For a new website, shared hosting is the most logical way to start. It is inexpensive, provides just enough (or even more) bandwidth, disk space and other requirements.
However, it is not without perils. If your site has been enjoying tremendous growth or you expect your site to take off quickly, you need to ask your web host a number of important questions:
- How many web sites are hosted in the same server where your site is hosted?
- How old is the server and what are its capabilities (if you’re unlucky, your site may be hosted in an old, slower server which in turn can affect the performance of your website)?
- If you are running databases (such as Mysql), how many databases are being hosted in the server where your database resides?
- If the load of the server seems to be too much — e.g. your database often cannot connect to the server — what is the likelihood that your website or database can be moved to a better and less prone to hiccups server?
- If you stay with the web host for several years, what is the likelihood of moving your website to newer and faster server?
- And for you — how many complaints can you handle before saying “enough is enough” and start finding a new web host?
If you are running a web business, the choice of the web host is very critical. If your website is down, your business goes kaput as well. Or your website may load very, very slow — with visitors hitting the back button because they simply don’t have the patience or time to wait for your site to load up.
It is important that you research thoroughly your web host — and carefully monitor their performance. A webhost whose performance was excellent a couple of years ago may deteriorate next year. Occasionally check web hosting review sites to read about complaints by other people against your web host so you will know what to watch out for.
Your web host can make – or break – your online business. Learn to ask the right questions and watch for telltale signs of decreased performance to ensure that you get your money’s worth.