subscribe to receive this blog per email :: unsubscribe from the mailing list

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to Choose a Web Host

One of the first things to think about when planning a new website, is where to host it. Unless you have the technological know-how and equipment to host your site on your own computer or dedicated web server, you will likely end up choosing a web hosting service.

There are half a gazillion of those out there - so what should one look for when choosing a host?

Don't be tempted to simply jump for the cheapest package. The first decision should be the location of your server - search engines take geographical location into consideration for their search results, so if your business mainly operates locally, choosing a New Zealand based server is definitely a good idea.

If you are aiming for a global market, it might make sense to host your site in the US - web hosting contracts there tend to offer more bang for your buck, but do make sure you read the fine print. One web hosting company I have been dealing with in the past, kept sending me "upgrade offers" which I had to opt out of within a certain timeframe, to avoid being forcibly upgraded to a more expensive contract. Not a good look - and definitely not a company I would consider ever dealing with again!

Another thing I have come across a few times are "budget" web hosting packages which do not enable PHP. These days, one should be able to expect that PHP is enabled as a matter of course - while it is possible to work around it as long as no interactive features are required, it does mean more work for the web designer, and a lot less flexibility when it comes to keeping the site up to date. PHP 5 is the standard that should be expected - make sure your web server enables PHP 5, and at least one MySQL data base.

It always pays to compare features such as the amount of data storage, bandwidth, email accounts, number of parked domains that are allowed, and any other limitations that the hosting contract might impose. Having access to your own web statistics is also vital - make sure your hosting service offers a decent package of applications.

This said, most small business sites do not require vast amounts of bandwidth - unless you plan to upload large amounts of images, video, audio or other multimedia files, you will be fine with a smallish space and bandwidth.

If in doubt, it is probably a good idea to talk to your web designer before signing up for a hosting contract - they will be able to tell you exactly what features they will need to pull of the site of your dreams, and how much bandwidth and disc space this will require.

Asni: Multimedia Art & Design:: ::

No comments:

Post a Comment