I always get people asking what a web hosting is. To make it easy to understand, web hosting is a piece of storage space just like the storage space of your computer hard drive. What different it from computer hard drive is that you can only keep website files in web hosting. Every website needs a hosting in order for the world to access it. That explains why it is so important to build a quality website.
It is not difficult at all in choosing the best hosting. It is like choosing your own clothes. It requires only your common sense and preference. However, there are a few criteria that you should take in consideration.
Hosting Control Panel
Control panel is a panel for users like you and me to manage our webhosting. It is a window-like interface for users to do all the admin work including website management, file management, email management, database management and etc. When you are getting a hosting, you have better checked what control panel the provider is using because this panel will directly affect how you are able to use your hosting. For example if vDeck control panel is used, the Install Central of vDeck has tons of free software that we can utilize of. There are some providers use in house control panels too. If you come across this kind of provider, you better take your bet carefully on them. For your information, brand like vDeck, cPanel and Plesk are famous control panel and are generally preferred by everyone.
Storage & Bandwidth
Storage and bandwidth are basically the physical items you are paying for. Storage size will define how many files you can store; while bandwidth defines how many times your files can be requested by visitors. For example, if you get 10GB storage in your hosting, you will be able to store 10,000 files with the size of 1MB, meanwhile that hosting only allows 1GB of bandwidth, that means your files can only be shown to the users for 1,000 times. If there are 1,200 visitors requested your files, the hosting will only serve the first 1,000 time and leave the remaining 200 requests unattended. You site is considered down for that 200 requests. So, check how many storage and bandwidth you are getting!
Uptime reflects the performance of a web hosting. If your hosting always goes down it will definitely hurt your website because visitors could not access your website whenever they want. Internet is meant for 24/7/365 without fail. Can you imagine when you go to Facebook and realize the site is down? You will not be able to keep in touch with your friend, you will not be able to access your favorite Texas Poker game and etc. Your site will be the same if it is down. Therefore, check how often your hosting goes down. Avoid those with uptime less than 95%.
As a smart consumer pricing is of cause our concern too. Web hosting is in fact a servicing product. The price can be very subjective. Some charge high while some charge low for exactly the same features. However, nobody can really define how much it should cost. So there are some providers do over price in order to earn more profit. Well, if you think the price is compatible with the service you are getting, then you can go with them. Otherwise, look for other hosting with lower price. Usually with $ 6 / month you can easily grab a quality hosting nowdays! Hosting providers like FatCow , Lunarpages, Bluehost are easily fit into this category.
For your information these 4 criterions do help me in identifying quality web host all this while. However sometimes there are no clear statement regarding their storage and bandwidth for example unlimited storage. In this case, you should dig into their term of service document to check what they mean by that. With that, you are very near from a good provider.