Choosing a reliable web host is the first step and probably the most crucial decision you should consider when starting a successful website project. So how do you choose a web hosting service provider? What does one look for to ensure good up-time for the websites?
Web presence is ranked as one of most pertinent factors that contribute to a prospering business, regardless of whether it is an online business or an offline (retail) business. Web sites reflect your brand, your image, your product and people often make their decisions based on the information that they see on your website and gauge your reliability based on how comfortable and how available you are to them. With so many hosting businesses out there, it can be hard to figure out which ones are reputable and reliable.
In order to have your website available on the internet, you need a place where to host it. This place is provided by the web hosting service provider. Web hosting as a service is a varied landscape which incorporates the space where your website files are stored, CPU power, the traffic to your website, databases and lots of extra services such as firewall protection, technical assistance, email services, FTP access, and more factors all of which are vital differentiators that separate one provider from the next. The definition of good web hosting services is low downtime, good maintenance, proficient staff that is attentive to your problems and needs, and of course, affordable prices. From time to time, the company also needs to perform proper maintenance to ensure that it is free of malicious elements that could harm your website content.
Do you just want a website for personal use or do you want one for your business? Good web hosts are crucial if you need a website to market you and your business.
Types of Hosting
- Shared hosting is very affordable, but they can prove problematic when other sites on the server eat up system resources and impact your website’s performance. Ideal for small to medium web sites (up to a few hundred visitors a day)
- Dedicated servers eliminate shared server issues by allocating all of the system resources to your website, but you spend higher for the exclusivity. Ideal for large web sites with tens of thousands or more visitors per day
- Virtual servers fall somewhere between shared and dedicated; but they operate in a dedicated server-like manner.
We have discussed this topic at length in our previous article “Shared vs VPS vs Dedicated Hosting – What to Choose?”
Know the difference between a Windows and a Linux server
- Linux-based servers are generally more popular, wallet-friendly investments. This is the route to take if you don’t need to run apps that require Microsoft software. They are more stable and secure.
- Windows-based servers are costlier, but it’s worth the money if you need to run specific apps. For example, if you have custom applications written in Microsoft’s .NET language.
We have discussed this topic at length in our previous article “Linux vs Windows Web Hosting”
Unlimited Hosting. What’s in store?
A common marketing trick of some hosting companies is to advertise huge “packages” or even “unlimited”. To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that don’t provide video or music on their site use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. The truth is, the vast majority of web sites will never use large amounts of disk space. Unlimited disk spaces simply don’t exist. Unfortunately web hosting service providers that offer unlimited for shared hosting accounts will restrict the amount of memory (RAM) and processor (CPU) you can use. Avoid falling in the trap with a little foresight and planning. Of course, if you’re planning on a simple site, 5GB disk space would be obviously a lot more than enough. Average websites don’t even occupy over 50 MB. Investigate before swiping your credit card. We have discussed this topic at length in our previous article “Unlimited Web Hosting – Unveiling the Truth”
Reliability and Speed
Test the speed of a host’s network to your location by clicking start > run > type in “command” enter, and then type “ping hostdomainname.com” wait for it to finish and look for the average ping. The lower the number the better, and chances are the faster your site will load. Any number averaging around an 80 would be good. Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime. No web hosting service provider can guarantee 100% up-time. Beware of anyone who does.
Seek good customer service with 24/7 support with preferably faster response times. You’ll want someone to call when your site inevitably goes down at 3 in the morning. The most efficient companies use ticketing systems, where you deliver all technical details needed to have your question answered within an hour or less. Besides speed of responses, check to see, if they are technically competent.
While price is always a factor, however, I would caution that you should realize that it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best. Whereas, web hosting services with cheap price tags sometimes do not guarantee you reliable services.
Read reviews of web hosting service provider
If you are looking to launch a website, you should take a look at some reviews before you decide on choosing a web hosting service provider that will help you getting the best possible web hosting service for you. Through these reviews, you would get neutral ideas from various people. Be sure to check how long the company has been into web hosting business.
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