|1. Support. Is there really anybody there? Send them a |
question by email and see how long they take to respond.
You want to know if
they'll be there when you need them.
Some offer 24-hour support and a few will respond quickly.
Speedy customer service is rare and indicates a superior
service. I think that this is the single most important
consideration. Also, check out the quality of their online documentation.
2. Server performance. You want a server that is reliable
and fast. There is a free tool available that allows you
to evaluate this before making a decision! NetMechanic.com will
measure the speed of access for all facets of access (network
speed, DNS lookup, connect time, download time, and absence of timeouts).
The "download time" statistic is the most important
single item to compare. Collect your list of candidate hosting
services and run side-by-side tests of all the candidates.
Sample during peak and non-peak times for optimal comparison.
3. Are they familiar with the application you plan to use?
planning to use a particular application that requires
special setup parameters (such as Online Merchant, a popular
online store), make sure your potential host is familiar with
the application. Otherwise you may find yourself spending a
great deal of time trying to figure out how to configure it -
perhaps never succeeding!
4. Traffic allowance. Compare your traffic allowances. Some
services give you a small limit on the amount of material that
can be downloaded from your site each month and charge you
large amounts when that limit is exceeded. Some offer huge
traffic allowances (several thousand MB/month, where 1,000 MB
= 1 GB) for the same price as others that limit you to a few
hundred MB/month. Sure you probably need less than a hundred
MB/month now, but why put yourself in a position where you
have to move when your traffic takes off? Plan ahead and allow
5. Space. How much space do you expect to eventually want
for your web site? Planning ahead can save you lots of money
later. If you expect to grow, look for a place that offers
sites of 100 MB or more. Some services offer 500 MB sites for
less money than others that offer only 30 MB.
6. Features. Consider what features you want to simplify
development of your web site.
-Do you want access to a cgi-bin so that you can install
your own scripts?
-Do you want many scripts pre-installed and pre-
-Do you want to be able to use
-Do you want autoresponders for email processing?
-Do you want email aliases (automatic forwarding) so you
need to check email in more than one place?
7. Guarantee. With so many hosting services to choose from,
why not choose one that offers a guarantee? Services that
offer a moneyback guarantee are confident that
delighted with their service.
8. Cost. Look for hidden costs when comparing price.
-Do they expect you to pay for a long term in advance
to get a good price? Choose one that doesn't
you with a low price
that's only available if you
make a long-term commitment.
-Will they handle the registration of your domain for
transferring an existing domain, will they
submit the domain change to InterNIC for free?
Choosing an excellent service to host your web site doesn't
have to require luck. Knowing what to look for makes selection
Good luck with your marketing and God Bless.
About the Author
Tracy Perrin is a well-known online marketer
who has contributed to many websites and ezines. His latest project
is 500Megabytes.com. Your One Stop Hosting Solution for low cost
web site hosting plans - $24.95/mo. Low cost domain name
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