I’ve had dozens of websites hosted with different web hosting companies all over the web for last five years, and I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in a lot of them. Suffice to say, I believe that I’m a good judge of what to look for when searching for a server to host your websites on.
1. Reliability – The number one criteria that a great website hosting company must have is reliability. Bottomline, your website must be accessible on the internet 99.99% of the time. I’ve seen hosting companies that delivered terrible results on this particular criteria. One host I had had my websites down for 12 hours while I was on vacation, and guess how many dollars I made during that particular down-time? Zero, zilch, nada!
2. Customer Service – When you need something done on your host server, does your web hosting company respond in a timely and courteous manner? Nothing gets me more mad than a web hosting company that ignores my questions for days at a time.
3. Accessibility – Does your host offer a control panel where you can easily manipulate your website? This is particularly important if you don’t want to waste a lot of time maintaining your web pages. If your website has a back-end database, a web-based control panel to manipulate the database is a major plus. Allowing you to change security settings on a file-by-file level is also important. The ability to create subdomains is also a benefit.
4. Affordability – Because of the competition in the web hosting industry, web hosting fees have gone steadily down in the past five years, so this criteria isn’t as important today as it was a few years back. Still, there are web hosting companies out there that offer their services dirt cheap, and there are those that charge a premium. The trick is to find the balance between affordability and the other factors mentioned above.
So, now that you know about what to look for in a web hosting company, go get your website up and running!