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How to choose a Web Hosting Provider

by: Jon N. - If you want to move from Sites.com-own domain name, the first thing you will need is a web hosting provider.
- Hereís the checklist for choosing the right web host provider for your website:
- Reliability: This tops the list, because all those who consider to spend their valuable time in visiting your website are most valuable. They could be friends and family, new or repeat visitors, potential and past customers, and so on. Besides, if your traffic ranking is high, you are likely to suffer potential losses even if your host servers are down for a few hours. Say in case of a major power failure or server breakdown, its important to have a web hosting provider, that assures you a guaranteed uptime and running
- Disk space: The amount of storage space you need versus the amount of storage provided to you by your web hosting service provider. Graphics and multimedia would eat up a lot of your space, so evaluate your own needs first.
- Bandwidth and upload/download speeds: If you have too much traffic, your site needs greater bandwidth. Keep an eye on your rate of traffic increase or decrease and choose your hosting provider accordingly. Slow sites and frequently down sites are a big NO. Check your site speed graphs at peak hours and non-peak hours. Web surfers are likely to be impatient and would leave your website pages took too long to load and probably would never return.
- FTP Access: FTP access, or the ability to upload your pages by email or browser is mandatory.
- Operating System and programming tools: Your website should be uploaded through secure servers using the latest operating system. Most web hosts run on a UNIX based operating system, usually Linux or BSD, supported by various web applications like ASP, .NET, MS SQL, SBS for running your website. For these, you need a Window based host.


Pricing and support:


- Security and backup: If you have an E-commerce website, security is most important for safe transaction and to minimize losses. Even otherwise, it is important that your web host can monitor any kind of fraudulent activity and provide secure solutions to prevent hacking your personal accounts and of course, data backups in case of any kinds of technical failures.


Generally, before you buy a product or a service you would like to compare prices and read reviews. Do your homework thoroughly to keep your site up and running while you need it. Low pricing need not necessarily mean bad service, sometimes you good get services at affordable rates. Check the availability of a customer service representative for chat/phonecall round the clock.
Money-back guarantees: You can have your own pick. Many web hosts offer 30, 60 or 90 day money back guarantees for those who try their web hosting services for the first time. Some others allow you cancel your membership anytime with a prorated refund.
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