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BUYER'S GUIDE: OTHER FACTORS IN SELECTING WEB HOSTING PLAN
Once you've decided whether you want to host on a shared, "virtual dedicated" or dedicated computer, you will need to consider a whole range of other factors which may influence your choice of hosting service provider and plan:
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you the general idea on what things to consider when decided on a plan. Using these criteria, you should be able to put together a "short list" of provider that seem (at least theoretically) to satisfy your budget and needs.
After finding a short list of plans that satisfy your needs as described above, you should do some basic background checks on the providers you are considering.
YOUR PROVIDER's CONNECTIVITY
This may matter less to small sites, but it's always better to have a provider with many high-speed connectsion – after all, this is the main reason for hosting outside of your own home or office! You should avoid those companies that don't disclose their network capacity (i.e. the total bandwidth available through their networks). Most serious providers are very proud of the investments they have made in their infrastructure and will disclose their network connectivity on their web site.
Although it's not a direct relationship, speed is usually higher for sites physically hosted close to where most users are. If your business is local, all things being equal, you may want to look for a provider with a data center in your geographic area (e.g. the Northeast, Midwest, California, etc).
SUPPORT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Last but not least, the quality of customer service and feedback from other clients are also well worth looking into. How happy you are going to be with support may not be easy to predict in advance, and most people think that will probably not need much in the way of support, but it's better to find out in advance how problems are solved. Is there a toll-free number? Is there a ticket system? Email? A guarantee for turnaround?
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