Before you begin your search, analyze your needs. What features does your website require? What features are good-to-have? And what features are critical?
Things to think about:
- What programming language will you be using?
- Do you need a database?
- Do you need email addresses?
- Do you have a domain name?
- How much bandwidth do you expect to use?
- How much disk space do you need?
- What is your budget?
Once you understand your needs, look at your selection of web hosts:
- Do they offer fast connections?
- Do they have a back-up system in place to protect your data in case there is a power outage?
- Do they require you to make payments in advance? Who processes these payments charges, the company itself or a third-party payment gateway?
- How is their customer support? What is their response rate? How knowledgeable is their support staff?
- Do they provide you with an online website manager or an account control panel?
- Do they support you with an online support manual, knowledge base, tutorials?
The basic features you should look for when selecting a web host:
- 24/7 reliable tech support
- Your own domain name
- Sufficient monthly transfer (traffic) and disk storage for your website needs
- POP3/Webmail email accounts, email aliases and autoresponders
- Scripting support as your website requires
- Unlimited free access to your server via FTP
- Easy access to your log files
- Referral program