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HomeWebsite InsightTipsHow to Choose a Web Hosting Provider: Consider This

How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider: Consider This

Hosting Reliability: Uptime

When searching for a hosting service provider, consider company's service level guarantees. This will provide you with information like the uptime policy. A quality hosting company should assure at least 99.5% of uptime. Any less than this percentage is sub par. You are putting your online business at risk of experiencing loss of profit. There are some questions that you can ask web hosting companies through online help, like how they plan to manage network failure? What are the repercussions if those guarantees aren't met? This will help you understand and determine the web hosting company's level of reliability.

Customer/Technical Support

One of the most important features you should look for in a web hosting company is the different types of customer care and technical support options they offer. A quality hosting company provides customer support by phone, email, online chat and a ticketing system. A quality web hosting provider will also have and extensive web knowledge-base, video tutorials and F.A.Q. resources. Look for reasonable turnaround times for the customer support staff to respond to your inquires. The technical support staff should be available 24/7.

Data Backup

For restoration of your website and important data, you should ask for the frequency at which data backup is done by the web hosting service provider. This does not mean that you don't do your own periodic back ups. In the event that your website data is lost, there should always be a copy available with the hosting company. This way, your business online will not get affected.

Data Center Locations

Finding out the physical location of the hosting servers is important. No one likes a slow functioning website. Most data centers are located in US. An added bonus is when you find a hosting company with data centers in the United States and abroad. If you and your hosting company's support staff are in the same time zone, that's a plus, but not a necessity. Also, servers located near your country will help visitors access your website faster, making the browsing experience more pleasant. Having a hosting company that also has data centers internationally, can help if you have international visitors.

Scalability

At first, you might choose to buy a basic web hosting plan for your new business. But, your hosting service provider should be able to help you upgrade to better plans as and when your growing online business demands. Upgrades include additional disk space, increasing email account and much more to help your business grow. You want a hosting company that can help you transition from shared hosting, to virtual private hosting, to dedicated hosting and possibly even managed hosting options.

Server Features

The OS of your server controls the different kinds of scripts you possibly can incorporate. You can choose from the two important OS - Windows or Linux, depending on your website's requirements. Stability can be assured from Linux servers; however, if you are planning your website in ASP scripts, you should choose a Windows web hosting company.

Control Panel and Management Tools

Pick a hosting provider that will allow you to manage your website and email accounts without help. The control panel should be user-friendly. You can even request for a demo to check out the features of the web hosting company's control panel. Look for easy file editing options and tools. Is the control panel easy to navigate? Does the control panel have a web applications installation tool. If you easily understand ways to use the control panel, it will be much easier for you to manage your website.

Be a wise consumer. Do your research and don't be afraid to ask questions.

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