to your website. Many times there will be a demonstration you can try before purchasing a web host, so make sure you feel it is easy to use.
5. Phone Support – Most web hosting will offer support, but it is not always a service where you can call and ask a question. If you ever have a problem, it will most likely be with your computer, so having someone you can speak to directly on your mobile phone will be extremely helpful.
Web Hosting Terms to Know
One of the most confusing things about choosing a web host is understanding all of the jargon that goes along with it. Here are a few keywords to help make sure you have all the tools to pick the right web host:
- Uptime – This refers to the time when the web host is functional.
- Bandwidth – Simple put, bandwidth tells you how much information can be transferred over a connection. In other words, how much can be transmitted from your site to visitors.
- In-house hosting – This is the opposite of web hosting. With in-house hosting, the company manages a server to hold all company data in the office.
Web Hosting Quick Tips and Prices
- Many who have gone with web hosts that promoted unlimited bandwidth still end up getting charged. Often times these web hosts think they can offer unlimited bandwidth, but they are the ones paying for the bandwidth. If you happen to go over because your site is so popular, someone has to pay, and it isn’t going to be your web host!
- Most web hosts only cost $4.00 to $12.00 per month. The difference in price occurs because of the different features listed above, so evaluate your company’s website and pick the features that best fit your business.
Have you had a good experience when working with web hosting? Let us know your experiences in the comments!
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to web design. She writes for an online resource that gives advice to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.
Amanda DiSilvestro is the Editor in chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about all-things digital marketing, both as a ghost writer, guest writer, and blog manager, for over 10 years. Check out her blogging services to learn more!
Thanks for sharing this article. Really everyone should have a clear understand about this for choosing the best web hosting provider.
Your post is a nice brief in understanding what web hosting is. Another thing to consider is the customer support the web hosting company provides. Thanks!
Great post Amanda!
In-House hosting is very time expensive and you have to to handle too many things.
Cool is cool, but it’s worth it?
I want add another point, take a look on the speed, by make some test with tools like gtmetrix, and also reading recent real user reviews…
Amanda, could you please update this guide for 2014 ? I’m sure lots of things have changed since then.