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What to look for in web hosting sites

The cost of your UK web hosts is an important factor to think about, but it is not the only one. When it comes to choosing the company to host your website through, there are many things that you will need to consider, whether you opt for a free host or the most expensive one.

Reliability and service

How often are the websites up? Most of the hosting servers will be able to offer 99.9% website uptime, but this is something that you should look into. The uptime of your website is extremely important since it is the only way that you'll be seen and gain traffic. Anything below 99.5% is too low for website uptime and if it does ever go below that figure, you need to find out whether refunds have been offered. The customer service Help and support should be available at all times, whether by phone, email or the live chat (if there is one). Having the support is very important, especially if you are using a managed host. There should be people who work on weekends and public holidays because they will never tell when something will happen to your website or the server that it is hosted on.

Bandwidth and disk space

How quickly will your site load? You need a high bandwidth so that your website will load quickly for your visitors. People don't like waiting around and if you're too slow, they will click away and try somewhere else. Many free and cheap website hosting plans will have lower bandwidths, which can damage the chances of a successful website. How much space do you have? Just because you see something with unlimited disk space doesn't mean that you need it. Most websites won't need more than 10MB, of course, this does depend on what you use your website for. There are high chances that you'll end up paying more than you need to gain disk space that you won't use.

How you pay and the domain registration

Do you get a discount for paying a lot in advance? There are often different ways of paying for a web hosting server. Some companies will ask for it all in one go, while others will allow it in instalments.
You will usually find that you get to pay less if you do pay for a longer term period. This is because they're guaranteed in the business. What about your domain registration? When you compare web hosting companies, you should also think about buying your domain name. There are some web hosting packages that will come with a free domain name for a year and others that you'll need to buy before you sign up to them.

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