Many times, people who decide to start a website think they only need webhosting. They don't realize all of the things it takes to take care of webhosting-related items or even that these items need to be addressed before signing anything.
Ability to upgrade when you need to
Imagine what would happen if your website and your products really took off. You might have more traffic and more webhosting activity.
Will you be able to upgrade to the next level of webhosting plan? Or do you need to wait until it's time to renew your contract? If you can upgrade as needed, this is better for your bottom line.
Shopping cart and ecommerce pages
If you are selling anything through your website, you need to make sure that you can point people to your online ecommerce pages and your online shopping cart.
After all, many people don't use checks anymore nor do they send away for products. They all use the Internet and that means that they need to use an online shopping cart.
Whether or not you think you need or want one now, the truth is, the blog is the new hot thing.
You may decide you want one later so you need to know if your webhosting company has blog functionality. Is it something that's already installed or do you need to do it yourself?
Some webhosting companies sell domain names as well as webhosting space and some don't.
Find this out. If they do, then you'll probably have an easier time of it however you may be less able to cope if they don't -- that would mean you need to get your own domain name and set it up yourself.
Web-based email is a great perk of webhosting companies. It means that you can check your email from anywhere.
You just go to a particular website and log in. It's easy! You can always download files to your secretary later, but for you, you can just get a maniure.
Some webhosting companies offer a transfer discount. Some will offer a break on the annual price of webhosting if you're moving a site of a minimum size from another webhosting company.
Even if it isn't listed, you should ask about it anyway; it doesn't hurt to ask and you won't know unless you try.
And finally, you'll need 24/7 service. After all, kids don't only get sick from 9-5, Monday through Friday. So it is with webhosting problems.
If you rely on your website for sales, you don't want to hear anything except that they can help you right away. You need customer service available when you need it.
So you see, in addition to the basic webhosting duties, you need to look at your ability to upgrade plus your shopping cart and ecommerce pages, blog functionality, transfer discounts, 24/7 customer support, and domain names.
These are all things that can make or break a webhosting agreement.