Choosing A Web Hosting Provider
This article has been written with reference to Shared Web Hosting. Shared Web Hosting is suitable for anyone looking for an economical Web Hosting solution with total Web Space Requirement not exceeding 2 GB.
Decide your Requirements before You Choose Anything
Before choosing which hosting plan you want, decide what software you want to use first. It should not be that you buy a hosting account with a web hosting company, and then start looking around for software that does what you desire. When you eventually find what looks like the perfect software, it turns out that the software is not compatible with the web hosting account. Most often, in a Shared Hosting environment, any kind of customization is not possible.
To cut a long story short, decide upon your requirements before you actually start zeroing in on a Web Hosting Provider.
What you Need
If you are just starting out with your online Web Presence, you do not need to start off with a fancy Hosting Account. You can start off with a Basic Hosting account and upgrade as and when your requirements increase.
Implementing an E-Commerce site requires web-hosting services, which are somewhat different from the plain vanilla hosting services. Issues like SSL set up and Payment Gateway Integration need to be resolved. Your web-hosting company can usually take care of these 2 matters. However what needs to be taken care of is compatibility between what the Web Hosting Company is offering and what are your requirements. Take the example of Payment Gateway Integration. You might have decided to buy Payment Gateway services from one service provider whereas the Web Hosting provider would be in a position to provide Payment Gateway Integration for another service provider.
The Bare Minimums
A few of the givens with any good web hosting company are Unlimited FTP Access, 24*7 Web Support, and Uptime guarantee, Money Back Guarantee in case of non-satisfaction. Some of the other expected features are No Set Up Fee, Web mail with email, Web Based Site Admin, Email Forwarding, Unlimited Email Aliases, Email Auto Responders, server anti Virus Protection, etc.
In terms of short listing a web hosting provider, look at the past record of the web hosting provider, number of years in web hosting business for the service provider, type of clients they have, their SLA, location of Data center and technical specifications of the hosting servers that are being offered for your shared hosting.
If the service to be signed up for includes some advanced features like Tomcat support, look for compatibility between your applications and the hosting features offered by the Hosting provider. Look at the Control Panel offered by the Web Hosting Provider and what exactly is offered in that Control Panel.
While deciding upon which Web Hosting Provider to go for, pay the utmost attention to your requirements and Compatibility between your requirements and what the web hosting service provider offers.
About the Author: The author works with http://www.winwinhosting.com, a site dealing with Shared Hosting Services and Solutions, Anti Spam Solutions and Email Hosting Services. Win Win Hosting offers Affordable and Reliable Shared Web Hosting Services and Web Hosting Solutions.