Guidelines for selecting a Web host

How to Choose a Web Host

When you finish developing your website, you need to do two things. Domain Hosting and Domain Registration. Here, website and domain words are used interchangeably.

Firstly, you have to park your website some place. For that you need what is known as a web host which should be reliable in every sense of the word. Search for reviews of different web hosts. Make sure the reviewer is not paid for top few on the list.

Secondly, after parking your website, you have to then register it. It takes a day or two that your website propagates through the Internet after registration.

Avoid free web hosting - when I started my first website, I used free web hosting provider. But I didn't like the excess of advertising and how slow pages were loading. Just as important is to have a domain name of your own.

Getting links to your website takes both time and effort. To protect that effort you need your own domain name. If you don't have your own domain name, you cannot move your web site to another web hosting provider when your current web host is no longer good enough, or when your current web host decides to shut you down because you get too much traffic.

If you have your own domain name, moving your web site to another hosting provider is easy and you automatically take all the links pointing to your web site with you.

If you really insist on free web hosting, at least pay for your domain. That should cost you less than $10 per year.

VodaHost Website Hosting service provides most of the properties a powerful web host should have. I selected it after reading reviews about several web hosting services. I paid a total of $95.40 for the whole year which comes out to be $7.95 a month. By signing up for the whole year, VodaHost waived the $30 setup fee as well as $19.99 for registration.

Domain Registration
You have selected a web host where you want to park your website. Next comes the part where you need to register your car, urr your website. Find a company, and there are so many, that will register your website. That company is called the registrar. The annual fee should not be more than $10 USD. VodaHost Website Hosting service takes care of the registration as well.

Important note
You can register your domain name without first having a website host. I have stated above and given an analogy with a vehicle registration. However, selecting a website host and registration can be done in any order. If you follow the menu on your left step-by-step and follow it through, top to bottom and you feel comfortable with what you have as website page(s), then you can go ahead and finish the registration and selecting web host process.

Are you serious enough?
Are you serious enough to create your first website, then go ahead do it. Registration and web host selection must come later. Otherwise, you would be wasting your money paying for registration and web hosting without having a website. I know many website gurus would disagree with me, but I strongly believe in "Ask first not how you can do a job. Ask first what you want to do and why." That's true, by the way, in every walks of life.

What's your first impression of the company?
The first place to start evaluating web hosting companies is their front page. Does their website look professional? Is it easy to find all of the information you need? Take a look at their contact information. Do they list a physical address, an email address and a phone number to contact them?

What is the uptime guarantee?
Uptime guarantee refers to the amount of time the server is live and serving your web pages. An uptime guarantee of 99% means that the host guarantees that their servers will be up and operational 99% of the time. Over the course of one year, 99% uptime would represent a downtime (the one percent) of around 87 hours in a year or an average of 7 hours per month. An uptime of 99.9% would involve only 8 hours of downtime for the entire year.

What kind of after sale support can you expect?
Make sure the company provides after sale support. Do they have any marketing tools they can make available to you? What kind of support for setting up your account can you expect from the budget web hosting company? Make sure to do your homework to find a budget web hosting company that is a good fit for your website.
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