How to select the most suitable web hosting company?
- How to choose the server (web hosting platform)?
It is the first factor that we have to consider. There are two servers we can choose, one is Windows Server while other is Linux Server. If you are familiar with IIS, ASP, ASP.net, VBScript, Microsoft SQL Server or Visual InterDev, you have to choose Windows Server (NT platform). Or you use PHP, MYSQL Server (the UNIX Base program) in the website, your choice should be UNIX platform. Actually, Linux and Apache Server (UNIX platform) is more stable than any others. Many IT people choose it because it's free. It has replaced Windows/IIS server day by day. If your website is just a HTML one, you may choose the stable server. Don't misunderstand that the operating system you use at home is the same as the one that the web hosting companies use. Even if you use Windows Server at home, you may choose the web hosting companies that use UNIX /Linux Server.
- Web space (How many MB space you want?)
Then you must think about the web space you want. If there are many photos, images, videos and files that you offer to be downloaded in your web pages, you may need lots of web space. You should get more space for increasing web content in the future. Moreover, you should pay more attention to web control panel. A good web control panel will make you set up what you want easily. Nowadays some web hosting companies have launched the web control panel that designed by themselves to upgrade the functions. Notes: 1MB = 1024kb
- Different packages support different programming language and database
You must choose which server language and database you want. The most popular server languages and are Perl, PHP and ASP. Windows Server supports ASP and may use VBScript, JSScript to set up a website, while Unix/Linux Server supports PHP, TCL, C/C++. If you need database, you'd better choose more expensive packages. For example, MSSQL is more expensive than MySQL because web hosting companies have to pay License Fee to Bill Gate for MSSQL operating on Windows.
- Email (How many accounts and storage you want?)
The service of Email is also very important. You must know whether the web company supports POP3, IMAP, SMTP and WEBMAIL. Also, you need to know whether there are enough email accounts that can be used by all of your staff.
- The service of domain name registration
The registration of domain name should be paid serious attention to as well. The domain names can be divided into two categories: the international domain names like .com/ .net/ .org/ .biz/ .info and the regional domain names like .com.hk/ .net.hk/ .hk. The former one is easier to be registered, because there's no need to provide any certification for the registration. The latter one asks for the relative certification or document to do the registration while the fee is also more expensive.
Most of the web hosting companies will offer the service of domain name registration to their clients. However, the clients must figure out the ownership of the domain name, because you have to provide the certificate of ownership when you are going to change your web hosting company and revise the data in future. Some of the web hosting companies in bad reputation will register the domain name of their clients not in the client's own name but in the web hosting company's name in order to prevent the client from turning to another web hosting company.
- The importance of the server's stability
The stability is vital to the server, since it will directly affect the online time and the speed of loading. If your website is mainly used for business, you have to think about the online time. Commonly, the web hosting companies with strict clauses and limitation of website traffic can offer the better stability, because the resources of the server can be fairly distributed. However, if your website asks for more resources and traffic, you can choose those web hosting companies offering unlimited traffic or other unlimited functions. The bad effect will be less guarantee of the stability.
- Good technical support is essential
Good technical support will help you solve the problems when you are setting up the website. Web hosting companies will only offer email support usually. However, some companies which have good service will provide 24-hour real person technical telephone support to solve your problems at any time.
Offering the server with SSL or not;
Offering the statistic report of website traffic or not;
Offering the clear price list of each accessional fee or not;
Offering the services of regularly backup or automatic backup.