Choosing a web host for your company, personal site or blog can be a daunting process, what do you need? How much should you be spending? When do you stop?

Once you have decided if you want to use Windows or Linux as your OS and how much Disk Space and Data Transfer you require, the next step is to draw up a list of features that you would like or expect from your web host.

User friendly control panel – Spend some time researching exactly what functions you can perform from your control panel generally the more control the better, but this must be balanced against a good graphical user interface.

24/7 Customer support – This is a big one, ensure that help is on hand 24/7 365 days and that they are capable and qualified, and easy way to do this is to phone them be honest tell them you are a potential customer (they are not in sales) and ask them about their service.

Unrealistic Guarantees – Nothing is unlimited, sure most web hosts will offer you more storage that you will ever use, but you should be wary of Data Transfer Allowance, cheap data transfer may mean low bandwidth and as a result your site may be slow to load -a guaranteed way to lose customers.

Server Up-Time – If your web site is down you are losing money, a 99% up-time guarantee may seem attractive but that means your server could be down for in excess of 7 hours over the course of a month.

99% Uptime means 7 Hours 12 Minutes downtime a month. 99.9% Uptime means 43 Minutes down time a month. 99.99% Uptime means 4 Minutes 19 Seconds down time a month.

Location – Your server can be located anywhere in the world and it is generally prudent to host it in the country which houses your largest target audience, this will help you with your search engine rankings as they tend to deliver results belonging to an IP address from the same country as the search was originated.

Before signing up for any of the great web hosting deals out there take the time to research what is available and match it to your needs.

Source by James Betchley