- May 27, 2011
- Web Hosting
This may sound like a silly question with an obvious answer.
A simple search on Google for web hosting will reveal a raft of responses all offering web hosting with low pay monthly rates or in some cases free. However, web hosting packages are not all equal and the true monthly / annual cost may different to the headline offered in the listing.
Below are some of my thoughts on what you should check.
- What is the monthly / annual rate?
- Does this include VAT?
- Is there a set-up / activation charge?
- How long is the contract?
- What is the cost to upgrade?
- What is the cost of the domain name?
- Is a domain name provided free?
- If it is free, who owns the domain and can it be transferred?
- What are the ongoing domain renewal costs?
- Can I use a domain purchased through another service? If so are there any costs?
- Web storage allowance
- Monthly downloads
- Includes e-mail
Important compare the packages to make sure you know what features and allowances you are getting. If you intent to have video content you will need a web hosting package with high storage and download allownaces.
- Ensure your service has good support
A number of providers operate a ‘hands-off’ model meaning that the process is automated and that you get very limited online support. If you are an expert this is probably not an issue. If you are not real support with a web host who cares about your project will prove invaluable.
It is worth making a mention on so called free services. While there are some that may be truly free, most come at a cost.
- Is there an activation / set-up / management fee?
- Do you have to pay premium for domain name registration and ongoing fees?
- Do you have to pay extra for e-mail?
- Are the web storage and download allowances low meaning you have to upgrade to a premium (expensive package)?
- Will your web site have to show advertising over which you have no control? It is not appropriate for a child friendly, church, etc web site to have adult or gambling related adverts.
- Will your e-mail or contact details be sold to direct marketers?
I hope the above gives some ideas on what to check when choosing your web host so as to allow you to choose a suitable service (and avoid costly mistakes).
Digital Ark offer web hosting with an all inclusive monthly or annual rate (discounted web hosting for Christian and charitable use). The web hosting packages are feature rich with good web storage and download allowances. There are no additional activation / set-up fees and all packages include free .co.uk domain with ongoing renewal.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org.