Choosing a good web host is not difficult. However, there are several important considerations that you must take into account in order to find the right web host.
1.) Disk Space
Disk Space is measured in bytes. 1 megabyte (MB) is roughly 1,000,000 bytes. 1 gigabyte (GB) is about 1000 MB.
It's not difficult to calculate disk size needed for your web site. First, you must add all your files to find out how much space your site needs now. Then, you must consider future additions and updates to your web site.
Disk Space = Current Files + Future Additions
2.) Data Transfer, Bandwidth
Data Transfer measures how much data was transmitted from your site to the visitor and back.
If the web site consist of multiple pages for a total of 3MB, and there are 3,000 visitors a month who visit every page, then amount of data transferred is 3,000 * 3 = 9,000 MB. Since probably not every visitor will visit every page of your site, the best formula to calculate monthly data transfer is the following:
Data Transfer = # Of Visitors * Page Size * # Of Pages Viewed Of course, number of visitors and page views will differ from month to month, and so is amount of data transferred. Flash, video and music files usually account for most data tranmitted to and from your site.
Many web hosting services use Linux or Windows operating systems. Your choice of operating system should be based on what programs you plan to use.
Both Windows & Linux are fine for HTML files. However, Windows is best for ASP while Linux is fine with Perl / CGI. Take a look at what software and databases your prospective host is supporting.
Usually Windows hosting is more expensive. Some people wrongly believe that you must use the host that has the same operating system as your computer. Actually you can use Windows on your computer and have Linux host, and vice versa.
Up Time is a percentage of time your site is available online.
Sometimes even the very best web hosts shut down due to numerous reasons (outage, maintenance, human error …). However, your uptime must be at least 99% to 99.5%, and top web host provide it.
It is very important to have professional help if something is wrong with your site. A good web host should offer at least a day time customer support and online support options.
Naturally you want to pay the lowest price possible for web hosting. However, sometimes cheap or free is not necessarily good.
You want to make sure that your host offers enough web space, data transfer and good customer support even if it means paying a little more. This is especially true for E-Commerce web sites. If your site is too slow to load or is down for some time, you lose customers and money.
I do not recommend free hosts because they often place banners and other ads on your web pages. Many of them go out of business on a short notice or no notice at all. Also some free hosts will not let you use your domain name and you will have to use their domain that can make your address too long and hard to remember.
In most cases you will have to sign up for 1 or 2 year package in order to qualify for best deals that include Free Domain and Set Up. You can always check Web Hosting Services Directory [http://www.webhostchecklist.com] for best available offers.