Properties your Web host should have

How to Choose a Web Host

It depends how much you pay for parking (usually a monthly charge of less than $10 USD), but you should look for the following in a web host:

Space. Unless you are Wal-Mart or Home Depot where you would need an endless amount of space, individuals or small businesses do not need huge space. Most web hosts give you enough space, usually in Mega Bytes (MB.) For the website you are looking at now 30MB is more than enough even if I expand it a little in future.

Bandwidth. This is analogous to the number of lanes a highway has. The more lanes, the faster your car, or more importantly, copies of your car will come out of that parking space. Then again it depends on your website.

If you have items other than just text, e.g., images, videos etc., then may be you would need more bandwidth right from the beginning. When you find more and more people are viewing your website, and it is slowing down, you can then upgrade to faster (more lanes) highway or more bandwidth. Bandwidth is usually mentioned in terms of monthly data transfer.

email accounts. How many of these will you get with the host.

Domain Names. How many domain names and websites per one account for the same price.

CGI, PHP, MySQL. with Unlimited Databases. If you don't know about these terms, don't worry about it. You might need them now or in future.

FTP Access
Some free hosting providers only allow you to design your page with their online builder. While this is useful for beginners, do you have the option to expand later when you become experienced and their online page builder does not have the facility you need? FTP access, or at the very least, the ability to upload your pages by email or browser, is needed. Personally, I feel FTP access is mandatory, except for the most trivial site.

Multiple Shopping Carts & Merchant Accounts. If you have developed an eCommerce website where there is buying and especially selling, a web host with these properties will be obviously a better choice.

E-book and Digital Delivery System.

Publish and manage email newsletters or ezines. Website hosts that help clients publish and manage their own email newsletters or ezines. Some hosts also offer an unlimited number of auto responders.

Affiliate program. Website hosts that help you set up your own affiliate program. Affiliate programs are the proven most effective way of getting traffic and profits for webmasters.

Protect your download page. Some hosts help you protect your download page where you are selling digital products like e-books or software from your site. The number of hackers is on the increase and this is an increasingly vital service for many webmasters.

Protect your email accounts. Some hosting services are also addressing the rapidly increasing menace of junk mail and provide quality filters to protect your email accounts. Some even provide built-in anti-virus software so that email that arrives with viruses, is automatically deleted.

Control Panels. Do you want Cpanel, DirectAdmin, or Plesk?

Budget. Set a realistic budget for yourself. How much are you willing to spend? lowest price too highest. Being a little flexible on your price will give more hosting choices.

Support. Do they provide at least 24/7 Support Desk? Support is very important, this is a must. You should have access to support 24 hours a day. Test the support desk. Choose anytime of the day or night and contact the support desk to test response times, ask any questions you might have. Do you need phone support or live chat support. ask these questions before you sign up with a web host.
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