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One of the key requirements in setting up a website is finding a shared host. This is especially important for small websites which do not have sufficient funds to go in for dedicated hosting. They need to find a hosting company that can guarantee around 100 per cent server uptime, which is scalable & whose charges are reasonable.

Some of the questions you that need to ask while searching for a shared web host are:

  1. Are the server and the server technology being used by the web host capable of supporting the number of expected users?

two. What is the technical skill and experience level of system administrators?

  1. Can your host route Internet traffic on another line if one line is down?

  2. How good is network connectivity? You need at least a T3 connection, with sufficient bandwidth dedicated to your needs.

This is not all. You also need to:

  1. Purchase only those services that are required by your website. Don't pay for services that are included in the hosting package but which have no use for you.

  1. Select a host who can provide technical support through a toll-free line 24 hours a day.

  2. Check references and speak to other webmasters whose sites are running on the same server. Browse their websites at peak, as well as off-peak, hours to check the response time.

  3. Check what happens in case of a server failure. Will the web host be able to recover lost data? Or will you end up losing valuable business data?

  4. Find out if the host owns the servers and the hosting facilities or is merely a reseller.

  5. Will your web host offer any compensation if there are interruptions in service, especially if these interruptions will cost you valuable business?

  6. Check what kind of content is hosted on the server. Avoid web hosts that allow adult sites to be hosted on their servers as these can affect the performance of your site.

These are not easy questions. Most web hosts will be reluctant to answer these questions directly. They will try to confuse you with web jargon. A good policy is to take an Internet professional with you while conducting your research.

You can also go by the advice of a trusted friend who is satisfied with his web host. This will save you the bother of visiting hosting companies and comparing the services offered by them.