Tips For Getting The Best Web Hosting Service
Creating a website to advertise a business can be as simple as a single page of text announcing, “Eat at Joe’s for the Best Barbeque Spare Ribs”. But creating the page and having it visible to potential clients are two different matters. And that’s where website hosting comes into play.
Web hosting companies store all of the data that comprises a web site, and they allow 24/7 access to that information through a network of servers. When choosing a website hosting service, consider the following options carefully before choosing the service that best suits the need of the business:
• Monthly fee – must be budgeted into the cost of doing business
• Reliability – a service that crashes every few days is poor advertising• Features – does the service charge for extra pages, does it offer design assistance?• Customer support – is someone knowledgeable available to help?
• Ease of use- can the average person create a site or does it require an IT specialist?
• Disk space – if the site is graphic- or sound-intensive, does the service have enough space to handle these special needs?
• Bandwidth – determines the amount of traffic that the site is allowed to handle,
especially important for downloading graphics, sound, or large amounts of data
Website hosting services run the gamut from those that basically provide space for a
business to park a few pages, to those that assist with all aspects of design and
Yahoo! Small Business is an excellent site for the do-it-yourself website creator. It is inexpensive and highly reliable. Yahoo! Small Business guarantees that the server will run smoothly 99.9% of the time, which only makes sense, as Yahoo’s global search engines also rely on those servers. Yahoo! Small Business also offers unlimited disk space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email storage, a free domain name, easy-to-use design tools, and 24/7 customer support. With over 13,000 employees, signing on with Yahoo! Small Business is like bringing an entire small city to work for your business.
FireHost has a slightly different focus with its hosting service. Unlike all the companies that talk about how much they’re giving you and how cheap it is, FireHost is mostly concerned with online security. They offer redundancy on several levels, making your data extra safe. Although FireHost’s prices are not nearly as cheap as many hosting services, they boast better security than 99% of the other guys. If you’re running a business that’s going to be gathering important information (such as credit card numbers) from your customers, that’s something you will definitely want to keep in mind.
MediaTemple has an impressive array of high-profile clients (StarBucks, Toyota, Sony), but they make it clear that they cater to small businesses and individuals just as well. They offer many tiers of hosting, from the affordable to the high-end individual packages. Although their cheapest package does not offer unlimited e-mails, subdomains, and SQL databases, it still has more than enough included to fit most people’s needs. One nice thing about MediaTemple’s hosting is that it has many software packages that you can install with a single click. These include shopping carts, blogging software, and web site management software that make updating easy. Clearly with so many big-name clients, they can also be trusted to stick around and not rip you off. MediaTemple offers 24/7/365 customer service, as well.
Just Host is another of the many great low-cost options out there for web hosting. The normal price is cheap, but occasionally JustHost will offer special deals that drive their prices down into the unbelievably cheap range. They also offer you a domain name for life, unlike many companies which require you to pay the roughly $10/year renewal charge. As with most hosting companies, you receive unlimited e-mail accounts, subdomains, bandwidth and SQL databases with JustHost. In addition, they have a free easy-to-use site builder for those who don’t want to mess around with HTML on their own. For getting your business out there, JustHost gives new customers free advertising credit with Yahoo!, Google, and MySpace.
FatCow is another great option, especially if the business in ecologically minded, as FatCow’s platform is powered 100% by wind energy. Fat Cow is inexpensive, and its servers operate smoothly 94% of the time. FatCow also offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains and emails per account, online shopping services such as a shopping cart and the ability to integrate PayPal, easy-to-use design tools, and 24/7 customer support.
DreamHost offers big-company services and support with a family-based approach. As a family-owed company, DreamHost is interested in working with its clients, not in selling the company to a conglomerate. DreamHost offers 100% reliability, and a 97-day guarantee (roughly three times longer than companies). DreamHost is committed to its clients and to the next generation of clients through its pledge to remain carbon neutral, and backs that pledge with the Environment Protection Agency’s Certificate of Carbon Neutralization. DreamHost offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains and emails per account, easy-to-use design tools, and 24/7 customer support. One additional feature that sets DreamHost apart from its competition is its focus on its customers. DreamHost’s control panel contains links for customer suggestions, DreamHost newsletters, the “Site of the Month”, DreamHost donations, and many other features to engender the feeling of community between DreamHost and the clients that it serves.
If you need more than just a web hosting service, you can use a service such as Site2You.com. On this site you can create your own website, using their online site editor and premium templates. Ones finished it will host your website, domain name, E-mail and comes with an easy to use blog system.