Whether you’re running a business that has yet to jump on the internet bandwagon or you’re simply an individual with strong opinions that you feel could be best expressed through a weblog, you might be a little behind the times where online services are concerned. And while making the choice to get online is a relatively stress-free affair, the same cannot be said for turning your grand notion into a virtual reality. You’ll no doubt enjoy the challenges and rewards associated with web design since you’ll have a product to show for it when the process is complete. But you’re also going to need a web host in order to get your message and your materials to the public. And this will require you to comparison shop for the service that will best suit your needs. Along that line, there are several important factors you’ll want to consider before you make your selection.
Probably the two biggest factors are storage and bandwidth, and you’ll often find them lumped together in packages. Storage pertains to the amount of data related to your website and/or blog that you want your web host to store for you. It’s tempting to go all out on storage as a novice because you don’t know how much you’re going to need at the outset, but try to temper your urge to splurge. First of all, a few gigabytes of storage is enough for most small to midsize operations – you’ll likely end up overspending on unlimited storage options. Second, unlimited storage is rarely unlimited. The fine print often specifies that it is actually limited to “normal site usage” or something similar. So don’t be surprised if you get hit with additional charges if you store tons of data.
Bandwidth is associated with uploads and downloads, or the amount of data you post to your website or blog and how often it is viewed by users. Again, be careful about jumping the gun with offers of unlimited bandwidth. Very few site owners actually benefit from paying for this service. You’re much better off starting with a moderate level of storage and bandwidth but opting for a web hosting service that allows for account upgrades without penalty. This flexibility is worth a lot more than supposedly unlimited services.
After you’ve established your storage and bandwidth needs, your ability to choose a web host will depend on the extras and support services you require. Many web hosts offer additional features like email and mobile app support, and considering the need for connectivity with users, both may play an important role in choosing an appropriate web host. You’ll also want to make sure that you have the ability to secure the domains and subdomains you’ll need. And you should see if the host you prefer offers the framework and database support you’re interested in.
Of course, cost is also going to be an important factor for most people, although you shouldn’t necessarily let this dictate the web host you choose – you have to spend money to make money, after all. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to go it alone. You can find the help you need with services like smarthostingchoices.com that compare web hosting services for you. Then all you have to do is choose the one that best matches all your criteria.