1/ Get the right domain name host
A search for 'domain name registrations' on Google generates a number of different companies offering this service. Always read the small print on any domain name registration to ensure it is not going to be sold from under your feet in a year, once your website is established, or that the price isn't going to suddenly go up. If you have a very common name or are in a competitive market then it is worth considering buying the other domain name extensions (.co.uk, .com, .net etc) and pointing them to your website.
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2/ Do you host with your web designers or a third-party?
Once you have your website built you then have to find a home for your data to be hosted. Many web design companies offer this as part of their service, however this locks your online business into one company. Choosing a separate web host gives you more control and means that you are dealing with the web host directly instead of through a third party. This can come in handy if you anticipate spikes of traffic, perhaps as a result of a marketing campaign, and you need the host to ensure your site does not collapse under this extra pressure.
3/ Read the contract small print
Many hosting providers will give you an all-in fee for set-up, hardware, operating system, support and bandwidth. This may seem like an easy option but the problem with these deals is you can't see exactly where your money is going, and so can't see if you're paying for things you don't need. The best way to ensure you're not taken for a ride is to ask for a breakdown of services and individual quotes for support, bandwidth, additional hardware etc. It's the only way to know what's being delivered, what isn't, and what is surplus to requirements.
Often overlooked the hosting services you buy for your online business are vital to get right. Consumers that have become highly critical of the online stores they buy from want to see solid websites that perform efficiently and are available on demand. The right hosting service can ensure your business becomes a destination site in its sector that your customers are sure to shout about right across their social networks.