An important part of setting up a website is finding a reliable web hosting service. There are many different services out there, and it can be difficult knowing which one to choose, since different websites will have different needs.
The following advice should make the selection process a little bit easier.
Always register your business’ domain name on your own, outside of your hosting site. This way, if a shutdown or argument ensues, your valuable domain name will remain protected. If only your host controls your domain registration, you will not be able to use it any longer.
A good web hosting service should bill you professionally. You should be able to log in with a username and password to have access to your account balance and make secured payments. If you have to send PayPal payments every months without getting account statements, you are not dealing with a serious web hosting service.
It is important to understand the refund policy of your potential web host prior to making a commitment. A lot of web hosting packages will require you to sign up for a year at a time, or will offer significant discounts for making a long term commitment. You should make certain that you will be able to obtain a refund if the service is less than satisfactory. Certain packages may not allow refunds, or might have cancellation fees.
If at all possible, choose a web host that has 24-hour customer service via telephone. The larger hosting services often provide this valuable service. You do not want to be working late at night and find that are experiencing technical difficulties. Call them before you sign up, and test the level of expertise of the agents, and whether or not they can give simple instructions that are easy to understand.
You should know that not all web hosting services support Flash plug in. Using Flash on your site allows you to create a more interactive experience for your visitors, for instance with videos, games and new design possibilities. If you are not planning on using Flash, this is not a feature you should worry about.
Before choosing a web host provider, check to see how fast files can be uploaded or downloaded from their server. If this information is not readily available from them directly, use a “website speed test” service who can run a test for you. Realize, however, that accuracy varies and can be different depending on the time of day.
Look for different reviews on a web hosting service. If you know any webmasters personally, ask them which service they use and how much they pay. Compare different sources and look for reviews written by people who have a site similar to the kind of project you are working on.
As you have seen, choosing the right web hosting service can mean the difference between success and failure for your website. Before you make this important choice, you need to do your research and know more about web hosting.
Remember what you have learned in this article, and the process should go more smoothly.