Shopping for an affordable web hosting service can be a challenge whether you run a sizable company or are a self-employed business owner. The process will be smoother if you follow a few tips to ensure you get the best possible service for the lowest possible price. Although affordability is probably your top priority, you don't want to go so cheap on this important service that it ends up detracting from the value of your website. After all, your company's website is the online face of your business, and you want to make as positive an impression as possible. The search for a reliable web host is perhaps most daunting if yours is a new website and you have little or no prior experience in choosing a host.
Longevity a good sign While newer hosts may be offering rock-bottom rates, they generally have less experience and are depending on customers like you to help them establish their business. They're relative newcomers and have no real track record, so it's more difficult to find out how well they perform and what sort of value they offer.
Know what you're getting Don't sign up for a hosting service until you investigate exactly what you're buying. In addition to checking out the service provider's fee schedule, contact existing customers to determine what, if any, hidden charges you're likely to be hit with in addition to your basic monthly hosting fee. Avoid hosting services that offer low monthly hosting fees but allot you very minimal disk space for your website. If you're just about to go live with a new website, it might well fit within the disk space parameters the host provide, but once the site begins to attract visitor traffic, you'll want to expand your online presence. Discovering that you have to pay a far higher rate to get additional disk space for expansion will stifle the site's growth. Worse yet, a hosting service with limited disk space may be unable to give you the room you need to grow at any cost.
Portability is essential If you're looking for a hosting service that not only maintains your website online but also gives you the tools to design your site, it's advisable to find one that uses programming language that is in broad use throughout the industry. Designing -- or modifying -- a website -- using a web host's proprietary design system means that the finished product will only run properly on that host's system. If you decide to move your website to another service provider, you may find that you have to begin the process of setting up your website from scratch.
Solid technical support Equally important is around-the-clock technical support. If your website goes down late Friday, you don't want to have to wait until early Monday morning to get it up and running again. Don't rely solely on the company's brochure or sales pitch about the comprehensive nature of its technical support system. Talk to the host's customers to find out how well the system actually functions. Almost as soon as your website goes live, you're going to find it necessary to make little adjustments in site content. Picking a web host that offers an uncomplicated user interface is a must. This will allow you to tweak the site as necessary without having to wait for someone else to do it for you. Unless you're a technical genius, you'll also want a user interface that's as intuitive as possible.
About the Author: Don Amerman is a freelance author who has written extensively about small business, corporate strategy, social media and finding the right budget planner.