What To Look For In A Good Web Hosting Company

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This must be the most frequent question I get asked. What makes a good web hosting company. What should I look for in a web hosting company and what services do I really need.

In this article I'm going to be looking at web hosting services as if this was the first time you have ever wanted to choose a web hosting company. It will take you through most of the features you will find with most web hosting companies.

Here are some of the things you should look for when choosing web hosting services for your online business.

This is part 1 in a part 2 series looking into what makes a good web hosting company.

Disk Space

Disk space is the amount of data you can store on your server. Think of it like its the hard drive of your web hosting account. You can store all your files in here. Your files can then be accessible (or not accessible if you so wish) for people to download from your website.

How much disk space you need depends on how much and what you're going to be storing. If you only want to host a blog and have no real downloads then you don't need a lot of disk space, however, if you want to store video or music files or any large file types then you will need quite a bit of free disk space.

Transfer Allowance

Transfer allowance (bandwidth) is how much data that can be downloaded from your website. This is a big thing to consider when choosing a web hosting company. There is nothing worse then when you exceed your data transfer limit and not knowing that you did. Why? Because your web hosting company suspends your service until either the next month or you pay for more transfer allowance.

Bandwidth is not cheap for hosting companies. If you're not sure how much bandwidth you are going to need, contact the hosting company and tell them exactly what you are going to be doing and they will be able to tell you what you need. Also, make sure you keep a close eye on how much bandwidth you really do use, which you can do in your control panel.

Reliability

Reliability is a huge factor. You can't do business if your websites are down all the time. I had this happen to me once and it was a very big problem because I then had to transfer all my files over to another hosting company, plus miss out on sales because my web hosting company could not keep my website up.

Most web hosting companies tell you that they have a 99.9% uptime but it is rarely the case. The only way to find out a web hosting companies reliability is to use google search for reviews on the web hosting company you want to use.

Control Panel

This is where you manage your website. This is where you can do everything to your web hosting account. You should be able to access your control panel any time any where. The control panel, as it suggests is the center hub of your website. It's where you can change every item listed below to how you want it.

POP3 Email Accounts

"POP3 is an electronic mail protocol used to retrieve messages stored on an Internet/intranet e-mail server."

That's the fancy way to put it. Here's how I put it.

Ever wondered how businesses get their own email addresses. For example, Webmaster@yourdomainnamehere.com. Well this is how. This is where you can create email addresses for your online business. Most web hosting companies offer you at least 10 email addresses. Meaning you can have many *@yourdomainnamehere.com email addresses for your company.

FTP Access And Web FTP

FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. In other words, it's how you transfer files to your website so they can be viewed and downloaded. To use FTP you need a piece of FTP software like WS_FTP which is my favorite FTP software and its free.

If however, you don't want to do these, you can log into your web hosting control panel and upload (transfer) files to your website through your web hosting Web FTP service.

99% of hosting companies now have a Web FTP service you can use.

Speed

I think we can all agree there is nothing worse then a slow loading web page. Makes us want to click away and go somewhere else almost instantly, no matter how much we wanted to see what was on this web site.

Try to google for "hosted by Company Name". What you can do to test the speed theory of a web hosting company is to go check out these websites and see how fast they load for you. This will give you some idea of how fast your website will load with their hosting service.

Well that was part 1 of this series in a 2 part series, look out for the next article entitled What to look for in a good web hosting company Part 2.

MarbleHost has been providing reliable web hosting services SINCE 2005.