Selecting a hosting company. The term hosting refers to the space a website occupies online. The space is housed on a computer and we all know that things can go wrong with computers. Every web host in the world has problems from time to time. So really selecting a good host is about risk management. Here are the factors that I take into consideration when I select the host for my clients. The first one is 24-7 phone support. There are tons of really cheap hosts on the marketplace and they are more than happy to sign you up and take your money. They just really hate to answer the phone. This is a huge deal. A lack of readily available phone support is a strong indication that the company may be cutting corners in other areas as well. Side effects of dealing with such a company may include elevated blood pressure and an increase in cursing. Redundancy. Cloud computing and other recent innovations have allowed hosts to store customer websites in multiple places at the same time. This is a great thing in times of power outage or natural disaster. Uptime reputation. Every host on the Internet is subject to uptime tests by independent third-party companies. These companies do these tests without the permission or cooperation of the hosting company. You can benefit from these tests by doing a simple web search. You can do searches like this to find such reports hosting company plus uptime report or hosting company plus review. For instance, Hostgator uptime report or hostgator review. Disk space. The disk space is the amount of space that you are allocated for your website. Some hosting providers offer unlimited space while others allocates space at a cost. Either way, make sure that you have a plan that offers you at least twenty percent more space than you’re currently using or plan to use. This gives you some room for growth. If you were offered unlimited space, make sure that your hosting company is clear about just what unlimited really means. Often, unlimited means typical use. Exceeding typical use whatever that means, will trigger an increase in cost that you might have missed in the fine print. Here’s some of the things to look for: so don’t assume that unlimited is better than a limited amount of space, there are always trade-offs. Understand the cost for extra space in case you need to upgrade. Bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data your website can pass to visitors within a period of time. Those periods are usually measured in months. Some hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth while others charge different prices for the amount you use. Make sure that you know what will happen if your site goes over the allocated bandwidth and that you’ve got enough to support the visitors you are anticipating. Services. Before you choose a hosting provider, consult with your web designer. Your web designer should have some very specific technical requirements. Have them suggest the package that will best suit your needs. Website backups. It may shock you to learn that not all hosting companies back up your website material. Shocking right? Well it’s really important to ask your hosting provider about how many backups are being made and if they will cost extra. You will ask them how many versions of your site they keep and how far back they go. You will want to ask them where they store those backups. If your website is hacked and it goes unnoticed for a week, only having a week’s worth of backups will be a disaster. The best answer might be arranging to use a host that uses whm or plesk control panels. With your web designers help, you should be able to set up a complete backup schedule. Those backups can then be automatically uploaded to some secondary storage solution such as Dropbox, Google Drive or something equivalent then you can arrange to have a really generous number of backups and storage in case of disaster. This is not overkill. An ironclad backup system, with lots of version control can literally save your online business in times of disaster. Website monitoring. there’s nothing worse than discovering secondhand that your website has gone down. The only reason I can sleep at night is that i use a top-notch monitoring service to monitor each and every one of the websites we host. If you only have one website, there are many free services which can be set up to notify you if your site should go down. Web site monitoring services can monitor just about any fundamental web service and alert you within minutes of an outage regardless of whom you host with. The service that I prefer is called status cake and status cake can send alerts by email and also by text message which is my preferred way of getting those kind of notifications.