by: James A. Warholic
Once you have gone through the domain name registration process the next stage is choosing a host company. With hundreds if not thousands of hosting service providers online, it can be a frustrating task of selecting a service provider to host your domain name.
I am always the cynic when it comes to referrals online. It is so easy to make a company look great with good recommendations for different hosting providers that it is hard to filter out the good with the bad at times. Even after careful analysis and checking out forums I have come to the realization that things are not always perfect unless you are willing to pay for high redundancy.
Some key points to consider in choosing a host provider
- What is their customer service response time? Can you talk to a live person? Do they provide a contact phone number? Can you get a hold of them?
- How long have they been in business?
- Pick a provider that does not allow obscene material.
- How easy is it to navigate the control panel?
- If more than one website is going to be run then consider having a reseller type account.
- Check out the forums online for recommendations.
- Do searches for the providers name to see what types of comments are mentioned from other websites.
- Keep options open for streaming video and audio. Not all companies have this option.
- Provide enough hard drive storage and bandwidth to cover your needs.
- Consider the type of operating systems. Linux or Windows based. Linux based systems are generally less expensive.
- Email considerations. How many email boxes will you be having? IMOP that unlimited boxes are the way to go.
- Email Forwarding
- Are there SPAM filters and spyware blocking built in?
- Online access to email or Web eMail.
- Mailing Lists
- Consider shopping cart software for selling items from your website.
- Provide for Databases such as MYSQL Database.
- Provide SSL (secure socket layer) for secure transmission of data.
- Web apps for more advanced site development such as PHP and MOD_PERL.
- Expansion into other forms of content delivery such as Podcasting.
- Does it have the capablities for setting up blogs?
- Option for dedicated IP address.
- Subdomain provisions
- Setting up Forums.
- Bulletin Boards.
- Frontpage Extensions for those that use MS Frontpage
- Access to log files and web site statistics.
- Consider the cost.
If a service provider loads their computers up with hundreds of clients then this will ultimately slow down the down load speed at which someone could get access to your B2B or B2C website. New domain hosting service providers are showing up continually. Do not get locked into a long term contract with any one Domain host. If a problem occurs it is much easier to switch to another service. If you are having problems right now you can always switch to the new Host before you cancel with the old. This provides for a seamless integration with no down-time for the website.
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