Best Web Hosts and Hosting PackagesNow that you have your domain name, it’s time to pick out your hosting package.

What is a hosting package? Hosting is space that is rented on a web server for storing and displaying your website on the internet. A hosting package is the amount of space, bandwidth, and other options packaged together and rented monthly or yearly for a set price.

There are many hosting companies out there offering a variety of services and packages. So, how do you choose?  Here are some simple tips for picking the best service:

Every reputable web hosting company will have an uptime guarantee posted somewhere on their website. Look for companies that guarantee a minimum of 99% uptime. What this means is that your website is guaranteed to be available and working on the internet 99% of the time.

Look at the support options available. The last thing you want is a company that is unreachable or doesn’t respond if you have a problem. Do they have support forums? Do they have contact numbers? A ticket system? Live chat options? Test the options available and see how well they respond to you. Go to their forum and see what others are saying about them.

Always choose a Linux-based web server. Many web hosting companies are only Linux-based, but if the company you choose offers Linux and Windows servers, choose the Linux option. Linux offers more options and is more secure, more reliable and faster than Windows servers.

Look for a company that uses cPanel, a control panel for administering your web site and hosting options. Although there are other control panels, cPanel is the industry standard, offering the most options and ease of use. If this information is not posted on their website, contact customer support and ask.

One thing many people overlook but is of vital importance is the server data recovery plan that the host has in place. If the server upon which your website is hosted happens to go belly up, you want to make sure that this company can recover your data and get you back up and running quickly. You can learn more about server data recovery by visiting http://www.datarecoverygroup.com/server-data-recovery

Finally, look for a hosting company that offers Fantastico, an auto installer for cPanel. Fantastico enables you to install a variety of software packages to your website, such as blogging software and forums, without needing to be a technical expert.

When starting out, be sure to pick the smallest plan available. In the beginning, that’s all most websites need and, as your site grows, you can easily upgrade your plan to meet the growing demands of your website. Never spend more than you need to. The money you save is better spent on other things.

One of the most popular hosting companies that meets these requirements is Hostgator. It offers fast, reliable service at a reasonable price. Their “Hatchling” plan is the smallest plan available and is perfect for starting a new website. Use coupon code “bootstrapblog” without the quotes when you sign up and save nearly $10 off your hosting package.

Next, I’ll teach you how to point your domain name to your new host, the last step before installing your blogging software. Are you excited yet?  …and don’t forget about the data recovery on that server.  It’s important…  😉

Categories: Computers, Internet

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