A host is generally a server or rack of servers that “hosts” the files composing your website via the Internet. Companies usually offer various packages at different rates for their hosting services, but it’s important that you make a choice with your future company in mind, and not just saving a few bucks at the moment.
Always read the terms of service carefully before sending any money. You will find that a lost of hosting services have hidden conditions and charges. If you do not have a clear idea of how much you will be paying every month and what kind of features you will have access to, look for another service.
Give a web host a limited time to meet your expectations. Do not settle for a company and then stay there no matter what. Three months is adequate time to judge whether a web hosting company meets your needs. If you are not satisfied, start shopping for a new host well before the terms expire.
Before you agree to do business with any web host, you need to do some research on the web host. Be sure to find out exactly how much you are going to have to pay to do business with them and what exactly you are getting for your money.
If you are going to have a website that mentions products and services that you offer, you need to have e-commerce hosting available in order for the customers to make purchases. You do not want to push your customers, but at every opportunity, they need to have the ability to make a purchase at their disposal.
If possible, pay for your web hosting with a credit card. Every year, several web hosts go out of business and just disappear without a trace. When a host disappears, its customers are typically left out of pocket. The customers that paid for their hosting with a credit card, however, are able to get a full refund of their annual hosting costs from their credit card provider.
Ensure that the web host you sign up with has a strong anti-spam policy. If any of the web host’s customers are involved in spam activities, it could result in the web host becoming blocked which will affect your website as well. Make certain that the web host you are considering is not already blocked, and has stringent policies in place that will help it avoid getting blocked in the future.
Make sure any offers of “unlimited” data transfer are actually unlimited. Many web hosts advertise unlimited data transfer in their offers, but tuck exceptions in the terms and conditions for the package. Common exceptions include video or non-HTML file downloads being limited, limits on CPU utilization, and general prohibitions on using “too many resources.”
Before picking a web host, check to see if they have some type of money-back guarantee, or even a trial special where you can test their service. There should be a way to get your investment and money back if you decide their hosting service is not for you. Most hosting companies will give you around 30 days.
If there was anything in your business that you should be willing to splurge on, it’s the power of a proper host. It will be one of the most important decisions you make, and if you choose wrong, it could end up meaning months of lost service and lost profits.
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