How Creating an Online Business Works

Web Hosting: What to Look for in a Host

Before you can look for a website host, you first need to figure out what you want your site to do -- now, and several years in the future, as your business grows. Once you've determined this, start comparing hosts' packages. Most should provide you with the following [source: Web Hosting Secret Revealed]:

  • Site statistics about how many visitors are coming to your site and which pages they're visiting, plus info on the amount of time they spent on your site
  • FTP software for uploading your Web files to their server
  • Email accounts and auto-responders (for messages like, "Thank you -- your order is being processed.")
  • E-commerce tools like easily-customized product order forms
  • A dedicated IP
  • Regular site backups
  • One-click shopping cart software
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) capabilities and other security measures
  • An easy, intuitive control panel that lets you do administration functions for your site from your browser

There are other features hosts offer, so it's important to investigate your options. It's also helpful to speak with other online business owners to see what their host experiences have been like. See what tools they use and what tools their hosts provide. Ask how many problems they've had with their host and anything else you can think of to help you put a list of prospective host candidates together. Get as many recommendations as you can.