Selecting the right Web Hosting Provider could be the difference between a successful online business and one that struggles. Bellow you will find our free guide telling you what to look out for when choosing a provider.
The amount of bandwidth you need depends on what your website is for.
Bandwidth will determine how much traffic can access your site. So if you don’t have enough bandwidth and are receiving high volumes of traffic your site will become inaccessible until your allowance is reset. Normally it’s all done by the month!
If your Home page (for example) is 20k in size (this includes images, style sheets ect.) then every time someone opens that page it will use up 20k of your monthly allowance.
A good way of working out what you might need is:
Average daily visitors x average page views x average page size x 31
This formula will give you some idea as to what you will need in way of bandwidth.
So when looking for a web host check their bandwidth allowance
People often ask us “I have web space with my internet service provider will this do?”
We recommend that you only use this space if you’re only planning on a very simple website, like an online family picture album which is only going to be shared with family members. This is for 2 reasons, 1. Your bandwidth will be miniscule and 2. Your storage will be just as small, which takes us too.
2. Disk Space/Storage
Disk space and storage is how much file space you get to store your files. A lot of hosting companies will try and grab your attention by advertising large amounts of disk space/storage.
It’s always good to have lots of space but don’t pay for more than what you really need! Have you ever checked how big your site is? Just go to where ever your Websites root folder is stored on your computer, right click and select properties. Here you will be able to see your sites over all file size and this will give you an idea of how big your site is.
Have you ever thought about your websites future and what it could end up doing?
Most people would answer “No”. People generally only plan for the up and coming months. Your website may start out as just a simple review site and all you do is supply your users with product reviews. So most hosting companies will be able to support and host your site.
But what happens when you start to understand more about programming and learn what else your website could be achieving! For example you may want to add the ability for your users to leave comments on your site about the products you have reviewed’ But oh no your hosting company can’t support this type of technology. So now you have to go through the long process of find a new web host, transferring the domain name and re uploading the files, just what you don’t need when you’re in the middle of making money!
To future proof your web site look for a web host that provides a wide range of technologies such as: Ruby on Rails+, PHP v5, Perl, CGI, CGI-BIN, Mysql ect…
By looking for web hosts that provide the use of these technologies you’ll be able to develop your site to your users needs as and when required. So Plan ahead!
People often over look Reliability. This can be just as important as any of the other key points mentioned so far. If your site is constantly down or the servers that your websites being hosted on are slow, you’ll be losing business!
So always look for information about what servers and where the servers are hosted and look for hosting companies that use their own servers! A lot of web hosting companies resell server space which means they have no control over downtime or server slow down.
It’s always good when there’s someone to ask if you have a question. So having good support is ideal. Look at what support the hosting company offers. Email, Phone, Live Chat.
We always look for companies that offer a live chat service. This works like an instant messenger and is normally available 24hrs a day. This can be helpful to answer questions ranging from simple uploading or set up questions – Coding issues.
6. Control Panel
The control panel is where you will manage your websites files, email databases etc…
So you need to find a hosting company that provides an easy to use control panel. Look for any screenshots of their control panel this will give you an idea of what to expect. Does it look easy to use? Is it well organised? Does it provide everything you need?
Look out for hosting companies that use “cPanel” this is a very well put together control panel and will make your life so much easier when it comes to managing your site.
To sum this guide, look for a web host that provides enough bandwidth required for your needs. Check your file sizes and only purchase space that is required. Always think about the future and what your website could become. Only use a hosting company that provides a reliable service. Make sure that your questions can be answered and that your not left in the dark and finally look for a host that provides an easy to use control panel.