So you have finally planned to invade the magical world of the Internet. All captions ready, all information gathered, all details penned down. What next?
Your next important step is finding the Web Host for your site, The Right One.
A web host is a service provider that places your website on a computer that is connected to the Internet. This then gives people who surf the Internet a way to access your website.
Finding the best host for your company’s Website is one of the most important steps when taking your business online. Not only will your host be responsible for placing your company’s site on the Internet; it will also be responsible for keeping it there and being available to potential customers.
Now, let us take a look at the steps to be followed when choosing the right web host:
1. Create an online plan for your site. What you are going to sell, the number of items, methods of payment, and the features of your site. Then determine the possibilities for your site’s expansion over the next six months, the next year, and the next five years. Look into these factors before short-listing your probable host.
Disk Space/Storage refers to the amount of space given by a web hosting plan for your website’s pages, images, and any additional files. Take this into consideration when determining the total number of files you will be using for your website and their sizes. If you are planning on creating a website with a lot of video or audio files, you will need a lot of disk space. Check whether your host can meet this requirement.
Programming Languages such as ASP, PHP, Perl/CGI, JSP, and ColdFusion are used to create a lot of popular scripts (software) to help your website function. Make sure your web host supports the language used by you. Also, if you are planning on selling services or products from your website, makes sure the web hosting plan you choose offers some type of e-commerce solution.
2. Now that you have checked out all your requirements, pick your top five responses. Surprisingly, many of the hosts you submit a request for a proposal to won’t respond by your set deadline. Ignore them and look at the responses you receive and pick the five best.
3. Ask for references. Take your shortlist of hosts and ask them for the names of some of their clients — then pick up the phone and see what the host’s clients have to say. Be sure to inquire how good the host is at making the site available online.
4. Test their customer service. Pick up the phone and call customer support at 2 a.m. Drop customer support an e-mail to see how fast they respond to you. Do what it takes to feel comfortable with your service provider before you enter into any type of business relationship.
Choosing the right Web host is easier if you approach it the way you would approach any other major purchase for your business. It can mean the difference between success and failure for your online venture.