Since you will be paying for this service you want to be certain that the service provides you with all you'll need without charging you lots of extra fees as your site grows and develops. Basically you want to make sure the relationship is going to be beneficial not only for the web host but for you as well. As the relationship continues and evolves you want to make sure that your needs aren't stifled. Below are 5 important criteria that you need to be aware of before deciding on a service.
1 - Give Me Some Space
Your web hosting plan will allow you only a specific amount of space on their server. Make certain that you are aware of the limits so that you can determine if this relationship will be fruitful for you down the road, as your space requirements will probably grow.
Not only is disk space important but also bandwidth. If your site has audio or video features, bandwidth must be taken into consideration so that additional fees won't be acquired.
2 - Don't Fence Me In
Be sure that the provider allows you to have multiple domains. This is very important for business that is focused on branding. This could mean several different domains that all lead to the same site or multiple sites and domains for different ventures. It's inconvenient to go to a different web host for each of your domains. One stop shopping keeps life simpler.
Although it is much simpler to use one web host for several domains, many businesses prefer to diversify their web hosting so if a server is down their business won't be as adversely effected. Regardless be sure to use a web host that allows multiple domains whether you use them or not.
3 - No Extra Fees Please
There was a time when the hosting provider would charge you an upfront fee. Thanks to competition those days are gone. So don't fall victim to that one. Also as previously mentioned you want to be sure you understand the disk space and bandwidth you are allotted so there are no surprise charges.
4 - What's In It For Me?
As the internet and web development evolve, more and more features that make the whole process better as in easier and more effective are available. Email accounts, FTP accounts and databases are just a few features that should be easily accessible for you.
Many software systems that you may utilize for your site's development such as Joomla require modules. Be sure the modules are available free of charge.
5 - Give Me A Hand Here?
When you start creating your own website then there will inevitably be questions that arise. It is frustrating when there's no one available to answer your questions or steer you in the right direction. Although it may be very difficult to find a provider that will answer your calls. So be sure to find one that will email or IM with you at the very least.