Are you about to launch your first website or blog? If so (and if you choose to self-host), you’ll need a domain name and Web hosting company to get your site online. What should you look for in a Web host?
Before you can compare Web hosting companies or decide which Web hosting reviews to pay attention to, you have to know what you’re looking for in a new host. Since you’re still new to Web hosting, we’ve assembled a checklist to help you out. This Web hosting checklist is designed to help beginners map out their domain registration and hosting needs before they spend any money.
You can view the beginner’s Web hosting checklist below, or print the .pdf version to use for yourself.
Web Hosting Checklist
In order to use this Web hosting checklist, you’ll need to decide what you want. To make it easier on beginners, some of the things you’ll need to decide on are listed at the top. When you print out the .pdf version, you can fill these in. Then go down the checklist and check off any hosting package you’re considering that meets your requirements in those areas.
Disk Space: ___________ (How much do you need?)
Bandwidth: ___________ (How much will you use each month?)
Uptime: ___________ (What required uptime do you expect?)
Control Panel: ___________ (Do you want a specific control panel?)
Operating System: ___________ (Do you want Linux or Windows hosting?)
Price Limit: __________ (What monthly price are you willing to pay?)
(Fill out a checklist for every Web hosting company you’re considering.)
___ Meets disk space requirements
___ Adequate servers and RAM
___ Meets bandwidth requirements
___ Meets uptime requirements
___ Desired control panel?
___ Desired operating system?
___ Meets price requirements
___ Allows monthly billing
___ Discounts offered for longer term contracts
___ Money-back guarantee
___ 24/7 support
___ Telephone support
___ Adequate uptime guarantee
___ Free domain included
___ Allows subdomains
___ Allows add-on domains
___ You own and control the domain (if registered through the host)
___ CGI bin
___ FTP access
___ Anonymous FTP access
___ Free Web statistics programs included
___ Shared SSL
___ Dedicated SSL
___ Email hosting included
___ One-click installs of popular scripts (like WordPress)
___ Password-protected directories (for password protecting areas of your site)
This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers the most common features a new website owner might want in a hosting package. If you need other programming languages supported, additional features, or anything else not included here, add them to your checklist.
Ideally you’ll want to find a Web hosting company that offers everything you’ve included in your checklist — all of the things you want or need in managing your website. If no such plan exists, you can compare your checklists side-by-side to figure out which hosting package offers the most things you’re looking for, and which ones are missing essential elements so you can weed them out.
Whether you’re looking for a new hosting company for your very first site, or your hundredth site, we wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect Web hosting package for your unique needs.