A website can be created with a variety of purposes but the basic idea is to share information, news, views and thoughts. Small businesses know the importance of web hosting services and that value can be measured in profits – to the tune of billions of dollars. Web hosting enables you to get your small business known to the world. With a properly hosted website you can popularize your company and brand across the globe, especially to the target audiences who cannot be informed otherwise. To experience the benefits of creating websites, one needs to be careful while selecting a web host for an ecommerce website. Finding the best web hosting is often difficult and demands a lot of study and research work. When you look for information on web hosts, over the internet, several results come up. But the question is who these hosts are? Are they reliable? Can they provide you all sorts of benefits that are required? It is very essential to get answers to these questions before venturing for any web hosting service.

The following steps will guide you in getting your web hosting needs fulfilled:

The primary step is to identify the requirement of web hosting:

Once you are determined that you have to create a niche for your website in the Internet, it’s time to figure out the purpose of the website. Decide on what type of website you want to build. There are various types like, e-commerce, hobby site, interactive sites etc that can be adapted. If you want to feature an e-commerce site, security requirements are must. You will require Secure Sockets Layer encryption and also shopping carts which form the very basic components of an e-commerce site. If you want to feature a customer e-commerce site then it is essential that you select the right sort of web hosting environment that supports the various software systems. Blog sites are often developed in PHP or Perl/CGI scripting and these sites need access to MySQL or SQL databases. These factors are highly technical and those with little knowledge depend largely on the web hosts. Some web hosts take the advantage of the customer’s ignorance and charge unnecessarily for such information. Therefore the only solution is to gather some knowledge before hiring the web hosts.

Storage space

Usually it is your content and type of your website that determines the required storage space. A small website with lesser features and content needs less space. While a large website that includes numerous pages, videos, images and graphics will require more storage space. Basically, an e-commerce website includes huge information and a great deal of data. Thereby, these sites require more space than other sites. You can find some web hosts that offer separate databases to their clients, where others do not. However, separate databases often create trouble as the storage spaces provided are not always the same as your web host claimed earlier.

Deciding on the bandwidth

Another very important factor in web hosting is the bandwidth of a website. The bandwidth limit that your website needs could be found out by the number of hits that your website would experience. In simpler words, if your website is visited by many people and is highly popular then it would require a heavy bandwidth. Similarly, a website on which people hardly click can do with a low bandwidth. For example, if you have a simple website without too many features or contents and it’s assumed that it experiences less than 10 hits a day, then your bandwidth would be 8×10x30 per month.

It is a very important factor of web hosting. Therefore calculate the exact size of your website even before selecting a web hosting company. You can even ask your web host to determine the bandwidth requirement. In that case, you need to give a thorough specification of your website. If you own an online blogs or forum, it will need more bandwidth than any simple company websites. The reason is very simple. The visitors in blogs and forums also participate actively.

Important features of Web hosting

The next thing that you need to do is to select the web hosting features that are required for your website. Websites can be developed using simple HTML or using PHP/ASP and Flash. No matter what are the technical bases of the website is, you need to get it clarified from the web hosts that they have support to such services or not. Programming languages are of foremost requirements as they determine the look and feel of your website. As the owner of your website, you need special access to it. These accesses are provided with the help of FTP or Telnet. But what kind of access you need to your website will have to clarified and checked out with your web hosting service provider.

Various web hosting:

There are several types of web hosting services offered by the web hosts. Each of these services is based on the budget and purposes of the web hosts. Web hosting includes shared, dedicated, managed, server co-location, reseller and free web hosting services. Depending on the website requirements of your budget you can make your selection. For large websites and companies with big budget, dedicate web hosting is always preferred whereas, for small business, with less or low budget, free web hosting is preferred. All these type of web hosting have their own pros and cons and hence you can go about any of these provided the web host is authentic.

Some of the tips to move ahead:

* It is essential to estimate the quality of data that a website would generate. This can be an approximate estimation that would change with time and growth of the website of course.

* If you are going for a speared database then you must check out be careful about the extra charge that the web host is levying on you for the database.

* It is recommended that you keep some keep some bandwidth and disc space in store for your website if you expect it to grow in the near future.

* Beware of web host who claim to provide you with unlimited bandwidth as bandwidths and storage spaces can never be unlimited. They always have a limit defined.

* Always consider the Operating System you are using for your site. Usually, Windows web hosts offer access to a large number of technologies, which are not available with Linux or UNIX web hosts.

* Do not always think of price. If possible try to keep your budget flexible to experience the bets of services.

* There is no need to change your web hosts unless there is an urgent situation.

* Check out the type of domain name services provided by the web hosting company. For search engine rules, related and significant domain name with that of the website and its goal is very important.

* Find if the web host can offer you ample information on SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This would determine the ranking of your website in the popular search engines like that of Google, Yahoo and MSN.

* There are numerous web hosting directories that can give you detailed information about such web hosting companies that provide a great deal of services. Find out each and every type of services provided by these companies. Even consider the project that have completed and read client reviews before opting for them.

About the author: Gregory Trune is a staff writer for WebHostingMadness.com and web hosting industry blogger. Visit WebHostingMadness.com to read his reviews and ratings of the top web hosting companies each month.