Without good hosting, it really doesn’t matter how good a website is. It is necessary to find a good web host right at the start, rather than risk jumping around from host to host after the site is operational. Listed below are some tips that’ll help clarify the factors involved in making this decision.

Reviews: Positive reviews posted on the internet are what keep a web host in business. There are so many hosts and review sites and thousands of reviews, so finding all the reviews for a specific host is a bit tricky. Easiest way is to google a host with a query like “xyz hosting reviews” or related combinations. Read many reviews before making a decision, because one review is never going to reveal everything about the host.

Price: The cost is subjective, based on the needs. What kind of bandwidth and disk space is the site going to need? Is a shared server sufficient, or does the project need a dedicated server? How about email accounts and domains, sub-domains, FTP accounts, etc?

Then there is the add-on pricing to be considered. Some hosts offer free domains, while most will ask site owners to buy a domain. Some hosts are eCommerce ready, and others offer free design tools. There are so many things a website might need, and it’s better to figure out the needs, and then find a host that offers everything required under the base price.

Windows vs Linux: The server OS is an important choice that need to be made, because it’s hard to switch once the site is operational. Some scripts such as Wordpress don’t run on Windows servers. On the other hand, Microsoft’s ASP won’t run on Linux web hosts. If all this doesn’t make much sense, it’s best to look it up now because it gets pretty hard later on if a website needs a blog and it’s hosted on a Windows server.

SEO: Many people find out quite late that search engines like some hosts better than others. It’s mostly because of the algorithm and the science behind running web servers. Page loading speeds vary from host to host, and each one hosts specific categories of websites on different IP ranges. It’s a bit hard to grasp for those unfamiliar with these things, but it is very important for getting more search traffic. Look up what a bad neighborhood means (as relates to a web host) and what a Class-C IP address has to do with SEO.

Features: Whatever the needs or price or package, some things should always be available. This includes FTP access, control panel with cPanel or Plesk, email accounts with webmail, script functionality (CGI-BIN, PHP & MySQL), web analytics and access to log files. There are many more features that each host offers, but these are the main ones that most people will need, and if a host if not offering these, then find another one.

In summary, it’s not enough to simply find web hosting at the cheapest price or one that offers a 24 hour support hotline. Choosing a web host is a complex issue, based on price, the website’s purpose and needs, and the reputation of the web host.

We’ve got the ultimate inside scoop on how to pick a good webhosting provider now in our complete email hosting review.

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