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What Web Hosting Features To Look For In A Web Host

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What To Look For In A Web Host?

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Site Statistics

Once you get the site off the ground, you need web site statistic tools so that you can evaluate traffic and plan future site development.

If you know which pages are the most popular, you'll know by default what your visitors are looking for. If you know which browsers they use, you'll make sure your pages look good in those browsers. And, most important, you want to know how your visitors got to your site in the first place so that you can concentrate your marketing efforts.

Most hosts provide statistical analysis package for reporting on traffic such as Analog, Getstats, Webalizer.

You also want access to raw server logs so that you can run all sorts of numbers using your own statistical software. If your host doesn't provide access to raw log file, just walk away.

How's The Tech Support?

Check out the host's service policy at its site, but remember: support packages aren't always as good as they sound.

Unlike many other services you use online where you can operate smoothly without any help, you WILL need tech support from your host sooner or later. Even if you are a Ph.D. in computer science, you still can't activate or install certain features from your local machine.

So make sure the support staffs are there, ready to fix your problem, whenever you need them. 24-hour phone-support is preferred. Call or email them before you sign up.

Is The Service Reliable?

You can't judge a host merely by its feature list. The best insight you'll get into your prospective web host is unedited customer feedback. Check out online forums for comments about a host's performance.

Many gripes may come from customers who are biased or more demanding than you are, so read the reactions to any complaints as closely as the original remarks themselves.

If a host lists any customers with sites that are similar to yours, check them out at key times of day to see how quickly they load or whether they seem sluggish or unresponsive.

If You Back Out, Will It Cost You?

Before you sign up, find out if you are free to choose another web host if this one doesn't work out. So long as your name is listed as the "Administrative Contact" with InterNIC, you can transfer your site to another host: just go to your registrar and enter new DNS (Domain Name Server) address.

Some hosts offer limited days money-back guarantee, if you are not happy with them, you can switch to another one and get your money back.

Look for plans with free setup too so that you can test your site before your payments start rolling in.

What Should You Expect To Pay?

The best advice is to know the services you really need, and only pay for those. For example, a typical small business web site with less than one hundred pages can find good hosting package with cgi-bin access, free setup, multiple email account and aliases, SSI, raw logs access, for $10-20 per month.

If you need SSL Security, expect to pay $15-35 more per month.

Finding a good host is not always easy. Now at least you know what you should look for while shopping around.

Check out our hosting plans by the way:-).

Back to part 1

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Article by Zac Hewlett at SingaporeWebHosting.com
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