If you want a website, you should know that finding a web host is that first crucial step. It all seems pretty simple on the surface. You sign up with a company for a monthly fee, upload your content to their web server and they serve your pages for the world to view. However, beneath the surface are a number of factors that makes selecting a web host more challenging than it seems.
In order for your web hosting adventure to be smooth, there are three critical mistakes you need to avoid. If you want to establish yourself as an online business owner, these mistakes should be avoided at all costs.
It’s hard not to find interest in a “free” service. When it comes to web hosting, you can reduce your start up costs significantly by signing up with a free host. Sounds good but take heed – the negatives outweigh the positives by far. More often than not, this type of service is only free because it is being sponsored by other companies, companies that want to liter your web pages with advertisements. That doesn’t sound like having your own business at all. The visitors you bring in could end becoming someone else’s customers. Or perhaps visitors will view your site as unprofessional and don’t even bother to return. With advertisements cluttering your site and a free provider’s stamp appended to the end of your URL, this only makes a good option for someone looking to have fun with a personal website.
Paid hosting outweighs free services easily with thousands of providers on the market. However, not all paid hosts are created equal. Some of them are limited and will only provide you with the basics. For this reason, you should avoid any companies that don’t offer or allow you to incorporate essential items such as web forms, email accounts and shopping carts into your website. Here are a couple of useful features you should look out for: adequate bandwidth, storage space, multiple email accounts, database access. While the features all depend on the individual needs of your site, these are necessary services that should be included with an hosting plan.
Here is where things get tricky. Some companies will advertise their service as “cheap hosting” while others in the industry look down upon such solutions. Even if you are trying to host on a budget, stay cautious of providers offering plans for around $2 per month. When the price for hosting is this low, there is usually something hidden in the fine lines of the contract, something that could tremendously impact your bottom line. If you are working with limited resources, raise the bar a little higher and look for a company offering packages from $5 to $10 per month. Some might still consider this as a cheap service, but there are many reliable providers that fall into this price bracket.
The web hosting industry is like a jungle with companies swinging from all angles to win your service. Jot down a list of what your site requires to be successful, do a little research and go out and find a company that meets those needs. After landing a winner, you will be more than happy that you did.