These days is a seemingly endless array of choices when it comes to choosing web hosting services.  Although that is a great in terms of there being a package available for just about anyone’s needs, it also means that finding the right one can be a pretty daunting proposition. 

So, how do you go about finding the right option for you?  There are a few things you should consider that will help you narrow your search.

Storage requirements

The amount of storage you require for your website is a big determinant when selecting a web host.  If your site does not include the kind of features that require lots of storage space – lots of pictures, video, etc. – you won’t require much space and a basic web hosting service will do very nicely.  If your site is an eCommerce site, for example, with pictures of your products and other “extras” you are going to need more storage space. 

Consider, too, your plan for your site in the future.  You don’t want to outgrow your storage space too quickly, so choose a web hosting service that provides adequate storage for your needs today and extra for tomorrow.

Bandwidth allowance

A site’s bandwidth is a measure of the amount of data that are allowed to pass from your site and the internet at large, and vice versa.  If your site is dedicated to commerce and you expect a lot of interaction between your site and your customers – downloading images if your products, streaming videos, etc. – you are going to need substantial bandwidth allowances. 

This is important because once you start to exceed the allotted bandwidth you could be charged a pretty heavy fine.

Customer support

This is so important.  When you sign on with a web hosting service, it’s absolutely crucial that you find one that offers good customer support.  Always test out a service’s customer support system before you sign on to a long-term contract.  Things to look for are friendly service, quick response time, and effective problem resolution. 

They should work hard to resolve issues you are having with your website as soon as possible, with an understanding that the longer your site is down the more money your company is losing.  Generally, look for a host that has an “uptime” of at least 97 percent.  This means that the sites they host are up and running as they should be at least 97 percent of the time. 

Any less than this and it is very easy for potential customers to become frustrated and click away from your site.  If the host company appears to have a less-than-stellar sense of urgency during the trial run, that’s probably not going to change once you sign on for real.

Know your neighbours

before choosing web hosting services
before choosing web hosting services

You should also find out what kinds of sites also share the host.  If the service hosts adult websites, for example, this could be a red flag.  Why?  Because adult websites use up a lot of bandwidth and you could end up fighting with them to get the bandwidth your site needs.  That can result in a slow-loading site and, ultimately, the loss of business.