When looking around online at hosting companies that will best fit your needs there are many variables to consider. These variables will primarily be concerned with the type of site you are considering launching or even transferring. Will you be hosting a website or perhaps a blog and will it involve the use of multimedia or perhaps even be a membership site? Your use and the expected traffic flow will greatly effect the amount of bandwidth needed therefore variables such as these will differ from person to person. There are however certain requirements all internet hosting services should meet and most especially if you are involved in any type of marketing on the internet. When your site is an income generating site money then becomes involved. When this is the case there are certain expectations you will want to have met by any services under consideration!

Here is a look at 7 minimal requirements or features any internet hosting services should pass or provide if you are considering hosting any type of business online.

24/7 Support

There absolutely needs to be some way to get in contact with your hosting services if problems arise with your site online. Their availability must go beyond the 'standard' 9 to 5 since if your site is offline your business is shut done as well! Most reputable internet hosting services make themselves available 24/7 and this you can see by simply visiting their website.

Easy to Reach

Going one step further than the point made above, the hosting company you choose should be 'easily' available by phone. I do not mean they put you on hold for an indefinite period of time, which is common with many 'tech' support numbers. Your time is just as valuable as theirs and if a host does not recognize this, that is a bad sign and you need to steer clear of that company.

No Long Term Contracts

First there is little justification for this on the part of the host and secondly if they do not work out you want to be able to move without financial loss. Things change when you are marketing on the internet and you may need to change your venue as well to address these changes.

Solid Reputation

Look into what others are saying about any company you may be considering for hosting a website or blog of yours. This is easy enough to do online by visiting forums or even doing a search on the company to see what comes up. If there is any 'dirt' you need to know about it is hard to hide it online.


Good hosting does not have to be expensive. Depending upon what you are looking for most internet hosting services are relatively inexpensive and you can usually get away with something for less than $10 a month.

Pricing Plans

Whether it is monthly, quarterly or yearly you need to pick a plan you are most comfortable with. Many companies offer plans based upon your expected usage and traffic as well so be sure to inquire about this.

FTP Access

File Transfer Protocol is something you definitely want made available to you so check on this right up front. Most services allow you to freely access your own data for reasons such as backup and transferring but there are a few providers that can make this a hassle for you so get clear with them you can ftp your database! If you have a site such as a blog that has accumulated a lot of content and comments that you want to move to another service, without access to your own database this will be difficult!

When considering any hosting companies for where you will 'park' your online business, there are certain minimal features or requirements you need to have. It doesn't really matter what type of site you are creating or transferring, if you are marketing on the internet the 7 'must haves' reviewed above are mandatory. In short it comes down to the reliability and accessibility you have to any internet hosting services under your consideration. In addition you MUST have control over your own site and the data it contains! Obviously there will be other variables to consider mainly concerning bandwidth, but these needs will fluctuate from person to person and business to business. So regardless of whether you are hosting a website, blog or even any type of membership site, if it is a business you will need reliability and control.

Author's Bio: 

TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out of North Carolina.
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