Web Hosting Service Provides offer a broad range of services and also differ in the quality of service provided. They also differ in Pricing for the same set of services. Due to increased competition, you have a large number of Web Hosting providers to choose from.
Ascertaining Web Hosting Requirements
The first step before choosing a Web Hosting Provider is to ascertain your requirements. Your Webmaster or Web Designer will be in a position to help you quantify this. Following are some of the things you should consider:
a) What is the purpose of the Website? Is it a company brochure? Do you have a catalogue of products and services to present on the Internet?
b) Do you wish to sell the products online by accepting Credit Card and other forms of payment online?
d)Do you have a need for large number of E-mail Accounts?
e) Do you have a special application to be hosted? Is this a standard application available off the shelf?
f) Do you need a large amount of Disk Space to store images and multimedia files?
g) Do you need a way to stream audio and video to your users?
h) Do you intend to provide live online help?
i) Do you have a large volume of content where you wish to insert commercial advertisements?
j) Do you foresee a large number of visitors requiring highly reliable and fast Internet bandwidth?
After you have answered most of these questions, you should start investigating the Web Hosting providers who can meet your requirements at a reasonable price.
Choosing the Best Web Hosting Service Provider
There are several ways to research a Web Hosting Service Provider. Here are some tips for you:
a) Take a look at the various Directories of Web Hosting service providers available online and short list them based on your requirements. Initially, always short list only those who meet all your requirements, because any one requirement could be crucial for your website.
b) Look at some of the directory sites that host applications of the kind that you intend to use online. For instance, you can look at a Directory of Real Estate companies and investigate the web hosting service provider utilized by some of the top Real Estate companies. These web hosting companies may already have dealt with any special requirements for a particular industry.
c) If you are looking for a special type of hosting – like .NET hosting on Windows 2003 Server, then it is easier to just search for them in a search engine. Also look for advertisements on sites dedicated to these technologies.
d) After you have short listed the service providers, ask them questions about your requirements and ensure that they can meet all the requirements. Also ask them to suggest a good plan for you. Look around for similar plans of other companies and then settle on a Web Hosting Service Provider.