February 14, 2014 If you’re taking the plunge and finally putting up a blog or designing a website for your small business, chances are you’ve run across different hosting providers and are having trouble selecting the best one. After all, with your website on the line, you can’t just pick any old provider. Well, here are some tips and useful advice to help you pick the right host for your new site. ✈ Consider Server Up-Time ✈ When launching a commercial website and checking out various web hosting services, it’s vital that you keep an eye on the up-time of your host server, which is basically the amount of time that the server is on and your website is up and running. Most hosting providers offer plans with 99 percent uptime, but ideally you should choose a host that provides an up-time of 99.5 percent or more. If not, you may be losing valuable visitors each and every month. Some hosting companies provide monthly up-time reports as well, making it easier than ever to manage your site’s performance. ✈ Choose Enough Bandwidth ✈ Typically, small blogs or websites with less monthly traffic consume no more than two to four gigabytes of bandwidth each month. However, sites with heavier traffic may easily consume up to 15GB of bandwidth a month. That being said, if you’re a new blogger or a small business owner, you may prefer a five gigabyte per month plan that allows you to easily increase your usage. It’s also important to check the disk space, which is simply your designated space on the host server. For an idea on the amount of disk space you may or may not need, a 150-page blog or business website would rarely use 100MB of space. Thus, a plan offering 500MB of disk space should be more than sufficient for the time being. ✈ Understand PHP, FTP, .htaccess, and MySQL ✈ Behind the scenes of any website you’ll find inherent features that often go unnoticed, although they are imperative for a site’s success. Let’s take a look at these features: ⌘⌘⌘ PHP provides you with a behind-the-scenes view of your website from the ground up, helping you build your blog or website. ⌘⌘⌘ In order to manage the content of your website, it’s mandatory to have FTP service. If your website is handled by a webmaster or partner, you can have a separate FTP account to make any necessary changes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ask about multiple FTP accounts when selecting web hosting services. ⌘⌘⌘ An important tool that is overlooked more than any other is .htaccess. With this tool, you can successfully redirect traffic to a new page from an error page. This would be a huge headache and cost you an untold number of visitors, so it’s important to be able to redirect visitors without them knowing it. MYSQL, on the other hand, is simply a software management database used to store and manage your website’s database. ✈ Sub-Domains and Multiple Domains ✈ When in the market for web hosting services, you should also take sub-domains and multiple domains into consideration. Some hosting providers offer unlimited sub-domains, while others may only provide 10 or 20, so you should check with various hosting providers regarding this factor as well. If you plan on building and hosting several websites, a multiple domain hosting plan may also be ideal. See this Gigabit award winning web hosting services.