If you are new to web hosting, it is likely you are being overwhelmed with tips on what to look for. Some of the main things that are covered are the bandwidth available from the web hosting company, as well as it's memory limit. Some people will see unlimited bandwidth and memory and think that they found the mother load. Although these are important aspects to look into before purchasing web hosting, they are not the only things to consider. Uptime is a very important requirement that cannot be overlooked for the sake of your long term business.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, uptime is the amount of time your server is on and active. Basically, your web site is up and able to be accessed almost all the time. As you peruse through the many different web hosting packages out there, take into account the uptime guarantee they are offering. If they are a legitimate company, they will advertise a very high percentage for uptime. With so many high guarantees, it would be unwise to go with any web host that does not guarantee at least a 99.9% uptime.
Why do we need such a high percentage of uptime? That is a simple question to answer. Anytime that your web site is down from the web, you are missing out on possible customers. Downtime, the time when your web site cannot be accessed, should be limited to as rarely as possible. These guarantees become important when your site begins to get an increase in traffic. While these are the best times for your web site, it can also be the most vulnerable for your server. Sharing the server with other users give it the necessity to cap your bandwidth and memory at a certain point. Keeping your website up while notifying your about the issue is something most web hosts will do in an attempt to still uphold their guarantee while letting you know you're walking a thin line.
There are also planned downtimes, which are normally planned at inactive times of night, so that your server can get updates. Keeping these to a minimum is an important function of your web host. Continued downtimes will push customers to move on to a different host. The cost of irrational downtime is hard to determine, but less is always better.
Following this logic, always choose the web host with the best percentage of uptime, while also offering the most bandwidth and memory for the price. There are web sites on the web that keep up to date records of these web hosting companies uptimes, so don't just take their word for it either. Check before purchasing, and then add a free uptime checker to your website so that you are notified any time it is down. If you begin to notice a pattern of down times, bring it up through the support queue. Most of the times, web hosting companies will try to fix the problem so that they don't lose a customer. If they don't, move on. There is always another option out there.
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