If you’re like most people, web hosting is not something you grew up knowing about. You may have heard the term, but you aren’t sure exactly what it entails and what you may need. This article can help you navigate web hosting waters so you know what you’re doing and what kind of host you need.
Look for a web host that lets you create your own customized error pages. In case your site is not accessible, you will be able to apologize to your visitors and perhaps redirect them to your Facebook page. Instead of getting frustrated at the usual error message, your visitors will appreciate you apologizing to them.
Avoid long-term contracts unless you are already familiar with the host. Many web hosts will offer a discounted rate if you sign a long-term contract, but this can be a risky way to save money. If you end up unhappy with your service or amount of down-time, you will face hefty termination fees or be forced to remain with the service. Always start out with a short-term contract. If you are happy with your hosting, you can always change to a long-term contract when it is time to renew.
If you want to add different features to your site such as a chat room, a bulletin board or a contact form, you should look for a web hosting service that supports CGI scripts. If you don’t know how to create these scripts, some web hosts can provide you with templates.
Make sure any offers of “unlimited” data transfer are actually unlimited. Many web hosts advertise unlimited data transfer in their offers, but tuck exceptions in the terms and conditions for the package. Common exceptions include video or non-HTML file downloads being limited, limits on CPU utilization, and general prohibitions on using “too many resources.”
Choose a web hosting service that offer multiple databases for you to access if needed. This can include the ability to store information about your products, as well as your customers. You should be able to easily look at prior purchases and the personal information about who is buying your products.
A good site host should also offer good support for if and when you need help with something. This means that maybe they offer professionals that can offer advice to new site owners, or support simply for errors and general questions about how to make your site look its best using the tools the host offers. Some sites are more “hands on” with lots of templates and things to help their users, whereas others are more of a “do your own thing” type hosting site. Make sure you keep in mind whether you are a novice or a professional at designing and owning a website.
As you can see from the above article, it is possible to keep your website active while you switch to a different hosting company. If you understand the transfer process and what you have to do beforehand, then there is no reason why you should lose a second of downtime. Apply the advice from this article to help you switch hosting companies without having to worry about your website going offline.