Finding a Web Host

If you are thinking of creating a new website and have started looking around the internet for a web hosting provider, you are probably overwhelmed with all the choices out there.  It seems impossible to make the right choice and in some ways you are correct.

Here we will provide you with a checklist of things to look for when choosing a web hosting service, which hopefully will make your choosing easier

Your web hosting requirements

Before you even think about choosing a web host, you need to figure out what your website is going to be. Think about the following topics and jot down your answers.  This is your first step in deciding not only a web host, but what package you would need.

What is the site going to run?

Is your new site going to be simple static html files or are you using a CMS like WordPress or Joomla?  Do you need a Windows server or are you fine with the far more common linux server?  Are you using PHP and Mysql (that is a yes if you are using WordPress or Joomla).

Those should be simple questions to answer but are still very important.

How much bandwidth do you need?

Chances are at first you aren’t going to need a ton of bandwidth since your site is new.  But hopefully your site will grow quickly and bandwidth can become an issue over time.  Do you plan on streaming videos directly from your site or having large images stored and served from your site?  Are you pages going to be large or small?  What is your projected traffic in six months and one year?

On a new site, chances are you are going to be guessing on this topic but making an educated guess is better than ignoring the subject.  There is nothing worse than your site being disabled by your web host because your site got popular and you went over your bandwidth for the month.  Trust me, it has happened to me and it is very frustrating.  So make sure you pick a web host and plan that give you lots of room.

Shared hosting vs. Dedicated

Shared web hosting is when many sites – often hundreds or even thousands – share the same server.  That means you share all the resources of that server with everyone else running websites on it.  There is nothing wrong with shared hosting if it is done right, it just may be slower than you are expecting.

Some web hosts are known for putting way too many sites on a single server, making it slow down for everyone using that server.  Avoid web hosts like that like the plague.

A dedicated server is probably not what you need if this is going to be a brand new website since your traffic will probably be small at first.  Unless you are running applications that are hard on server resources, a shared hosting environment is probably your best choice to start with.  Remember, you can always upgrade your service further down the road when your website starts taking off.

Location

Just like in real estate, location of your web host is important.  If you are in the UK and plan on targeting traffic in that country, it wouldn’t make sense for you to have your website located in the US since your audience would find your website slower.

If your target audience is in a larger country like the US or Canada, it is even helpful to know what areas of the country might bring you more traffic.  If most of your visitors would be from New York for instance, don’t choose a server in Los Angeles.

Try to keep your website located as physically close to your target audience that way data won’t have to travel too far and your visitors won’t be presented with a slow running website.

Price

Price shouldn’t be your main factor in choosing a good web host.  In fact, I’d suggest staying away from web hosts that offer tons of options like bandwidth and disk space for super cheap prices.  Chance are those servers will be super slow.

Choose a reputable web host and before you sign up with them, search the internet for web hosting coupons.  You will often be able to save a large amount of money with very little effort.

Conclusion

Congratulations on your decision to start your own website or blog.  These can be fun and easy to accomplish.  Hopefully our tips here will give you enough information to get your on your way to having your new website up and running in no time at all.