Choosing a website host is an important decision. You want a host that is affordable. However, you also want a website host that offers the features and functions you need. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re finding the right provider.
- Is their control panel user friendly? Many hosts offer free demonstrations or tours. Take advantage of these to make sure it’s a control panel that makes sense and is easy to use.
- Building your own site or looking for a website builder too? (click here to see why website builders suck for a business)Some website hosts offer site building tools. These can be wonderfully useful if you’re not interested in getting into the technological side of building a website. However, if you are building your own website using any number of software programs or languages, make sure the host has FTP transfer. This is the system you’ll use to upload your web pages to your host’s server.
- Can you upload your files easily? Some website hosts are only compatible with certain file types. Make sure your website builder of choice works with your host before you pay for their services.
- Are they big enough for your needs? Look for data space, bandwidth and file size limitations. You don’t need to go crazy however a host does need to accommodate your current needs and give you some room to grow.
- Server reliablity. Occasional downtime is expdected however it should be rare and you should be forewarned when the servers are going to be down. Ideally, your host’s server should be up and running 99% of the time.
- Security. If you’re doing business online then security is a must. Even if you’re not doing business online, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your website from hackers. A secure host is essential.
- Features and functions. What do you need your website to have? Do you need a shopping cart, email or autoresponders? Do you need to be able to sell advertising? Do you want analytic and reporting functions to track traffic and website visitor behavior? Make sure your website host has all the features and functions you need before you sign up and transfer your domain.
- User reviews. This is the last thing to look at once you’ve narrowed down yoru choices and before you compare price. Make sure the company has a solid reputation in the industry. There are a lot of resellers out there, you also want to make sure you’re dealing with an acutal hosting company and not a reseller – you’ll get a better price and better customer support.
- Finally, it’s time to compare price. If a website host meets all of the above criteria and fits your budget, you’ve found a good company. There are many wonderful website hosts out there. Spend a bit of time researching based on your needs and you can’t go wrong.