What To Look For In a Web Hosting Company
Choosing the right web hosting company is one of the most important decisions a website developer has to make. Although a hasty or rash decision can be rectified later on, by moving the site to a more suitable web hosting company, such a manoeuvre can be time-consuming and stressful. It is far better to choose a reputable web host in the beginning and make sure their offered package is sufficient for the needs of the intended site.
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Some Thoughts on Site Building and Content Management
Some webmasters still build their sites the old-fashioned way and create their pages one at a time in HTML. There are plenty of arguments for building sites by this method, but many webmasters prefer to build their sites using a content management system. It’s usually a quicker way to get a site online and allows any future site updates to be carried out with minimal fuss, but some web hosting companies make it easier to install the software than others.
One Click Installation
Many web hosting companies now offer quick and easy one-click installation for many of the most popular content management systems (WordPress, Joomla etc.) and also offer the same no-fuss installation option for popular shopping cart software (Zen Cart, Agora). This is a time-saving option that can help webmasters avoid the need for uploading folders via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), setting different permissions (CHMOD) on various folders, and ensuring correct communication between the chosen content management system and the necessary MySQL database. A lot can go wrong with a conventional installation, and one-click setups can prevent the need for hours of troubleshooting, so when a web hosting company offer one-click installation it is a definite plus.
Building a site with an online site builder is not as easy as using a content management system (unless building a very simple site), but some webmasters find online site builders easier to work with than HTML editors and FTP software so—again—this is a point worth bearing in mind when choosing a web hosting company.
Choosing a web hosting package that allows easy installation of content management and e-commerce software, or easy-to-use online site-building software, can make a webmaster’s life easier, but other factors must also be taken into consideration when choosing a web hosting company. So far we have described the benefits of the “one-click” installation feature provided by some web hosting companies. The article also touched on the value of online site-building software. Both features bear consideration when trying to decide on the best web hosting company to use, but webmasters who wish to make an informed decision may wish to look at several other features.
Some web hosts place a limit on the amount of traffic a site is allowed to receive each month. If a website’s traffic exceeds the permitted amount the hosting company may make the site unavailable until the following month or until the web hosting company receive additional payments. Many good web hosting companies allow unlimited traffic and, as webmasters hope to get as much traffic to their sites as possible, this is a much better option.
NOTE: Unlimited seldom means unlimited. The small print in the hosting contract will usually state a fair use policy is in place, but the chances of the fair use policy coming into play are very unlikely.
Some web hosting companies allow an unlimited amount of files to be uploaded to their servers (again, a fair use policy may apply), but others place a cap on how much data can be stored. Owners of larger sites—especially sites that incorporate lots of images or media files—may find companies that impose such restrictions are not the best web hosting company for their needs.
Shared Hosting or Dedicated Server?
Owners of large, high-traffic websites may be forced to choose a web hosting company that can provide dedicated servers, but the majority of small and medium-sized sites (up to a few thousand visitors a day) should function fine on a shared hosting package. The majority of sites are hosted on shared servers, it keeps hosting costs down.
Free Domain Registration and Renewal
Some hosting packages included free domain registration and renewal. There are arguments for keeping the two separate, but packages that combine hosting with domain registration and renewal can save webmasters time and money and reduce the likelihood of absent-minded webmasters losing their domain because they forgot to re-register it.
How Much Does the Hosting Package Cost?
Everyone likes to save money, but the cheapest web hosting company may not be the best web hosting company; so this consideration comes at the bottom of the list. It is always preferable to get the best deal available, but not at the cost of necessary features so the merits of hosting packages should always take priority over the price.
Which is the Best Web Hosting Company?
This is a question that webmasters must answer for themselves because the real question is, “Which is the best web hosting company for me?” It’s a personal question with a personal answer that webmasters need to consider seriously before choosing a web host. The best way to find that answer is to take a look at some of the options available. This page may prove a useful starting point.
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