Choosing the right host for web pages is one of the most important factors to consider when setting up a website for the first time. However, too many business owners simply opt for the provider that promises the lowest monthly charge. There are several factors to consider when choosing the service that best suits the needs of a business, and company bosses may find that paying a little extra sometimes gives them a far superior service.

Will ads be imposed on the site?

If business owners are thinking about signing up to a cheap web host, or one that offers web space completely free of charge, there is a chance that ads will be placed on their site – affecting its usability and image. Webmasters should check if their chosen web hosting package includes advertisements before signing up to anything – especially if their brand image is critical to the success of their business.

How much web space is being offered?

For webmasters planning a large site with hundreds of pages, videos, interactive features and the continual addition of content, the chances are they're going to need a lot of server space. There are several packages on website.1and1.co.uk, and they will clearly state how much space is included in the standard price. It is, however, usually possible to add space as and when it is required.

Is FTP access included?

Although there are now some excellent content management systems available – such as WordPress and Drupal – the more complex websites should still have the option of FTP access. Indeed, hosts such as 1and1 include WordPress functionality in some of their web hosting packages.

Is technical support included?

There are some web hosts that offer around-the-clock support for webmasters, which might be vital for people who operate a global business. Reacting to technical problems quickly could be the key to stopping customers from turning to competitors.

How much traffic is allowed?

Some web hosts will impose charges when the traffic a site is receiving exceeds a set limit. This limit should be clearly advertised from the outset, and the schedule of charges for exceeding it should also be made available. There is often the chance to pay an extra monthly charge for more bandwidth. Webmasters should look for providers that offer unlimited bandwidth as part of their standard hosting packages.

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