In simple terms a host is a company that will connect your domain name to a blank website on a computer that they maintain and keep running 24/7. There are a lot of hosts and they all do similar things, so how do you pick. Discuss the elements below with the sales people, you’ll find the discussion enlightening.
The Hosting market is highly competitive which means the costs are going to reasonably close between different companies. They all seem to have a similar model where the longer term you select the cheaper it is per month. Just be aware that they display the monthly cost of the longest term. This means that the cheap $5 per month plan might actually be for 36 months and you have to pay up front to get the rate they displayed.
Typically, a Host will have a sales group and a technical support group. The sales people are always easy to get ahold of, but how easy are the technical support people to get a hold of. Many Hosts do not provide phone based support, but most are available through a chat room style support forum 24/7. If you need the phone based support be prepared to spend a little more.
Each and every Host offers features in a package. There are some packages that have more features and some that have less. The more you need the more it will cost. Everyone has different needs when it comes to features. Make sure to read them and compare them with other Hosts.
This is the term that is used to explain how efficiently your website can be delivered to the internet from their computers. There are a lot of factors that could impact performance like the power of their computers and the connection they have to the internet.
As one might expect, the further away the Hosts computers are from the target audience, the longer it will take for the website to be displayed. Generally picking a Host in the same continent will keep your site fast. If the Host is in a different country, you’ll likely be paying in a different currency. Just be careful because the laws that govern the Hosts activities will be different in a different country.
Architecture and Disaster Recovery
This term refers to the way that the Host has connected and configured their systems. Some will have fail safes built in to maintain high availability. So what happens when something happens to their offices, like a fire or flood. Some Hosts have configured their systems so that there are 2 or more locations where your Web Site actually is housed. This means that if there is a disaster, your Web Site won’t be effected. Last but not least you may want to know they have a plan for Disaster Recovery.
Finally, you are going to work hard to build your Web Site and your brand. Make sure your Host is going to protect your hard work. Treat them like a business partner that must be committed to your shared success.