Many people get confused with what to look for and who to choose when it comes to choosing a web hosting service for their business website. This confusion can be tackled by charting out your requirements before you start your hunt for the best web host for your website. You know that there are thousands of web hosting services in the market and the problem is that all of them are offering various packages to suit different budgets and requirements of their customers. All of them make big claims about themselves. Below are list of top 7 things to consider when considering your web hosting requirements

Server uptime: This is generally depicted as a percentage e.g. ’99.9% server uptime guaranteed’ (i.e. the server on which your website is hosted will be up 99.9% time during the day). This is one of the most important factors that you must consider. If not, all effort and money spent into creating and optimizing the website will be wasted if the server on which it is hosted is down. The minimum server uptime that you must look for is 99.9%. This will serve you very well.

Bandwidth: This is measured in MB (megabytes) or GB (gigabytes) and indicates the amount of information that can be sent to or received from the web server on which your website is hosted. Your bandwidth requirement will be determined by the amount of graphics you have on your website. So, if you have a lot of images on your website, you will need a larger bandwidth. Also, a larger bandwidth will ensure that your website loads quickly on the visitor’s screen. You may not bother much about higher bandwidth if your website is not too big.  Some people just need a small website or just a page to host their sales page.

Server space: This is the space (in MB) that is allocated to you on the web server for storing your website files. Thus, your requirement for server space is directly linked to the combined size of all website files (including images etc).

Email addresses: You must consider two things here. First thing to take into account is whether the email addresses being offered are your domain email addresses (i.e. something@<yourdomain>.com) or not (some web hosts provide email addresses that are related to their domain name i.e. email@<webhost>.com). The second thing to check is the number of email addresses offered by the web host. Though you don’t need unlimited number of email addresses, you need sufficient so as to cover your current and expected future needs of one unique email address per employee. Note that the higher money you pay, the more email accounts you will get.

Support for databases and programming/scripting languages: Your web designer should be able to help you on framing out the requirements here. MySql and PHP support is provided by a number of web hosts as part of their web hosting package. If you will need these packages, make sure that they are complete in your hosting package.

FTP support: The requirement for FTP support is based on how frequently your website will change (and also the size of your website files). FTP is generally regarded as the fastest method of uploading files from your computer to your web host server space. This is another important feature you must check although a lot of web hosting packages have FTP.

Number of sub domains: This might be of importance to some big businesses. You may not need this if your business or website is small. If this feature will be important to you, check the number of sub domains that the web host will allow for your domain.