Let’s talk about finding a decent web host for your new blog or website. It’s not as easy as you might think, but not to worry, I’ll give you some tips that will help you find a good web hosting company that’s most suitable for your needs. We’ll consider the features being offered, the performance of the host, and customer service – all key to a good host.
Web Hosting Features
Identify a good web hosting company by feature:
Disk space should start at 10GB for the lowest package offered by a host and work up to unlimited. Here, unlimited just means more than you will ever need. 10GB is the minimum disk space you should consider.
Bandwidth or Data Transfer
Just like the disk space, an unlimited amount of bandwidth should be offered, or look for one which offers at least 100GB of bandwidth a month. Bandwidth is basically the amount of data that can be transferred on your account, such is incurred when you browse the web pages on your website, upload and download files through FTP and even when you check your emails. Again, look for a web host which offers unlimited disk space.
Another feature that many consider important, especially if you have your own domain name, is the email. Imagine having http://myrockingdomain.com and not using an email address to match, like email@example.com. What a waste that would be! A good web hosting company should offer unlimited email accounts with both pop3 email features and webmail access.
On the more serious side, you will need to find a host that offers at least 10 databases, because you never know when you’ll expand. The size does matter. No less than 1G is the critical limit for databases.
Every decent host will offer at least one free domain to attract customers. So don’t go with a host that will not give at least one to you. After all, hosting your site as http://myrockingdomain.com is far more desirable than having it as something like http://freehost.com/myrockingdomain. Google agrees, giving the first one a higher rank than the second. Furthermore, if the web hosting plan doesn’t come with a free domain name, you will need to register one yourself and this could set you back at $10 to $15 a year.
When you consider putting your site on a host, you will need FTP access. Files will transfer more reliably and faster. Just use Filezilla or some other FTP client and you’re set. Then you can upload files to your site easily and back up your site to your own computer, just in case.
Every good host comes with excellent customer service and technical support. They should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should be able to contact them by phone, email, and live chat. This is a non-negotiable criteria for a good web host, since you will at some point need help and you shouldn’t have to wait a day or two for a reply.
Good web hosting companies such as GreenGeeks and LunarPages all offer the above methods for you to get help from their customer service and technical support. They even come with comprehensive knowledgebases, user forums and video tutorials, which will help you to learn more about your web hosting account and how to use all of the features.
I have to mention that I really like GreenGeeks’s live chat support. Their support team is very efficient, that they will answer your live chat very quickly, usually under a minute. They are also professionally trained and can usually get any problem resolved within the chat session.
When you sign up with a host, another factor that you should consider is that hosting company’s performance in serving the site. All of them claim 99.9% uptime, but few actually achieve it. Weeding out the liars from the gems depends on experiences and reliable reviews from websites such as 100 Web Hosting.
However, that being said, it is always wise to sign up with a web host who provides money back guarantees. Good web hosts will provide at least 30 Days Money Back Guarantee. With this guarantee, if within this period you are unsatisfied with their services for whatever reason, you can request for a termination and get a full refund of your money!
Trusting your site to a hosting company is a big commitment of your time. You want to make sure it isn’t wasted. If you are going to monetize your site, then the stakes are even higher. Take the time to do your research and it will be time well spent.
I recommend having a look at GreenGeeks as a starting point. Their features and track record are among the top. Add to this the reputation and the quality of companies that have signed with them and you know GreenGeeks is your strongest candidate. Ultimately, the success of the decision is in your hands. Go out and find that host and build your dream site, but give GreenGeeks a look first for domain registration and hosting services.