Choosing a web host is the most important step in the process of setting up a website. Whether you're setting up a new website or are transferring content from an existing one, it's important that you choose a web host who offers quality hosting that is fast and dependable. But having a web host who offers affordable rates is also important. When searching for the hosting company that meets both your needs and your budget, you may be tempted to sign up with the first cheaply-rated hosting company that you find. Don't make this mistake, because you may find that after you've signed up, they don't offer everything you need, or you may have found a better deal elsewhere. Take the time to research more than one affordable web hosting company, and do a side-by-side comparison of their plans, features, and prices. Here are several things you'll want to look for.
A Dependable Host
No web host can promise 100 percent uptime, because even the best of servers will occasionally go down for planned or unplanned maintenance, and no website is completely impenetrable to hacking attempts. An affordable web hosting company should provide fast and stable hosting, as well as the guarantee of fast action and the usage of backups in the event of a website or a server going down. If you're unsure about a particular web host's uptime guarantees, feel free to look up reviews of their services on web hosting forums, and/or contact the company directly to get clarification.
Plans That Meet Your Needs
There's no use in signing up with a hosting company whose great rates don't cover what you need. Don't settle for insufficient space or data transfer just to save a few bucks each month. Look at your current hosting plan, if you have one, or get an accurate estimate of the resources your website will need. Find a plan that can accommodate your website with resources to spare, though you'll definitely want to pay attention to prices and do some comparisons.
The Ability to Customize
While the majority of web hosts offer pre-set plans that have specific amounts of storage space, data transfer, and other resources, a good web host, even a cheap one, should offer you the option to add on custom options. While things like VPS or dedicated server hosting, private nameservers, and SSL certificates may not necessarily come free of charge, there should be the option to have them added to your plan.
Even the most cheaply priced of web hosts should offer support for your hosting account. Check about the inclusion of automated backups, and find out how you can contact the company in the event of a website issue. A good web hosting company will provide direct contact info, such as a phone number and/or an email address, and ideally they will also provide an online support system, where you can submit tickets and support requests.