How to Choose a Web Host

There are several things to look for when choosing a web host for your web design project, and none of them have to do with the ludicrous numbers you see advertised for disk space or network bandwidth. If your site is big enough that you ever have to worry about hitting the maximum disk space allowed by most packages, you will probably be at the point where you will want to buy your own servers.

Reliability

More than anything, you want a web host whose servers are always up. By always up, I mean always, always, always up. Really good IT shops have redundant everything, so even if a server goes down, your site shouldn’t see any impact.

Responsiveness

When there’s a problem with your web site, you are going to want it to be fixed now. Having a hosting company that regularly responds to support requests within an hour is something I always recommend to my clients.

Performance

This can be an issue with some of the larger (and cheaper) hosting providers. They host 1,000,000 sites, and charge rock bottom prices. How do you think they do that? They do it by hosting thousands of sites on each server. Needless to say, if one of those sites is busy, the rest will take a hit. This means your site will load slower when customers are trying to access it, which could result in lost sales.

Reviews

What do other people think about this host? I always read reviews before choosing or recommending a host. The best place I’ve found for unbiased reviews is at the Web Hosting Talk forums.