In addition to the basic rules there are a few additional items to consider when choosing a web hosting provider for the solo/small law firm.
- The free web host conundrum – sure the price point is great, but can you live with the restrictions on disk space and bandwidth? Are you comfortable with little to no support. Remember, that “free site” is going to be plastered with advertising because the provider’s the bills have to be paid somehow.
- Disk space and bandwidth – don’t pay for more than you need and don’t buy less than you will use. The average web site uses 40-50 kilobytes per page, so unless your site requires large databases, provides tons of multimedia content, and vast numbers of images it is unlikely that you’ll need 10’s of gigabytes of disk space. The less bandwidth you have, the slower your site loads and the longer each visitor will have to wait to access your site. The best way to estimate your bandwidth needs is to multiply:
- the average/expected number of visitors your site will get in month
- the average page size for your web site
- the average/expected number of pages viewed by each visitor
- a small margin for error – pick something you are comfortable with
- Backups – the provider should provide a mechanism for automatically backup and restore your data. Also, be sure that you own your data and not the provider.