Choosing a Web Host
Your web host has to maintain many computers, and keep them running 24/7. That means they must have staff available round the clock. They also maintain software, firewalls, and lots of other services. For these reasons, the smaller web hosts can’t provide the value that the best large companies provide.
My recommendation is to use a big, reputable web host, combined with a small, local designer. Your designer can help you interface with your web host. I often help clients set up and maintain their hosting accounts.
Things to look for in a web host:
- 99.9 % uptime (your web site is guaranteed to be working almost all of the time)
- 2 Gigabytes or more of disc space with your hosting account
- Supports PHP / mySQL (allows you to easily set up databases)
- Supports a selection of open source blog, eCommerce, and eNewsletter software (which will require the databases mentioned above)
- Has a friendly user interface (control panel or dashboard) on their web site.
- Good customer service and tech support via email, phone, knowledge base and forum.
- Monthly fee for basic hosting is less than $10
My web host is BlueHost. BlueHost meets or exceeds all of the above criteria. In fact, they provide unlimited disc space for $6.95 / month. Their website is terrific, and customer support is outstanding.