What Should you look for in Website Hosting? Ultimately, it depends on your specific website plans and online marketing strategy. There are still some basics that every good host needs to live up to, and there is some good news for anyone shopping for website hosting: While prices on essential goods and services like food and education goes up, computers and internet technology is going against that trend.
These days, you can get a reliable host with tons of bandwidth, server space, and up-to-date server software for compatibility & automatic CMS installations for your blogs and business sites alike.
Here is what you should look for in any hosting service:
- Uptime – The most important factor in a web host is it needs to stay online. Check out some of the monitoring services that track these things. What good is a 99% uptime guarantee? Go find the history that shows exactly how often the site is up according to random checking.
- Unlimited Domains – There’s no reason to have a limit these days. New domains are cheap and new websites are easy to set up. Why should your host decide you have too many? Make sure you get a hosting plan that gives you unlimited domains on one account. Not negotiable!
- Server Space – A website like this one might only take up a few megabytes, but do you plan on hosting your own videos or high-resolution images? Do you plan on trying a hundred website projects or buying a database of information for publishing? Don’t pay too much for server space – its cheap and plentiful. A few gigs is more than most users need, yet Bluehost offers unlimited within certain conditions (like you actually have to use those files for a website of some sort!).
- Database and Script Software – is it up to date? Can I run a ton of DBs? The last thing you want to worry about when you’ve found the perfect CMS for your next online project is whether or not your servers are able to understand it. Make sure to check versions of PHP and MYSQL against the specific software you want to run.
- Positive user reviews – like this one. With a basic Fantastico install and a few minor tweaks for processing optimization, I was able to survive the “Digg Effect” and stayed online with my BlueHost hosted domains while more than 17,000 people visited one of my websites in a single day. Dreamhost offers one-click installs for a ton of website software types, and there are lots of other shared hosts that provide similar services. Don’t go in on your own when the technology exists to help you – make sure you have a host who is up to date with software management!
- Ease of Use – When I started with Bluehost it was so easy to use I was afraid there was some sort of catch. Nope. It has the power, reliability, and storage that is way beyond my needs and I’ve been able to start up almost a dozen sites on different domains related to my hobbies and interests – and it handles more traffic volume than I can even maintain on a daily basis. When I was looking to expand, I found good Dreamhost coupon and got my second hosting space for almost nothing. Now I have about a dozen active domains, independent income, and a lot of new in-demand knowledge I didn’t have this time last year.
I’ve tried a few web hosts since I started this little online website building hobby – other hosts at comparable prices, free hosts, and everytime it just doesn’t have the flexibility or convenience of Bluehost and Dreamhost. Free hosts want to add their ads on your pages, and other low-priced hosts have more complicated user interfaces and fewer choices with their software auto-installer.
If you’re thinking about starting a website or a series of websites, check out Bluehost and Dreamhost – then do the research, check out the competition, read the hosting reviews and go search to see what the other customers have to say, and then remember my advice: These are the best hosts for new web publishers who want to write online without too much technical experience.