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Identifying the Right Web Hosting Company

by Fei Lim

With the advent of the internet, businesses are breaking geographical boundaries and attaining quick global dimension. There is no barrier of distance with online buying and selling. The buyer and seller can be located in any part of the world. This has increased the potential of every business to see greater profit. Success in business in today’s E-commerce era is directly proportional to the strength of your online presence. In order to have a strong online presence you need a reliable web hosting service provider.

As you know, it is just not sufficient to own a highly interactive and expensive website. There is no use having a highly sophisticated shopping cart if it cannot be accessed by outside world. The main aim is to gain visibility. Your website will be accessible to the public only when it is live online. It requires a 24/7 online presence of your website so that you do not miss out on opportunities that come your way. If the server you are using to host your website is going to break down frequently, then you will be disadvantaged at various levels. So server breakdowns are highly undesirable.

When the server breaks down, people will not be able to access your website and they will get error messages such as, “Page cannot be displayed.” If this is going to happen often, then your website will lose a considerable amount of visitor traffic. It will block the new visitors and also frustrate regular visitors.

At another level, poor server uptime will affect your search engine placements. When the search engines crawl the web, they will not be able to access your website and your website will not be indexed. This means that you are going to miss out on the competition until the next indexing, which sometimes takes place only after three months. So, for these three months you will lose your potential visitor traffic.

Sometimes, web hosting companies pack too many websites on the same server on shared hosting. This will lead to server imbalance due to overload. There will be slow loading of your web pages and also the connection to the server will be disconnected often. Sometimes, you will not be able to access your admin panel to upload or manage your ftp account.

To protect yourself from all this, you need to shop around for a reliable web hosting service provider. While considering your web-hosting company and your web-hosting plan take into consideration your specific requirements. One of the common mistakes people make is to search for the cheapest web hosting company available online. They use cost as the main criteria to decide their web-hosting company. You might get a cheap offer, but in the long run it will be a very costly mistake as you lose your website traffic due to poor online performance. With the cut-throat competition in the web hosting industry, you can get hosting plans as low as $9 per year. But you need to take into consideration the post sales service and support that you get. There are many frustrated webmasters who do not get a response from their web host before they send five to six mails and make several follow-up calls to have their problems rectified. It is all the more critical when you happen to face problems with your website on a Friday night, as, often, it has to wait until Monday morning. However, there are many good web-hosting companies that offer 24/7 customer support to its members. So you need to take into consideration all of this before you sign up with your web-hosting company.

Server security could be another concern. Often website databases contain sensitive data such as customer banking details and credit card information that cannot be risked. Your web hosting company is responsible for the security of your data online. You need to find out the security features used by your web host. Regular back up of your data, too, should be part of your web-hosting package. Webmasters normally do not have a back up of their website files in a local system. They rely on their web host’s back up features. If something should go wrong, you should be able to retrieve your website and restore it to its latest functioning point.

Look for hosting configurations that will suit your specific need. If you do not find a suitable package, you can ask for a customized package. You can always play with your hosting configuration and your budget. What you cannot compromise is your server’s uptime.

Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2006