Web Hosting: How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service for You

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If you are going to operate a blog or website, deciding on a web host might present a bit of a challenge for you.

There are free hosting services and paid services. Free services are good if you are not running a business website. Free web hosting services often cone with a few catches. One is advertising. Of course, it costs the hosting company money to operate and if they offer their service to you for free, they have to cover their costs and make a profit. So, if you use their free services, they may advertise on your blog or website.

Things to consider when choosing a web host:

· Do you oppose having advertising on your site? If not, then the "free" option may be the best fit for you.

· How much bandwidth do you need? The more content you put on your site, whether it is text or videos and photos, the more bandwidth you may require.

Paid programs offer packages with varying amount of bandwidth limits and you can always upgrade if you feel you need more. The more you pay the greater amount of bandwidth. What happens when you go over your bandwidth limit? You may receive a bill for the excess usage or like may service providers; They will slow down the data transfer so you'll notice a slower speed when downloading pages.

· How big is your site going to be? Is it going to be a few pages or hundreds of pages?

· Is the web hosting service reliable? How much downtime does it have? The service needs to have an 'uptime' of at least 99.5%. Every hosting service will need downtime to update and upgrade its service. It's called maintenance. Expect this. However, this should be kept at a minimum because you need to trust that your site will be up and visible to Internet traffic at all times. Also, they will or should always notify you of the scheduled downtime for maintenance or upgrades.

· How much disk space to you need? Unless you have a really big website with lots of pages, it's illegally you'll need more than 5MB of disk space when starting out. Of course you can upgrade as the need arises but you certainly will not need a huge amount initially.

· Support : Is technical support provided and if so, what is the availability and what is the cost? Support might be limited with free web hosts. Some may be available by phone, live chat or just with a ticket system. This is where you have to go to their online support desk and submit a help ticket. Think about the kind of support you might need and include this in determining the web hosting service for you.

· CPanel : This is control central for your website. This area lets you control and manage certain things on your website. Here you should be able to add or change email addresses, do email forwarding, change or update passwords to name a few.

· Does this service allow you to host multiple domains? Let's say that your business is growing and you want to add more domain names, or subdomains. Will they support this and if so is there an additional cost?

· Servers: What kind of server do they offer? Many will use Windows but other choices include Linux, Apache and many more. If you do not know anything about the different servers, just know that Windows is the most commonly used.

· Cost: Cheaper is not always better. Check the terms of use and refund policy. See how easy it is to cancel and get your money back if you pay in advance. Affordability is important but it's well worth the price for a reliable service with good technical and customer support.

When you are first starting out with a website or blog, you might not need all the bells and whistles but you should consider growth and will this web hosting company allow for that. Read reviews and talk to friends who already have experience with web hosting services.

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