Web hosting has changed a lot over the last few years. Gone are the days where you have to pay $100 per month just to have your website hosted over the Internet.
There are now literally hundreds of choices when it comes to web hosting. So, how do you choose the right one for you? In some respects it may depend on what type of website you’re looking to host. Do you just want to host a simple brochure-type site or do you need a ton of bandwidth for photo galleries and videos?
Knowing the answers to questions like these is your first task. However, there are few essential features that every good web host should have, and that’s we will all be talking about today.
1.) A reasonable price – unless you have special needs, you should never pay more than $10-$15 for a dependable full-featured webhost. You can often save money by paying for a full year in advance but at any rate, there are many cost-effective web hosting solutions available today.
2.) A cPanel interface – all the best web hosts offer cPanel, which is a web-based control panel that allows you to manage your domain through a web interface. It’s an industry standard that enables site configuration and management, including setting up e-mail, database administration, file management, FTP, and installation of scripts. cPanel also generally comes with Fantastico, which is an easy-as-pie installer for the WordPress blog platform, forums, and a whole lot more.
3.) 100% reliability – your webhost should be able to guarantee 99.9-100% uptime. That means you can count on your site live virtually all the time and you’ll have access to it, to cPanel, and to your e-mail. Being able to guarantee reliability will generally require the host to have a backup server capability. If you’re not sure, just ask them before you commit.
4.) Easily accessible customer support – you should have 24 hour support, whether web-based, telephone, or both.
5.) Multiple domain hosting – if you decide you want to host more than one website, you don’t have to pay separately for each one of those websites. Now, you’ll have to pay separately for the domain but your host should not charge you to host multiple domains. Some even offer unlimited domains.
6.) Large amounts of storage base and bandwidth – you want to plan for future growth of your site, both in terms of the size itself and the traffic and the tracks, and you don’t want a website that’s going to penalize your growth; at least not for a very long time.
7.) Number of POP3 e-mail accounts allowed – unlimited e-mail accounts is best. That gives you flexibility to add unique e-mail addresses for different functions in your website.
8.) Access to logs and statistics – you want to evaluate your site’s performance over time once it gets going. So having access to free statistics offer and weblogs will have that analysis.
9.) The ability to use FTP or online file management – that’s where you can upload large numbers of files quickly.
10.) Backups – there should be a some sort of plan for backups with your webhost, and also find out what’s being backed up; files, databases, server settings. Hopefully, everything.
So there you have it, a rundown of the top features to expect from the best web-hosting companies. And by the way, free web-hosting is still available but the old adage, “you get what you pay for” was never more true in relation to webhosting, especially if want to host a business website. Be willing to pay for quality, reliability, and a full set of features.