If there is any one element that can affect a website’s success, then that would be the web host. In order for websites to be seen by millions of Internet users, it needs to be stored on a web server. There are some administrators who choose to run their own servers because it offers greater flexibility. Unfortunately, hosting a site is not a simple task, it will require a lot of resources to secure and maintain.

Hence, most website owners prefer to purchase web hosting solutions from an internet service provider because this is much more convenient. By doing this, they no longer have to worry about server hardware, internet connection, software licenses, security and maintenance. All they have to do is to design the website, upload the files on a public server and access it through a domain. Keep in mind, however, that now all web hosting companies are the same. Not because a hosting plan is cheap doesn’t mean that it is a good deal. Many web administrators believe that typically in web hosting, you get what you pay for. Yet, the fact is that with proper research, it is possible to get a reliable web host without breaking the bank.

Here are some things you need to consider when choosing a good web host:

1. Support Because Internet users come from all over the world, it is important that your website is up 24 hours a day. Of course there will be instances when your site will experience problems in loading. In this case, it is important that your web host offers 24 hour support so you can fix the problem as soon as it comes up. Some hosting companies offer toll-free phones while others provide live chat and instant email support.

2. Backup There will be times when the hosting company’s hardware will experience a problem. To avoid the loss of valuable data, it is important for ISPs to have a daily backup for their database.

3. Traffic volume, bandwidth and content restrictions The more people visiting your site, the more bandwidth you need. Also, if you are planning to put up a graphic intensive site, then check if your ISP allows that. Also, make sure you are familiar with the company’s traffic volume restrictions. Some ISPs will allow considerable a significant amount of bandwidth for any particular site without the owner paying extra. Of course, if your site is getting 1 million hits per day, then you might need to upgrade your account.

4. Database access Some web hosts will disable your root access but will allow you to create a database for your own account. This is important especially if you are developing a website which requires tweaks from the backend.

5. Extensions Whether you are using PHP, Frontpage or SQL, make sure that your ISP has the necessary extensions to make your website work.

6. Other add-ons The more add ons to the account, the better. Some web hosting companies offers free domain name registration and email capabilities. Also, it is best to look for companies offering user friendly interface for installing third party software such as WordPress or Joomla.

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