Web hosting is the backbone of your online business and it is one of the most crucial services that ensures your online presence. There are thousands of web-hosting service providers and all of them claim to be the best. Therefore, it is a difficult process to identify the right web hosting service provider.
There are a few important questions that you must ask your web-hosting service provider before you sign up. Normally, the first question people ask is about the cost involved. Though it is an important factor that will help you make your decision, cost should not be treated as the primary factor. There are other crucial factors that need to be addressed.
You must first ask your web host about their average server uptime. Most of the hosting service providers advertise 99.9% uptime, but, in reality, it may not be so. There are a number of server related problems that can keep the visitors off from your website.
Second, you must ask your web host about the connection speed. You must have fast connections to give your website users an enhanced visitor experience. If the connections are slow, your website will take a long time to load and server connection will get disconnected before people can see your website, leading to annoying “The page cannot be displayed error.”
Third, you must know how much web space you get for the package you are signing up for. Most web hosts offer flexible packages. You should be able to advise your web host on the web space depending on the nature of your requirements. There are web hosting packages that range from 10mb or less to several GBs. The greater the space the greater the price.
Along with the allotted web space, you must also be clear about the data transfer bandwidth that is allowed for your package. If you anticipate high traffic, it is better to go with packages that have higher bandwidth capabilities.
The next question will be on the number of email addresses you can configure. There are many web hosting companies that offer unlimited email addresses. If you choose a lower end package, the number of email addresses may be limited to 5 or 10 or 25, depending on the web-hosting package you choose.
You must also be clear about the nature of the database tools that are available and the database types supported by your web-hosting service provider.
If your website is intended to sell your products online, it is important that you have a reliable shopping cart. Make sure you check with your web host whether you have any built-in shopping carts installed and the procedure to customize them to your specific need.
With the advent of the open source technology, web hosting service providers offer a number of free yet useful scripts for their customers bundled with the web hosting package. Check with your web host on the available free scripts, such as forums, blogs, chat support, web statistic tools, etc.
The control panel should be highly user friendly. Your list of questions to your web host must have a question about the control panel features.
Above all, the customer support capabilities of your web host and the turn-around time to resolve server related issues and other complaints is very crucial. To stand the competition, most web hosting service providers offer 24×7 customer support service to their clients. Make sure that your complaints will be addressed during weekends as well.