3rd August 2011
Choosing web hosting is one of the simplest, yet most important decisions you’ll make when you come to set up a new website. Since there are so many providers out there, all offering low cost solutions, which one should you pick? Here are five key questions you should be asking.
How much server space will your website need? Think about how much room your website is going to take up at the point of launch and whether you intend to expand on that in the future. Make sure your package is sufficient or you have the option to easily add more space if you need it in the future.
Does your website need access to a MySQL database now or in the future? If you’re running WordPress or any other CMS then it definitely will. You are also likely to need a database if you intend to run an e-newsletter, forums and many other dynamic features. Be sure what is offered with your hosting package, whether you can add further databases in the future, and if there are any size restrictions.
There’s lots to consider when it comes to email capabilities. Firstly, how many mailboxes can you setup and can you do this yourself? Secondly, can you access email through Outlook and on your phone? And lastly, what are the other features such as spam filtering and auto-responses? Make sure you cover all of your email requirements straight off because it will be hard to pick many of these features up as addons at a later date.
4. Nameservers and DNS
Do you have to register your domain name through the same provider or can you use one registered elsewhere? Will the provider allow you to edit nameserver and DNS entries?
5. Terms and billing
How long are you tied in for? How often will you pay? Are there any hidden extras or addons you’re going to need which will bump the price up? If in doubt call their customer services or sales line.
I recently hired Jo to give me some basic HTML and website editing training. I learnt so much in one hour, and she really demonstrated her knowledge, without jargon, and demystified some of the magic of web programming. I would recommend Jo to anyone who needs to brush up on their HTML knowledge, but I would also hire her for larger projects. She was a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with her again in the future.(Ruth Holroyd)