Finding a web host can be a long and research intensive process. It can involve spending a lot of time on the internet, researching different hosts, packages and companies.
Before you spend any more time looking at hosting packages, make sure you have assessed your own needs and know exactly what kind of hosting you need. If you are a company and need hosting with maximum uptime, high bandwidth and instant response then you will probably need dedicated hosting. If you’re an enthusiast or hobbyist and not a business, then shared hosting should be just fine.
Don’t judge a host by its prices, especially if you’re in business. While cost is important, uptime and allowable bandwidth are more so. A good host should have an uptime of over 99%, some will even be 99.9%. These are the hosts that should make it to your shortlist. It means that your website will be copied across multiple servers behind load balancers. This means that if a server does go down, one of the other copies of the site on another server will take over and provide a seamless service to your visitors. This is true of both dedicated and shared hosting in many cases, and isn’t something you should compromise on if you can help it.
Allowable bandwidth is also a concern for those who will be running forums, busy blogs and other sites that will have a lot of content. Disk space is now measured in megabytes or gigabytes. For the average site, 500Mb should be enough, it should really be the minimum offered, as there are plenty of high uptime hosts who do offer at least that.
Even in a city like Naples, hosting is still a competitive market. Smaller, local business offering hosting compete with larger national vendors who can leverage economies of scale in their favor. While larger companies definitely have an edge, have a mind as to the reach of your website.
For example, if your website only has local appeal, or will have the majority of visitors from your area then it makes sense to have a host who is local so the response is quicker. The shorter the journey, the quicker the response of the site in most cases.
If you website has a wider appeal then it doesn’t make so much of a difference where your host is located as far as site response goes. Larger companies have large centralized data centers where all their websites are hosted. Although it still makes sense to host locally, or within your country to reduce the packet journey time and improve the response of the site.
Having local hosting is also an advantage when things go wrong or you need something changed. While email and FTP are great technologies, there is something about being able to look at your host eye to eye, especially if things go wrong.
Web hosting isn’t all about the money, in fact it should only be one of the major criteria you consider. Money is the driver for most things in life and business, but with web hosts as anything, you get what you pay for.