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Choosing a suitable web hosting company

After Investing In A Quality Website, Select A High-Quality Hosting Company

After developing a new site, whether you have designed and built the website yourself or engaged the services of a professional web design company like roi.com.au, your website will now need to be hosted by a web hosting company.

There are a lot of web hosting companies out there so how do you choose a suitable one? Here’s a list of of important issues to consider when choosing your web host, ranked in order of importance.

Supported Web Technologies

There are a number of different web technologies or programming languages that websites can be built in. You will need to ascertain the language/s that your website was built in before looking for a suitable web host.

HTM, HTML, XHTML

If your website is written entirely in either of these languages, you can select virtually any hosting provider.

PHP, CGI/PERL

If your website uses any of these languages, even if it’s only on a couple of pages, then you will need to host your site with a Linux or Unix web hosting company.

ASP, ASP.NET

If your website uses any of these languages then you will need to host your site with a Windows or IIS web hosting company. These companies are usually more expensive than Linux or Unix based hosting companies.

Server Location

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that the location of a web hosting company (in particular their hosting server) is not important.Below are some good reasons why location is definitely important.

  1. An Australian business that uses a .com website address and hosts with a company outside Australia will not be listed in Google Australia’s search results. This applies for all of Google’s country specific search engines around the globe.
  2. If the majority of your website traffic is local or from within your country then it is advisable to also host your website locally. This reduces any potential latency issues from overseas, ensuring your website always loads quickly.

Be wary of locally based web hosting companies that actually use an International server. You may as well be using an international hosting company.

Customer Service

Customer service is very important when selecting a website hosting company.

There are a number of very cheap hosting companies out there but when it comes to support they are usually very hard to get in contact with. It is important to know that if your website goes down or you are having email problems that you can get them resolved as quickly as possible.

When you have narrowed down a couple of different web hosting company choices, we suggest calling and emailing each company at least 3 or 4 times at different times during the week to measure how quickly they respond, how long you are placed on hold and how helpful the staff are. This will definitely help with your final choice of a high quality web hosting company.

Hosting Plans

It can be easy to get a little confused when comparing web hosting plans and their inclusions between different web hosting companies.

Web Space

To ascertain how much web space you need, simply find out the total size of all your website files. You will probably find that a lot hosting companies offer plans with ridiculously excessive web space to trick consumers into thinking they are getting additional benefits for the same cost. In reality, the extra space will most likely never be used and is not required.

Traffic (Bandwidth)

It is hard to initially determine how much bandwidth you will need but for a brand new website you will not need a great deal. Anything around 1-5GB of web traffic per month should be more than enough to start off with. You can always upgrade your account at a later date.

Uptime Guarantee

This is the percentage of time that your website is guaranteed to be live for. I wouldn’t accept anything less than 99.5% guaranteed uptime, preferably more. There is nothing worse than a potential client visiting your website only to find it doesn’t exist, chances are they will never return.

Email Accounts

Email accounts are fairly straightforward. Typically a business will have 1 email address for each person in the company plus another generic one [email protected]

Databases

If your website uses a Content Management System (administration system) or any other database driven facility then you will need at least 1 database. You can determine this from talking to your website design company. Most websites will never need any more than one database.

Control Panel Access

These days it is quite common for web hosting companies to provide clients with access to a control panel system. A control panel system gives you easy remote access to perform a number of necessary tasks on your website including management of email addresses, viewing website statistics, setting up FTP access and more.

It’s recommended not to host a website without one. CPanel is the leading control panel software, offering an extremely easy to use interface with extensive functionality.

Cost

For a base level locally hosted website, expect to pay anywhere between $10 – $35 AUD per month. Some web hosting companies charge a fee per month whereas others charge a total upfront fee for a whole year. This comes down to whatever is more suitable for your personal situation however you may be able to get a slightly better price when paying upfront for a year.

Although cost is important when comparing web hosting companies, all the points listed above are ultimately more important. Using a high quality, reliable, local web hosting company is of utmost importance for the ongoing success of your website and online business venture.