So you have decided to take the plunge and take your business on the web. This most likely means you will need a reliable hosting service to host your e-Commerce website. What are the key factors that you should consider when considering various web hosting companies?
When considering a web hosting service you should consider at least three factors, how reliable the service actually is, how knowledgeable and prompt are their support staff and what is the actual cost of using this service. Let's break down each factor and really consider this situation in depth.
The reliability of the web hosting service is perhaps the most important to your business as a unreliable service can seriously hamper the reputation of your business. So how do you determine if a host is actually reliable? The first and perhaps the easiest way is to join a public newsgroup of web developers and simply ask them who they use to host their websites.
For instance if you should want to use a ASP / ASP.Net hosting service I would go to asp.net and simply ask who is the most reliable hosting service. Also, searching through these newsgroups will reveal quite a lot of information regarding how knowledgably and helpful the support staff is as well. Simply stay away from hosting providers that have a poor reputation as those service companies most likely are only concerned with separating your money from your wallet and not actually helping you grow your business.
How do you determine which service has the most knowledgeable and helpful staff? This one is again fairly easy to determine. If the staff of the company takes the time to answer questions on public newsgroups and is willing to share their time and knowledge to help out others then this is the company you should utilize. For instance I have noticed that on some public newsgroups or forums many of the questions being answered are from various web hosting services. This not only reinforces their reputation of being really knowledgeable and helpful but it allows the company to get some "free advertising" as well.
Lastly is the cost factor to consider. There are many low cost web hosting providers out there. All you have to do is a search on Google and you will obtain potentially millions of hits on that key term. However, even low cost web hosting services can turn out to be expensive when you consider the various add-ons that you may have to attach to your website to make it truly useful to you. So therefore when considering a web hosting service write down your exact requirements you need to make your website run. Also consider the amount of growth that you anticipate when using this website.
A website that may work for you now may not work for you in the near future if your business should really take off and you have not factored that consideration into account. Also take into account any cost of upgrading your service should you outgrow it or you need to move to a high end hosting solution.
When considering a e-Commerce hosting service or any web hosting service these are the key factors to consider before making any purchase. While certainly not an exhaustive listing of everything you need to consider this should get you on the right path to narrow your choices down to at least three or four services.