Maintaining a Web site involves a number of steps, with one of the most important ones being choosing the right Web host. At best, selecting a wrong Web host can lead to wasted effort. You may end up losing all the work you have spent your precious time and money preparing.
The market is awash with a dizzying number of Web hosts, and making the right selection can be challenging. Will you have complete control over your account or will the host hold your files when you decide to transfer?
The following steps will help you make an educated selection.
Determine Your Own Requirements
What do you want to do with your Web site? Is it simply for leisure? Do you want to promote your local business? Would you like to make money online? If you just want to play around with your Web site, then a free Web host will suffice. However, you will need more if you want to generate income from your Web site.
Will You Get a Good Web Site Builder?
Although many Web hosts provide Web site builders to help clients who do not have any programming skills, the systems are generally proprietary. This means they only work on the servers of the hosting companies that provide them. You will be forced to build your Web site afresh if you transfer to another Web host.
Size of Web Site and Experience
Does the Web host have a system that will help you set up a forum or blog even if you do not know what takes place behind the scenes? For example, features like ispCP, ISPConfig or cPanel allow users to access files even if they do not know how to use file transfer protocol (FTP). Although the systems are useful, they only make sense if you want to host a relatively small Web site. You will find it difficult to update corporate Web sites.
Will You Get E-Mail with Your Domain Name?
You should preferably choose a Web host that provides unlimited e-mail aliases, pop mailboxes and autoresponders that help you keep in touch with both existing and potential customers. You will also appear more professional if your email addresses have your own domain name.
Which Uploading Methods do They Use?
If you want to transfer a lot of data, then you will take too much time with an online manager. You will have more flexibility if you have access to FTP. If you do not know how to use FTP, ensure the online manager provided is good.
Tracking Your Web Site
Take Web site tracking seriously if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. The Web host should give you access to your logs via download.
Consider Future Growth
Consider the space your Web host gives you and determine whether it will accommodate the growth of your Web site. However, watch against over-buying.
Michele Golden is an aspiring blogger and journalist who enjoys taking pictures of her home state of Vermont. When shes not blogging, shes working on her new managed reseller hosting business.