With the intention of assisting you on planning and building your own website, we have gathered significant information for you in this article. Three major steps should be taken into consideration when setting a website to work: the choice of a web host, a domain name and the selection of an application to come up and control your website content.
How to choose a web host?
When undertaking a website project you should firstly consider choosing a web host. It is a must to have a place to host your website before having it available in the World Wide Web. Such place is given by the web hosting provider. The web hosting service integrates the area where your files are kept, the website traffic and plenty of extra services like firewall protection, assistance with technical issues, email, FTP access, domain registration, tools for creating the website and more.
So as to decide on a web host for your website you have to take a look into some considerable issues:
Price: Can you work with a web host that is free?
There are many people who look for free web hosting providers, generally when dealing with their first web site. This is only logical – you are not sure on how to evaluate hosting services and you see the fees. But once you start handling a web site, you will come across with many other things that are also significant, apart from the price. For an instance, free or very inexpensive hosts share ads on your web pages and usually offer none technical assistance. Following, there is a list of the most important facts when selecting a host for your project.
If you have compared some hosting providers and they suit your budget and technical needs, you should next look into costumer feedback. Information in Google, Yahoo or any hosting directories is largely displayed. Most likely, you will get to know if the provider is trust worthy, if responds fast, if carries out the uptime numbers promised and if clients are fine with it. Thus, see and check for hosting reviews.
At least once in a while, technical assistance will be needed from your web host. By the time you begin working on your web site, you will encounter some questions; getting started, uploading files, creating an email account, and so on.
From time to time, you will have the need of having those questions answered in the less time possible or even at the moment. Consequently, you will need a web host you can provide technical assistant at any time, any day. Any question should preferably have an answer in a 2hs. range, maximum. Despite the velocity of solutions, check if the support given is also competent. Also, do not expect phone support lines to be of any help, they will always be busy in need. Probably the most efficient system is ticketing, which is used by the main companies, where you send all technical details required to have your inquire answered in, mostly, less than an hour.
Hosting features: web space, bandwidth, etc.
What you can do with hosting plans is in constant growth. Back in 2003, 5MB was the maximum disk space for a hosting plan. In 2009 pretty much everybody offers unlimited space for practically everything. Anyways, always take a second look at details like this, because it might be narrowed.
Does the hosting provider support?
- Email , SMTP, POP3, Auto responders, Email forwarders:
When in possession of your own website, you most likely would like to have one or more email addresses at your domain, for instance: email@example.com. You might also want to check for items like POP3 and SMTP (IMAP as well) so as to obtain web mail capabilities. In the case of auto responder, the idea is that you can answer to the sender with an automatic response. Also, see if you will be able to forward a message from one email address to other, for e.g. to have all mails arriving to firstname.lastname@example.org forwarded to email@example.com.
- PHP, MySQL, Cron Jobs:
In order to have a dynamic website, PHP/MySQL capabilities are a must. Moreover, cron jobs will be useful for programs that you require regularly (for example, once a day).
- Website tools:
The host you choose will be able to give you free tools to build your website, like blogs, CMS, forums… Such tools will surprisingly help you with any work for your website and will spare you plenty of money on developers or web designers.
- E-commerce – Shopping cart, SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer):
In the case that you are thinking of a website based on e-commerce, it will be necessary to have an SSL certificate and shopping cart. These two usually implicate a higher price or some extra charge. An SSL certificate will be a must if you are planning to gather credit card information through your website.
- Control Panel:
This is of most importance considering you wish to keep your site or have somebody else doing so. The control panel is what you will use to modify your site, upload files, alter passwords, submit or eliminate email accounts, control databases and more.
- Building software: (DreamWeaver, Flash, GoLive):
Using a web site creating software, like those mentioned above, is something you will want to think about. Therefore, see if your web host supports tools like these.
By following the guidelines provided in this article, you will most surely have a trust worthy, competent and resourceful hosting service that will play a significant role in t your business’ success.