Creating a website is the obvious first step for launching your web-based business. But before you can actually create the site, you’re going to need a host.
A web host is basically a service that stores the physical data of your website, and places it on their server for everyone on the Internet to get access to it. There are seven factors to take into account when looking for the best web hosting for your site.
1. Type of hosting
What type of website are you going to create? If it’s a simple one for your business, regular shared hosting shouldn’t be a problem. If it’s an online retailer, you may want dedicated hosting — or possibly even your own virtual private server.
Consider the purpose of your website to help you select the type of hosting that would suit your business the best.
2. Site-building tools
Most web hosts will offer some tools to help you build your site, but these site builders will often be simple — not to mention proprietary (they’ll only work on the servers of that company).
If you want more versatility, you’ll need to find a host that allows you to use site-building tools like WordPress or Joomla!, which are consistent across every host.
3. Ease of use
If this is your first website, you’ve probably never heard of systems like cPanel or ISPConfig, much less used them. You want to find a host that will allow you to upload your website easily, set up a blog, and make other additions to your website without any hassle.
You may not know how to use FTP, so finding a host that uses a simple control panel will make it much easier to build your website from scratch.
4. Email accounts
You probably want an email account for your website ([email protected]’sname.com), so identify a web host that will give you those kind of options. Some hosts will offer you a set number of accounts, while others offer unlimited accounts, mailboxes, autoresponders, and so on.
This will appear more professional, and it will make it much easier for you to stay in touch with your customers and visitors.
5. Website log access
Once you launch the website, you’ll want to be able to download the logs. They’ll help you track incoming and outgoing traffic, monitor your analytics, etc. All entrepreneurs will want to access these logs, so make sure your site host allows you to download them.
Ask your web host how to download your website logs (website link) if you don’t know how.
6. Space for growth
Most newbie websites will use very little bandwidth and storage space. You’ll have few visitors at first, so you won’t need a lot of bandwidth available. You won’t be storing too many MB of data — usually in the form of videos and images. However, eventually you will want to expand and grow.
As you get more traffic, you’ll need more bandwidth. As you amass more images and video files, you’ll need more storage. Make sure your web host can expand to meet your needs, or upgrade you to a different type of hosting as your website demands.
7. Load speed
Website load speed is extremely vital to your success. People spend an average of 7 seconds on a website, but if 5 of those seconds consists of waiting for the page, they won’t stick around. If you want your website to succeed, you’ll need the pages to load quickly.
You should test the speed of your web host, and look for a host with a pingback speed of no higher than 80. The lower the number, the better.
Choosing the right Windows web hosting can be a challenge, so weigh all the factors above to help you make the right choice!