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Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Plan

Does your web hosting plan really matter? This is a question
pondered by many people starting out in internet marketing.
Unfortunately, not much thought is put into selecting a web
hosting plan as part of the website development process. Many
people don’t even review hosting plans at all, they just trust
their web designer or web developer to choose a web hosting plan
for them because they consider it a minor factor that doesn’t
matter too much.

In reality, a web hosting plan is one of those things that
doesn’t really matter and doesn’t come to attention unless there
is a problem with it. So, if you get lucky and incidentally get a
decent web hosting plan without considering your options, you
probably don’t think choosing a web hosting plan is a very
important aspect of website development. However, if you’ve had
an inadequate web hosting plan, or you’ve been burned by a fly-
by-night web hosting company, you may view the selection of a web
hosting plan in a different light.

The main things to consider when choosing a web hosting plan are:

1. Security

2. Speed

3. Space

4. Email capabilities

5. Reports

6. Administrative functions

7. Reliability

8. Support

9. Extra features

10. Cost

Security

The security features of a web hosting plan’s servers is
important to website development, especially if your website will
be an ecommerce website through which customer payments or
processed, or if customers will be transmitting personal
information to you via your website. Without a secure server,
customers may be hesitant to transmit personal and financial
information through your website. Encryption capabilities and the
ability to set up a dedicated secure server for your company are
security features you should look for in your web hosting plan.

Speed

The speed at which your website loads is very significant in e-
business. When people visit your website, if it takes more than a
few seconds for the site to load they will get impatient and move
on, forgetting your website altogether. When you evaluate a web
hosting plan, be sure to ask the web host what type of internet
connection they use to ensure that it is a high-speed connection.

Space

The space that your web hosting plan allows for your website and
the bandwidth that is available for your use matters. In most
cases, any web hosting plan provides adequate space for a
standard website, but make sure that you can increase the space
provided for your web hosting plan if necessary as your website
evolves. Bandwidth restrictions can hinder the ability of website
visitors to download or upload data.

Email Capabilities

Email capabilities should be included in every web hosting plan.
The number of email addresses provided, the ability to use email
aliases, and the ability to set up autoresponders are things to
be considered. Also, restrictions on the size of files that can
be sent and received or stored on the email server can be of
importance.

Reports

Access to server logs and other reports regarding website
activity should be standard features of a web hosting plan. Using
such reports aids in your marketing efforts as you can tell where
your traffic is coming from and which marketing mediums are
producing results. You can also determine which of your web pages
of most popular and which ones are not being visited.

Administrative Functions

Sometimes a web developer serves as a webmaster, but for the most
part, a website owner needs to be able to quickly and easily make
changes to the website. This is accomplished through the
administrative features of a web hosting plan, generally on
online accessible control panel.

Reliability

The reliability of the company that provides your web hosting
plan is crucial. The length of time they have been in business,
their percent of uptime, and their backup and data retrieval
practices play a big part in whether or not your web hosting plan
is reliable. Downtime results in lost business, so reliability is
a critical consideration.

Support

Technical support is something that should definitely be a part
of a web hosting plan. Different web hosts will have different
levels of support with some offering person-to-person phone
support while others respond to email or online requests. Some
provide 24 hour technical support and others don’t. Find out
about the quality and convenience of technical support that is
provided before selecting a web hosting plan.

Extra Features

There are many standard features that should be provided in a web
hosting plan, then there are options that may cost extra. A full-
service web hosting plan may cost a bit more than limited plans,
but may be worth it. Some of the features to look for include FTP
access capabilities for the purpose of sharing files and support
for software you may use for your website.

Cost

Of course cost is important when choosing a web hosting plan;
however, it is not the most important consideration. Sometimes
you really do get what you pay for. So, cost should be factored
into your decision but going with the cheapest web hosting plan
is not always the best idea. Also, free web hosting plans are
usually not worth having.

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