To determine a reliable web hosting service, it is a usual practice to search the web, zero in on the top 10 best web hosting service providers and select one that offers the most suitable plan. Easy? Not quite. It often happens that the customer does not read the fine print and then gets into trouble as their websites start experiencing problems. When going in for shared and cheap web hosting solutions, it may be wise to keep a few points in mind.
- Service and support are paramount: Your website should always be up and running and accessible to all visitors and should not face traffic bottlenecks. Especially, if your website is graphic heavy or has a video or is e-commerce- enabled, you should factor in high traffic situations. And it is usually in such situations that an effective 24×7 technical support becomes imperative.
- Disk space and bandwidth : These are the two other important factors that must be taken into consideration. Sites with multi-media files and e-commerce facilities will need more space and also more bandwidth because of the larger number of visitors likely to visit such sites. Each time your site is opened, it will add to the data transfer and bandwidth usage. Consider this carefully before committing to any cheap plan and, tedious as it may seem, read the terms of service. A reliable web hosting service providers may not allow the so-called ‘unlimited’ disk space and bandwidth but may be more than generous in the allocation of these resources.
- Availability of add-on domains : If you are planning to host more than one site, then clarify this from the beginning and check the add-on domains allowed to the same account. Some hosting service providers have this feature available and you are allowed to manage the domain names and sites from a single control panel. Check if this facility is provided, if needed. Some may not allow it except for VPS web hosting or dedicated server web hosting.
- Control panel : A good host will provide a control panel to let you manage your site, add e-mail accounts, update the site and also pre-install scripts in the background, so that you, in the front end, do not have to worry about the interfacing and configuration.
- Web hosting plans vary across service providers. For instance, you may opt for a monthly, annual or even a 3-year plan. When opting for longer plan, ensure there is a money-back guarantee to withdraw in case you do not find the service as promised or expected. Also some hosts have upgrade options, so you can shift to better plans at any given time. Weigh your options.
A good way to go about checking the reliability of any service is various reviews online. There are also comparison sites that review hosts independently. With this knowledge, you should be able to select a reliable and satisfactory web hosting service provider. If you are concerned about the environment, you can even select a green web hosting service provider but such services are slightly costlier than the regular ones. Then, of course, you can go in for a VPS web hosting or a dedicated server web hosting, should your website dictate the need for such hosting.
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