In the world of Web 2.0 interactive websites have become the “in” thing. But aside from the popular social media platforms, there are many website owners who start a forum and discussion website on specific and pertinent topics.
Forums are a great place to attract a certain type of expert or personality. Discussions can be lively and helpful. But whether your online forum is a place to discuss the latest trends in wedding videography, pharmaceutical development, or just a fan club for the latest teen throb, you need the right web host that will keep your forum operating smoothly.
So how do you choose the right host? Here are a few important things to consider:
Your forum does not have regular “hours.” It is not a place that is only open 9-5. Rather, online goers are welcome 24 hours a day to read, post, and get involved. And if your web host has unreliable web servers and suffers multiple downtimes during any month, your forum suffers as well.
Check with your potential web host for a reliability promise or guarantee. A top web host will offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee which means they experience less than 1 hour of downtime a month, and if ever it is more you will be compensated. Make sure your host guarantees your forum uptime.
As an online forum owner you must have total access and control to monitor and update your website. Difficulty logging in, a confusing control panel, or the wrong control options on the control panel offered by your web host can limit your ability to keep your forum operating smoothly.
Be sure your web host offers a top-rated control panel like Parallel’s Plesk or cPanel. Control panels like these offer you flexibility in configuring your navigation so you see the controls you use most. They are user-friendly and provide all the access and control you need to manage your forum.
A forum that becomes popular will likely see increased traffic month after month. As a forum website owner you need assurance that your host gives you all the bandwidth you need.
Most reputable web hosts will offer unlimited bandwidth. While this can be a good thing, check the fine print of “unlimited.” What you want is true unlimited data transfer that is unmonitored. Most web hosts will monitor their “unlimited” accounts, and let you know when they think your website is using too many resources. They could start charging hidden “fees”, or even shut down your online forum if you exceed their guidelines.
If ever you have a question about your online forum website that pertains to your hosting account, you need to know you have access to technical support. Your website doesn’t sleep, why should your host?
Be sure your web host offers true 24 hour support via phone or at least email or online chat. This way you know you can get the answers and help you need when you need it.
Finding the right web host for your online forum can be challenging. Just be sure to make a priority to review your host ahead of time for the above important factors, and make a decision based on a host that feels right for you.
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