Web-Hosting Considerations For Beginners – Operational Factors

For the new business starting up a website, there are a number of operational considerations.The things it would be useful to consider would include:

Website hosting package costs

Its important that the business can actually afford the cash expense for the web hosting package.After all, even if its the most appropriate hosting package but comes at an un viable cost, such a package would be detrimental to your business finances. Most hosting packages come with fixed costs and the hosting buyer usually has the option to add extra features to the basic hosting package. These extra features increase the base cost but are often necessary depending on the type of web business. Some features the buyer might be offered include a domain name, extra space on the server, more data transfer capacity, more domain name hosting slots, improved access to technical support, productivity software, and more database options amongst other possibilities.

Website web space

Most web hosting companies allocate a reasonable amount of hard drive space to each customer account on a shared server, on dedicated server packages, the available space is usually only limited by the size of the hard drive on the web server. For most new businesses, their websites files will rarely exceed 100MB including database files.

Monthly Website traffic restrictions

Traffic volume restrictions are often referred to as bandwidth restrictions and effectively represents the number off pages of your site that can be viewed by visitors to your site in one calender month. This figure is critical if your site gains popularity very quickly, or has very high production values resulting in extensive graphic content and large page sizes, has lots of pages to be indexed by search engines. Essentially, each time a visitor to your site views a page they are downloading the data which represents the page to their computer. This data is measured by the web hosting company, more page views, means more data downloaded. Once your monthly limit is breached, its likely that your site might be taken off line after a brief warning message.ideally, you want a web host who will give you a warning and an opportunity to obtain a solution to this issue , rather than a host that automatically takes your website offline. Remedies to this situation usually involve paying for more bandwidth.

Website up time / downtime

One reason for taking up a hosting account with a hosting company is having reliable website availability as the hosts servers should be running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This would be difficult to achieve if you where running your own server. A good hosting company would have systems in place to ensure that your website is always available. This would involve them having multiple servers configured to support each other. This would also involve them performing required software updates without excessive downtime and ensuring that the servers remain stable before and after the updates. Configuration issues also have to be handled by your hosting company. However, if your site is a dynamic site, that is one that involves some degree of ongoing computational activity, probably programs executed on the server know as server side scripts, you should check to ensure that you site is operational, often.This would ensure that you would be aware of any unforeseen compatibility issues arising from a necessary software changes on your hosts servers. Necessary software changes would include things like patches, and version upgrades.

Website technical support availability,competence and training

The quality of the technical support available to you for the hosting deal you pay for will be critical to the success of your website. There will always come a time when you require the assistance of the technical support team. Ideally, you should have access to a competent technical support team 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This support should support either direct telephone lines or on line web chat contact or both. This support should be included in the cost of your web hosting account, but with some companies, it is not but usually your costs would be limited to the standard telephone charge. It should be noted that some hosting companies use a premium rate phone line.

Own knowledge and training

In order to get the best out of your web hosting package, you should ensure that you have the correct skills available to you. That is, get training, either before getting your hosting package or as soon as you’ve signed up. Training could be via attending training courses or using self training material.

Linux or windows

Choosing the operating system installed on the servers you site will be hosted on is a critical decision and if you’re uncertain, you might want to consider taking some professional advise.

Web-hosting providers reputation

Finally, in taking up a web hosting package, you should consider investigating the reputation of the hosting company. I normally do this by asking people on Internet forums. However, its important to note that experiences differ from individual to individual and as such, your choice of hosting company should be based on all the information available to you at that point in time.