Here is a basic list with simple feature descriptions so you have a place to begin your search and understanding of what to look for to fill your needs and find YOUR top web host.
Disk Space: All this really means is how much data your web site provider will store for you and in turn, you will be able to display to your users.
Bandwith: This means how fast your web page host can process, deliver and display the stored data to your users when they visit your website.
Up-Time: This is pretty much what it sounds like. It refers to the web page host and their reliability. How often are they “live” and what percentage of time will your website be available for your users.
Customer Service and Support: This is how often, when and if you have questions, your web site provider be available to YOU. And beyond the when, HOW and how often will your web page host be available to you. Can you talk to them on the phone, do you have to email them or can you chat with them online? What are the hours of your web page host customer service and technical support?
Price: Pricing is a matter of choice. The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” has become an adage because it is often the truth. But, we would like you to decide based on your needs and the results of your research and not on price. So take your time, evaluate and decide based on your web page host needs and what your web site provider provides to determine the top web host for YOU.
Computer Language: Language is the code that your web page host uses to be able to communicate with the files for your website. The most common now-a-days is PHP with a MySQL database. PHP is available almost everywhere for free. It is referred to as open source. It is very stable, reliable and well known. Be sure you know what language you need before purchasing a web page host. There are many a web page host that offer free php web hosting.
Number of domains: Although you may only have one website right now, if there is ANY chance that you may have another one in the future, you will want a web site provider that can accommodate you without having to purchase a second web page host. There are circumstances though, where this may not matter or you may WANT more than one top web host. Most website providers now offer an unlimited number of domains.
Email: Many websites need email correspondence or have an email marketing plan. So, it is important to know if your top web host supports email, and if so, what type and how many email accounts. Look for support with POP/IMAP email with an unlimited amount of accounts allowed if you plan to use your hosting provider to server you email.
Shopping Cart/E-Commerce: If your website will sell items online, and you wish to collect payment electronically via your website, you will want to ensure that your web site provider offers a shopping cart. Watch for hidden fees in this area and only get what you need. PayPal is becoming even more accepted although their “cut” (a percentage they keep for their service) is often slightly higher than other merchant accounts.
Guarantee: One thing that any top web host will have is a guarantee. Become familiar with the guarantee of the web site provider you choose just in case you realize it is NOT the web page host that YOU need.
Script Installers: If you are very new to running a website, you might be interested in a number of the available script installers that web site providers now offer. Fantastico, WordPress, phpBB, osCommerce, Gallery 2, and Joomla are a few that the different top web host providers might offer.
Bonuses: Many web site providers will offer incentives to you to sign up for their web page host service. Read the fine print as many of these items expire and then end up costing you an additional fee. There are some FREE bonus items that do remain free. The most recent have been credit towards advertising on Google AdWords, Yahoo or Facebook. Any of these will come in handy once you are ready for marketing.
The Ultimate Solution has done all of this research and partnered with the hosting companies that we found to offer the best overall values. You can find additional information about our Exclusive Ultimate Solution Hosting Blueprint or web site provider partners in our article about Top Web Host Partners.