Whether you’re launching an e-business, writing a blog or starting your own networking site, it’s important to find the right web hosting provider. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Decide what kind of hosting service you need

Most hosting services are one of the following:

  • Shared (or virtual hosting) services: These offer one server that you share with your host’s other clients — which means you’re sharing all the traffic as well. While this typically costs less, high traffic may affect performance and speed.
  • Collocated Hosting: Here, you buy the server from a computer/hardware vendor. The host will connect your server to its network, but you’re responsible for support/maintenance.
  • Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting: This is the same as collocated hosting, except that you lease the server. In some cases, you can also get limited support/maintenance.
  • Dedicated Hosting: With dedicated hosting, you lease the server from your host, who provides an extensive range of support/maintenance services.

2. Check out the support staff

Does the web host have systems administrators available 24/7? This can be especially crucial for e-commerce sites, which may not have the technical expertise to negotiate data losses, system malfunctions or even a simple bug. Since internet stores never close, it becomes necessary to have available support staff to resolve potential problems.

3. Look for basic hosting services

A good web hosting site should automatically feature basics such as FTP access, SSI (which helps site maintenance), Cron (which facilitates repetitive tasks) and Auto Script Installer. In addition, a good hosting service should have a user-friendly control panel, as well as a fast server up-time with an up-time score above 99 percent.

4. Compare features

A good web host will have fully redundant data centers that provide optimum power and connectivity for faster speeds and smoother traffic management. Also, check for services such as drag-and-drop page builders and advanced layout/editing tools.

5. Check security and site backup

A good web host will have a comprehensive range of online/physical security features implemented in its network infrastructure. These can include fire suppression systems, on-site generators and regular site maintenance.

6. Prioritize your needs

Before choosing a host, prioritize your needs. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce site, security and streamlined payment services should be a priority. If you’re hosting email accounts, your web host should provide top-notch email hosting features.

Web hosting services can be basic packages or tailored to your specific needs. By educating yourself and knowing what to ask, you can choose a web host that will give you everything you need to run your website smoothly and professionally.

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