Key factors in selecting a web host!

By Kevin Needham

Tips for selecting a low-cost web host

I  would like to explain key factors in selecting a web host. Locating the proper web hosting company for your business is NOT a chore to be taken lightly... I've had the opportunity to sample a number of web hosting companies (four to be exact). I'd like to invite you to take a moment and learn from my experience in this area.

If you have ever moved your web site, you know that moving from host to host is a lot of work,computer.jpg (13086 bytes) especially if you have scripts associated with your site, secure web space etc, etc. So the next time you move your web site, make it your last.

The facts of web hosting according to A.I.M :-)

Basically, web hosting services fall into one of 3 categories:

1) Free, no frills, someone else's domain, 1-5 pages or a few meg of storage, no real support.

2) Budget, free set up, under $30/mo., FTP management, support available online during regular business hours.

3) Full service, nominal set up fee, $35+/mo., web based site management interface, 24 hr. 7 day live response support, FTP available but not necessary.

At first glance, there is no simple choice especially for the "new to the web". You may be tempted to save a few bucks when signing up with a web host provider. (I certainly was until I learned from my mistakes!) Let me explain why this decision deserves careful consideration...

Choice one above is excellent for personal, family, hobby or club, and "for fun" webmastering - NOT for business. In order to operate a profitable business online, you will require much more file storage space and ownership of your own domain name.

Some places to get free web hosting are:

Choice two above looks, at least on the surface, to be a good choice. After all, most of the low-cost web hosting companies "promise" free tech support. However, there is a big problem with many of these companies that you do not learn about until it is too late. The fact is, they simply cannot deliver on their promise. Their low rates and constant customer turnover simply do not allow for the proper staffing required to deliver on this promise of "support". (I know this first-hand, as one such popular low-cost host left my secure site dead for days!)

Which brings us to choice three - Professional, high quality web hosting. Oh, you'll pay a little more to get set up and a bit more monthly, but the fact is, in business, just as in life, you get what you pay for. This adage rings true in web hosting as well. If you are serious about your business and more importantly, your time, consider starting at the top. Use a web hosting company that will be ready to help you - any hour of the day, any day of the week. Make sure you also get web based site management - instead of just FTP, and the most current technology available online, like Fast T3 lines, Java, stats reporting, RealAudio, RealVideo, and your own web search engine.

Now that you have the facts, you can make a decision on the 'type' of host you need based on your requirements.

Regards, Kevin Needham
Publisher, A.I.M. Ezine

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