When you start looking for a web hosting solution for your e-commerce website, there are some specific things you need to look out for to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. The features you require from a web host will depend on what you are planning to do with your website.
1. Technical support. When something goes wrong on your website, you are losing money. Make sure your web host offers excellent technical support that will respond to your requests within hours and not days. Some web hosts even offer toll free telephone support 24/7.
2. Bundled software. Before you build your website you should decide whether you will require any specialized software like a content management system or a shopping cart system and then see if your web host can offer it to you as part of the package. For example, if you get a web host that offers the cPanel control panel software, it usually includes a component called Fantastico which gives you the ability to easily install a variety of software for use on your website. You will be able to select software like a weblog, content management, customer support, discussion board or shopping cart.
3. Editing tools and script support. Many web hosting companies offer easy to use website design and editing tools. Or if you are using a software package like FrontPage, check that the web host has support for FrontPage extensions. And if you are planning to use scripting languages on your website, like PHP, ASP, Perl and others, make sure that your web host is compatible with those languages.
4. Speed and uptime. Check that your web host guarantees uptime of 99.9% and check the information about their data center. You want to make sure they have high speed connections to the internet backbone.
5. Do your due diligence. Before you sign up for any small business web hosting account, look over their website and check for awards or seals of approval that they may have received from magazines and look for the the Internet Better Business Bureau Seal. Use your favorite search engine to look for reviews of the web hosting company. You will always find someone that complains about a company, but you will quickly see if a web host get consistent bad reviews and no good reviews.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to find a reliable and stable small business web hosting service.