|Do you regularly buy goods online? Does this experience sound
familiar.. you go to an e-commerce website, only to find, to
your annoyance, an excruciatingly slow response. You wait over 5
minutes for the next page to load. In the end you give up, and
never make that purchase. Presumably many other people also give
up, causing the loss of many other purchases.
Now imagine that you own that website, and run that online
business. You set everything up properly, but you find that many
people face the situation described above. You lose customers,
and eventually you lose your business, and all this principally
because you chose the wrong web hosting plan.
You see, when you set up any online business, I cannot over-
stress the importance of choosing the right hosting company and
In choosing a web hosting plan, you must decide whether to go
for shared or dedicated hosting. With a shared hosting plan,
your website co-exists with other websites on a computer, known
as a server. With a dedicated hosting plan, your site, and your
site alone resides upon just one server. You can get a good
shared hosting plan for under $10 per month, whereas dedicated
hosting plans can cost from $50 to over $100 a month.
For shared hosting, one server handles the traffic (visitors)
coming to all the websites it accommodates. So if your site
shares a server with other high-traffic sites, then it could run
slow because the server works extra hard. Maybe the site will
run slow at peak times during the day, when you would expect
most customers to come and buy, causing the nightmare scenario
above. However, hosting companies usually use many servers, with
only a limited number of sites on each, thus spreading the load.
I therefore advise you to read reviews on hosting companies to
see whether people complain about sites slowing down due to
overloading. I will say more on reviews later.
For dedicated hosting, your traffic does not compete with
traffic to any other web sites. However, this costs much more,
so I do not recommend dedicated hosting unless absolutely
When choosing a hosting plan, you must consider bandwidth. I'll
give you a simple explanation of bandwidth. If your hosting plan
allows you 10GB of monthly bandwidth, it allows you 10GB
(10,000MB) of data transfer from your site each month. If each
visitor to your site accesses pages containing 300kB (0.3MB) of
data on average, then your plan allows you 10,000 / 0.3 = 30,000
visitors a month, or 1000 visitors a day. Ask yourself, do I
need more than that?
Imagine the scene: your site averages 2000 visitors a day. Two
weeks into the month, with your monthly bandwidth quota used up,
your site "goes offline" until the beginning of next month, or
until you buy more bandwidth. How devastating for your business!
Take my advice: get enough bandwidth before you start.
Most importantly, you must know the effectiveness of your
hosting company's customer support. Many companies offer 24/7
phone support, where you can ring them up any time day or night
with a problem. But imagine this scenario:
You created a database on your site for storing all your
customers' details. One day, the data gets corrupted, and
everybody accessing your site sees an error message. Trust me,
it happens! You need an administrator to tweak the database at
their end. You must get this sorted out immediately but the
hosting company gave you only an email address, so you send an
email. Then you could wait two days for a reply. Many companies
would actually email you back within the hour. However, a
company with 24/7 phone support allows you to talk directly to a
real person. He or she could then keep you informed of the
situation as it progresses.
Always look at the hosting company's "uptime guarantee". Many
guarantee 99% uptime for their servers, which sounds quite high
at first, but it does mean that your site could go down for 1%
of the time: over 7 hours out of each month! If you can, choose
a host guaranteeing 99.7% uptime.
When you decide upon a hosting company, always look at what
other people say about them. Go to Google.com and type the web
hosting company name, and "reviews" or "testimonials". This will
give you a very rich list of sites where you can read other
peoples' reviews, testimonials, reports, etc. so you can form an
educated opinion. A word of warning, you will always find
someone who says something negative about even the best web
So finally, before settling for a specific hosting plan and
entrusting your precious online business to them, ask yourself
these simple questions:
* Do they provide 24/7 phone support, not just email support?
* Does their bandwidth allow the number of visitors that you
* Does the hosting plan enable your site to avoid going slow?
What do the reviews say? What do the testimonials say?
* What uptime do they guarantee? Would your business survive
your site going down for the remaining percentage each month?
* And can you find plenty of good reviews, and testimonials of
many happy customers, and no too many complaints?
If you can answer yes to all these questions, then go for it! I
wish you every success with your online business.
About the author:
Do you need a good, reliable but low cost web host?
Ian Clarence has put together HostCream.com.
Everybody says different things about web hosting, but
HostCream.com regularly searches the internet for peoples' views
on the best affordable web hosting package.
=>Visit http://www.hostcream.com before you choose!
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