As we begin our journey into the eCommerce world, it’s easy to fall into traps by simply overlooking the most important checklists in our web hosting decision making. It’s easy to just consider the provided disk space when choosing the hosting company and other less important features that we don’t need in the beginning. All the plans look impressive, but do we really need these features on offer? It is best to consider the following factors when deciding on your web hosting packages:
1. Established host
You don’t want to get involved with someone who hasn’t been in business long enough to host your ecommerce or simple personal website. What’s even more important if you’re running a full fledged ecommerce with lots of data to secure your operation. When choosing your host, time is of the essence. The longer a host exists, the more likely the better it would be. You don’t want to go down with the host, which also goes down. Sorting things out gets really messy.
This is an important checklist to consider. Reliability is one of the most important checklists since you don’t want to hire a fly-by-night hosting company. Check the response time to your email request. It is important to enjoy both after-sales and technical service. Some big names with significant customer bases and long operating lives may become complacent and unable to provide reliable services, while small new businesses will do their best to impress. You must make your own judgement.
You need to decide on your storage needs. However, better planning for future expansion is also important so that you don’t have to go back to the hosting company and pay unreasonable costs. There is a saying, once addicted, addicted forever, even if you don’t like it.
4. Customer Service and Technical Support
You never know what you might need after the sale or even after the web is up and running. You want to feel reassured that customer service and technical support are there for you when you need them. The time it takes for an email query to be answered is a simple indication of the level of service that the hosting companies offer.
Most hosting companies offer 99% uptime. You should choose the one that offers no less than 99% uptime.
6. Recovery Time
Determine how quickly the hosting company recovers from downtime. Do they have backup procedures? What type of UPS are they using? Where are you? Are they near disaster prone areas? Those are the questions you need to answer.
Don’t overlook bandwidth limitations. Excess bandwidth usage accompanied by excess bill. Do not exceed the allocated bandwidth; Plan what you want to put on your website. Higher pixel images definitely use higher bandwidth.
CGI is used to install scripts and programs; CGI comes standard with all hosting plans.
You must have Perl to run Perl programs. Paid or free scripts are mostly written in Perl. Make sure you get the latest version or upgrade from time to time.
These are the most important criteria to consider, especially if you are planning an e-commerce. Make sure SSL is included in your hosting plans. You can use a third-party credit card processor, but the provider may not operate in some countries. It is also limited to electronic products only, not physical products.
Server Side Includes are used to minimize the time it takes to update your website. You can edit the page or section of links you want to change without changing all pages.
Some scripts and programs require a MySQL database to run. Make sure the fees are not exorbitant and they usually come with the hosting packages.
Many new scripts and programs require PHP support, and this feature is almost standard for all hosting plans.
You should be able to point your own domain name to the site. Another function is to ensure that you can control your domain as you may not stay with the same hosting companies but your domain will remain yours.
In any case, you will need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer files or make and upload changes to your web pages. You must get unlimited and unrestricted FTP access to your site.
16. Control Panel
The main feature of the hosting is the availability of the control panel. The usage level ranges from friendly to difficult. Choose the one that suits your technical ability and budget.
To make adjustments to your marketing programs, you need a good statistics program. An excellent statistics program allows you to monitor visitors, collect emails, etc. to optimize your marketing programs. Get an advanced statistics program from a third party if the hosting cannot provide one, assuming the program can be installed.
18. Site Development Software
If you are not a webmaster or a programmer, your best option is to consider a package of software that is offered to build your website. Some hosting companies provide this for free while others charge a fee.
19. Slow down and take your time
While some hosting packages may look great, if they don’t offer a feature that meets your needs, the package may not meet your needs. Take the time to compare all the features on offer. What is good for someone may not be acceptable for you. What is important is what are your criteria and can the hosting company meet your needs?
20. Last big step
The table below lists some of the criteria usually offered by web hosting companies. Don’t be alarmed by the long list. As mentioned, some features may not be required at launch and it’s good to know that these features are offered. They’re always ready when the time comes for expansion. In the end, what counts is the hosting that suits your budget and your ideas.
Pricing & Setup (Choose your billing cycle)
Setup fee N/A
Option 1: Pay $34.95 monthly (e.g.)
Unconditional money back guarantee 30 days
Set-up time 30 seconds
Disk Usage Summary 5000 MB
Summary traffic 150 GB
Standard storage quota (freely adaptable to your requirements) 5000 MB
Multiple domains host 10 domains
subdomain 100 subdomain
Third level domain 100 Third level domain
Makeshift domain 100 makeshift domain
Domain alias 100 domain alias
Parked domain (DNS hosting) 10 domain parked
Mail domain alias 10 mail domain alias
Web Services and Tools
CGI with custom mapping for free
Own CGI Bin Directory Free
MS Frontpage support free
ASP Safe N/A
NET framework free
Server-side contains (with custom file extension) N/A
PHP with GD (latest stable version) N/A
Perl with GD (Latest Stable Version) Free
Cold Fusion MX 6.1 free
Redirect URL 100 URLs
Custom directory indexes for free
Preinstalled commonly used components / DLL free
Custom DLL components for free
Server-side image map N/A
PhpMyAdmin / PhpPgAdmin Free
Web Shell (Extended File Management Interface) N/A
Password protected directories for free
Studio Software website
(The best selling website building tool, WYSIWYG plus tons of templates and features!) Free
PHP BB 2 forum software free
Custom error document for free
MS SQL Server Manager free
Transmission Log (Access Log) Free
Referrer Protocol N/A
Agent Log N/A
Error Log N/A
Free Webalizer site statistics
Email Services and Tools
PO Box 1000 PO Box
Standard mailbox quota (freely adaptable to your requirements) 10 MB
Email Auto Responders 100 Auto Responders
Catch all email addresses for free
mailbox alias 100 mailbox alias
Email Forwarding 100 Email Forwarding
Mailing list 10 mailing list
Own SMTP server Free
IMAP support Free
Dedicated SSL module for free
Shared SSL Free
OS Commerce shopping cart free
MySQL user 3 users
MySQL database 3 database
Default quota for MySql database (freely customizable to your needs) 50 MB
MS SQL user 3 users
MS SQL database 3 database
Standard quota for MS SQL database (freely adaptable to your needs) 100 MB
PgSql user 3 users
PgSql database 3 database
Standard quota for PgSql database (customizable to your needs for free) 50 MB
Advanced features and others
Anonymous FTP server 3 servers
FTP sub-account N/A
Virtual FTP ServerN/A
ODBC service free
Custom DNS records for free
Shell Access N/A
Dedicated IP address 3 units
Daily backup for free