Web hosting is a necessity when starting your web presence, with out it you don’t have a site, but finding high quality web hosting can be a daunting challenge, after all, do you need one gigabyte of bandwidth, web hosting with one IP, unlimited databases or a free domain name. What does this really mean and what should you be looking for when you try to find a suitable web hosting company.
Web hosting companies are extremely profitable if they are popular, they have high start-up costs, but over time their general overheads dramatically reduce (proportionally). This is evident if you think that they have to pay to get directly connected to the backbone in order to establish the fastest possible connection, they need secure fire resistance premises, equipment, support staff and much more.
Once established their costs per web hosting account reduce, if you go to a major web hosting company and order a web hosting server, all they are really doing is adding a computer to their existing network, therefore splitting the overall costs. Then you pay approximately $150-$200 per month to keep that dedicated web hosting server.
Your web hosting requirements
You need to realistically establish what web hosting requirements you have for your site, do you really need 400 gigabytes of bandwidth (transfer) per month? Most sites are lucky to use 2 gigabytes per month from their web hosting account. Databases are another big issue, many web hosting companies change extra for databases, when in actual fact they don’t cost anything to maintain as they reside on the same server. So before you proceed, you need to analyse what web hosting requirements you really have, look at the script requirements you have of any potential software products you plan to use on your web hosting account.
Another limitation a lot of web hosting companies impose is the amount of mailboxes you can have, many people start on the internet with the intention of offering their friends, family and staff email boxes as well as numerous emails for their site, for example [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected] and [email protected] . The chances are you really don’t need that many mail boxes and administering them can be a gruelling task.
You know your web hosting requirements, what next?
Your primary goal should be to visit web hosting information sites in order to obtain a list of potential web hosting companies. A great web hosting information resource is Web Hosting Village, they provide web hosting articles, news and information, and in fact the best place to start your search for quality web hosting.
Creating a list of potential web hosting companies
Given that web hosting companies are profitable, they tend to advertise immensely across the internet. The more successful a web hosting company is the more they are willing to spend on web hosting related advertising. Therefore finding hosting companies via paid advertising, such as Googles Adsense, is generally a good idea as this a good step to take to establish how successful they have been.
In order to short list your potential web hosting companies you need to visit each site and just quickly look around, if the design is poor or they don’t offer adequate support, then the chances are this web hosting company is not for you. Whether you are new to the whole web hosting experience or an expert, there will eventually be a time when you need to contact your web hosting support. If they are non existent then you will really have a problem, so establishing their channels of communication and support should be one of your top priorities when selecting a web hosting company.
Once you have a shortlist of several web hosting companies, you need to research them via forums and webmaster communities. Chances are if someone has had a bad experience or extremely good they will want to write about it somewhere on the internet.
You should now have a list of two to three potential web hosting companies who you are really impressed with, now you need to make the selection. The best way is to weigh up the features and price and be really realistic as to your requirements, we have all been in the situation where we have been over ambitious and bought something that is too advanced for us.
If you have a winning concept that will make you bigger than Yahoo or eBay, the chances are you still don’t need a mega server when you start off, you just need something small and stable that will allow you to develop and promote your business. Once you have a good source of income you can upgrade your web hosting account with your current supplier and not experience any downtime whatsoever, so why pay for a mega web hosting account when you can get by with a $19.99 a month web hosting account and use the additional amount on marketing or development.