Friday, March 5, 2010

Things To Consider When Choosing A Host For Your Website

by Ian Spencer

Choosing where you are going to host your website is important, even if you think that you can just choose any old host, as long as they work. To some degree, making sure your website is always visible is a pretty important factor of choosing a host, but in this day and age, most website hosting companies offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee anyway, so there are other considerations to think about when choosing your host.

Price - We have all been here when choosing a host, we simply look for who is the cheapest, a mistake most of us make with our first few websites. Although getting a good price is undoubtedly important, sometimes the cheapest is not always the best, and if you can afford it, it can sometimes be a good idea to spend a little more to gain a little more, in terms of service, reliability and standards.

Location - This is quite often a common mistake made by many new webmasters. The location of the server ( or computer ) that your website is hosted on is critical if your website or service is location specific. For example, if you sell products to the UK and have a domain name, you need to make sure the server your site is hosted on is in the UK. Google takes the location of your server into consideration as part of the whole of SERPs process, so make sure you host your website in the country in which you operate.

Reputation - The internet has made it very easy to find out about any company in the world, simply with a quick a search in Google. You can find out user reviews, information about the company, read reviews and find out if there have been any previous issues with a host. You can also buy magazines which rate and rank hosts and you can always have a chat to other local businesses, friends and family to see if they have any overall recommendations.

Reliability - A car that doesn't start is about as much use as a website that is never online, so check out the web hosting company's previous service status announcements, up time and read all the reviews you can about other webmasters experiences with the company. Most web hosts guarantee a 99.9% uptime, some of them deliver, some do not, but you will need to do your research which you can do via independent forums and website magazines.

Support - It is Monday night, you are the only one in the office and your website is down and emails stuck in a black hole. Your web host doesn't offer 24 hour support, and your orders have dropped to zero. You have to go to bed and try to sleep, knowing you wont be able to get anyone to fix it until the morning. Once again, we have all been there, and it is so important you choose a host with 24 hour assistance, as at some point over the period you will need to contact them, that is a guarantee.

Technology - Try to make sure that the web hosting company are using up to date servers and technology, as if you are paying for a hosting account you want something that is the latest technology which will also be more reliable than older technology. As servers evolve and develop, they are slowly becoming more reliable, faster and stable, so it is well worth a quick phone call to ask the company about how old their servers are etc and what technology they use.

Range Of Services - Some web hosting companies do just that, host websites for people. But some offer a lot more than others in terms of what you get. Some control panels are better than others and some of the hosts often through a few free services into the mix is you commit for 12 months, so it's worth shopping around to make sure you get the best value for your money.

Windows V Linux - The operating system of your server can have an impact when it comes to how your website operates. Make sure you know what platform your website needs to run, as sometimes you will be automatically assigned to a server operating system that might not suit you.

To conclude, it is important to research who you host your website with. If your website is your business you need to make sure the host you choose is what you need and offers you all of the support and commitment you require. For the sake of a few hours research on the internet and by phoning around, you can end up saving yourself hours of heartbreak further down the road.

About the Author

Ian Spencer works for Clear Web Services, a SEO Web Optimisation and Web Design company serving the Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire and South Wales.

He has worked in the SEO and Internet Marketing world for many years, and working in partnership with another company has launched the new SEO business. For More Information, please call 01594 835 857 or email