Whether you’re looking to create a new website or move an existing one, you’ll want to choose the right web host service. Each web hosting service offers different features. You’ll want to consider bandwidth, databases, programming languages, FTP accounts, and more. The hosting service you choose will not only determine if your site works properly, but also whether it’s successful long-term. Here are some considerations to help you make the best choice.
Each web hosting service offers different features. You’ll want to consider bandwidth, databases, programming languages, FTP accounts, and more. The hosting service you choose will not only determine if your site works properly, but also whether it’s successful long-term. Here are some considerations to help you make the best choice.
What Kind of Resources Do You Need?
Depending on the nature of your website, you’ll need a specific amount of hard drive space and bandwidth. Your first step will be determining those requirements.
For instance, sites with video content or interactivity take up large volumes of bandwidth. Most web hosting services charge a flat fee for a certain amount of bandwidth, and then an extra fee when those resources are exceeded. Insufficient bandwidth doesn’t just take a financial toll; it can also affect your search engine position and the number of site visitors you receive.
Along those same lines, you’ll want to assess the resources offered with your hosting package and make sure it meets all your needs.
Do You Need a Database?
A database is necessary for dynamic content. Unless you plan to create basic HTML files, you’ll need a database. Even pre-packaged software such as WordPress or Joomla requires a database. A majority of hosting services offer at least one free database with your website. The most common database is MySQL. Check with the web hosting service to ensure the engine you need is included with your hosting package.
What Programming Language Do You Need?
Web hosting services usually support an assortment of programming languages. If you use pre-packaged software such as WordPress or Joomla, you’ll need a web hosting service that supports PHP. You may also need support for Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python or other languages. Figure out which languages you’ll need before you make your choice.
How Do You Upload Your Content?
When you create your website, you need to upload several pages at once. The easiest way to upload files is using FTP software. However, not all web hosting services offer FTP access. Some have customised control panels that limit the way you can upload files. FTP can be a security issue, so many web hosting services prefer to block it. If you want FTP access, make sure it’s part of your hosting package to avoid surprises.
What Type of Technical Support is Offered?
At some point in time, you might need some help with your site. Whether you have a minor question or full-scale emergency, your web hosting service should offer around-the-clock help. Most service providers offer some kind of support, but not all offer reliable 24-hour service. Check your hosting package to ensure that you’ll get the support you need.
What Sort of Reputation Does the Web Hosting Service Have?
Make sure to check the hosting service’s reputation online before signing up. Positive reviews indicating customer satisfaction are a good sign that an organisation is taking care of its customers. You’ll obviously want to avoid any web hosting services with less than stellar reviews.