One of the most critical and basic decisions associated with running a website is the right choice of web hosting. An improper choice will destroy the site’s potential right at the outset. The right choice will propel a site well ahead of its competitors. To get it right, many factors need to be considered.

To make it even harder, the considerations are different for each business and website. So there is no right or wrong way. For example, a dedicated server might be essential for large companies, but it would be a waste for individuals and small or mid-level companies.

Instead, it’s much more feasible to start off with shared hosting which costs at most a few dollars a month. No doubt this has certain limitations regarding use of resources on the shared server. As a middle of the road option, some might opt for a more flexible option like VPS hosting.

Yet more options include whether the hosting should be linux or windows and what kind of hosting package to choose. A company which simply has a few static pages and a contact form may not need a lot of bandwidth or scripts and tools. A basic package at the lowest cost is all that is required.

But others, including individuals and companies expecting lots of traffic, might want all the bells and whistles. For instance, running a blog requires scripts and a database to generate dynamic pages. This means a hosting package which allows for a MySQL database, PHP/CGI scripts and possibly also options like hosting for more domains and POP3 accounts.

Even assuming all these choices have been sorted through, that still doesn’t settle the matter of which company is good, or better than the rest. This calls for a little research and a judgment call. Important thing to remember is not to base this decision only on price. It has to be a combination of the company’s reputation, the support and services it offers, and other things like page loading speed, availability of SEO hosting and upgrade options.

The reputation can be verified by searching for web hosting reviews. Do a search for ‘xyz hosting reviews’ (xyz being the hosting company’s name), and read all available reviews on as many different sites as possible. The point is to ensure the company is on the up-and-up and there are no persistent complaints from many customers.

Even if the company passes this test, it still needs to be good enough in terms of page loading speed and SEO issues like Class-C IP addresses. If pages don’t load just as fast as the competition, that will kill a site’s visitor base and potential faster than anything else. Also, search engines are very picky about sites being in a bad neighborhood, so it’s important to make sure the host is able to separate sites from the impact of others sharing the same server.

In summary, every person or company has unique web hosting requirements. These issues, as mentioned above, can be sorted out quite easily. Beyond that, there are general aspects – aspects that can put one site ahead and another one behind, even with the same quality of content, presentation and traffic acquisition efforts. It is always better to find out all this right at the beginning, as opposed to a point where the site starts getting traffic and the hosting doesn’t match up to the task.

Remember to choose the best web hosting. You can choose FatCow which is very popular. Or you can choose iPage which is also positively reviewed.

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