Selecting a company to host your web site means asking questions and being ruthlessly honest with yourself when it comes to what you expect from your internet presence. Hosting a website essentially just means that it is placed on a network available to internet surfers. Not all hosting companies are alike, so you need to be very aware of not only what you expect, but of what you will get.
Among the most basic questions to get your started on your way to choosing an internet host company are whether you need a dedicated domain site and name or not. In other words, if your business is Monk’s Car Repair, can you get the internet domain name monkscarrepair.com. And if you can’t get the .com, can you get the .net. And if you can get the .net, do you really want to since most people will automatically type in the .com when looking for you. Choosing a hosting site means being aware of the little things like the difference in traffic patterns between being a .com and being .net or .somethingelse.
Choose your internet hosting site based on a realistic evaluation of the number of visitors you expect to host. You want to be aware of the space that the hosting site offers as well as the access speeds, e-commerce options, e-mail options and whether your site will need any special programming like CGI scripts. Above all else, if you don’t have an internet guy working in the office that you can count on to fix the various problems that pop up when running a business web site, you need to make sure that the hosting company provides excellent support. The only way to do this may be to ask other customers or at least to check the hosting site’s forums to check for lots of complaints or to see if their support is timely, efficient and genuinely helpful.
Disk space is another consideration you need to take into account when shopping around for a hosting company for your web site. Most of the hosting companies offer an array of choices when it comes to how much space you’ll have and it can be confusing if you aren’t knowledgeable. An easy and workable estimation is to take a calculation of the number of pages your web site will have and multiply by 50K for each page. That means that if you plan on a web site with 200 pages, you will need roughly 10 megabytes of disk space. Obviously, that is a rough estimate as your actual space issues will also depend on the type of content on those pages. Pictures and videos are going to eat up space very quickly so work multimedia into your estimate of how much space you will actually need.
Depending on the internet hosting company, you may be required to pay a set-up fee. The actual payment structure for hosting on a daily basis will vary according to the company; some may require a monthly payment while others may deal with quarterly payments. You may even find some hosting companies that require a contract in which you pay for a full year upfront. It is an essential part of the deal that you familiarize yourself with the terms of canceling your contract so you won’t be faced with the realization that you have to pay for six months of a web presence you won’t even have.
Consider the important of email management. This means that if you are successful in registering monkscarrepair.com that your email address will be firstname.lastname@example.org. It just makes things easier to have an email address that is integrated with your web hosting domain name. (The email address would in .net if you bought the .net instead of the .com.) Check to see if the hosting company offers options like email forwarding, email auto-responders and statistical reports so that you can access data on who is visiting your site and went.
The last thing you want to do is go for a free hosting site if you know you are going to be doing significantly business on the web. What you get for free is fine if you want to put up a home-based arts and craft business, but for professional services, you must keep in mind that you get exactly what you pay for.