Firstly, you will need to consider the features that the different web hosting services offer. You need to see if a web hosting service offers all the features that you require for the type of website that you are going to create. If you plan to create a website using programming such as CGI, SSI, PHP, Perl or mySQL databases then you will want a hosting service that supports Unix/Linux platforms. If you are going to create a website using programming such as Cold Fusion, Visual Basic Scripts, Server Pages (ASP), Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL databases then you will need a web host that supports Windows platforms. You must know your hardware and server platform requirements so that you can choose a web hosting plan that will meet your needs.
Another factor that you will need to consider is the pricing of each web hosting plan. Keep in mind though that the most expensive plan doesn’t always mean the best hosting. It is best to compare pricing of a few web hosting companies to get an idea of the general prices so that you don’t end up paying too much. You can also look out for some promotions being offered as you can often pick up good deals on hosting.
You will want to also consider the speed of web hosting companies as you don’t want visitors to leave your site because of slow connection speeds. If you are creating a business website it is very important to have your site running at a good speed to keep your potential customers happy. Decide what speed would be acceptable for your particular website and make sure that the web hosting company you choose will run at that speed.
Another requirement that you must have is a good, reliable hosting provider that offers enough bandwidth for fast and efficient data transfer. Some hosting packages offer limited bandwidth and if your website has a sudden surge of traffic or grows quite rapidly, then you may use up all of your bandwidth and your website will be suspended. The last thing you want is your website to be unavailable to your visitors because your hosting doesn’t supply you with enough bandwidth.
Good, reliable web hosting with good storage capacity is also essential for running a website. Most web hosting packages offer enough storage capacity to satisfy the needs of most webmasters. Many web hosting companies will offer unlimited disc space in their packages. If you can get web hosting with unlimited disc space then you will never need to worry about your website getting too big and exceeding your storage limit.
No matter what web hosting company you choose, there will always be a time when you may need some customer support so you will want to choose a web hosting provider that is reliable for their service. Look for a provider that gives you 24 hour technical and customer support that includes phone support and live chat. You never know what time of day or night you may need their support so you want it to always be available.
Although phone and email support are vital when dealing with a web hosting provider, it is also helpful if they provide live chat support. Sometimes it is easier to communicate with live chat than other means of communication. Live chat is usually available 24 hours a day so you can contact customer support if you have something urgent that needs addressed immediately. Live chat is also a very cost effective way of contacting your web provider.
Another factor that you want to consider is the security features that web host companies provide. You will need to find out how the information on your website will be secured on their server and it is also useful to find out how they handle any breaches of security. A security breach can cause a lot of issues for webmasters so it is essential to host your website with a company that has good security features.