How to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider

Learning how to choose a reliable web host for your web hosting needs is an important and difficult decision. Make sure that you prepare a detailed list of your web hosting requirements before you start searching to find the most suitable web host. Here are few ‘verification’ points to make sure that your web host is reliable.

  • Past performance: Go through the web site of the host to find out details like how long the host has been around, up time commitment (I will come to this later), any awards that the web host has won, any well known sites that are being hosted by this provider (normally a list of clients can be found on the host’s site or you may find testimonials). These should provide you with a sufficient amount of confidence in the first place to deal with this specific web host.
  • Up time:This is a very important feature. Web sites hosted on the servers of a particular web hosting provider are subject to technical problems and things can happen and servers crash. This means that during this period if a web surfer comes to see your site, they will be unable to view it. Normally represented as a percentage, this value gives you the idea of the time the sites hosted by the particular host are up and working fine. A value above 98% is good. Nowadays many web hosts guarantee a certain percentage of up-time like 99.8%. This is exceptional.
  • Flexibility: A flexible web hosting plan is useful because you can start with a minimum plan and later upgrade to another hosting plan when your needs grows. Web Hosts who provide only one kind of plan are always not useful for everyone.
  • Cost and features: Compare the features and costs of a few web hosting providers. See if the features match your need. Also make sure that all basic requirements are covered and also check out the availability of latest technologies on the hosting feature list. Even if you don’t need them, this can show the reliability of the provider.
  • Payment plans: Check out very carefully the payment plans of the web hosting provider. A monthly payment plan is always good even if it costs you a few dollars more. You always have the choice to change providers at any time you want. Most web hosts now provide a 30 day money back guarantee period.
  • Support: This is something you will need the most. What kind of support the web hosting company provides the clients such as telephone support, email, FAQ sections, etc… Maybe a dedicated discussion board or forum will help as well. Also check on the delay in responses especially for the email support service. A web hosting provider who supports clients 24-7 is an excellent feature.
  • Backup: Last but not least. Recently we have been hearing a lot about sites with tons and tons of pages disappearing. Why, because of some technical problems on the servers and no backups. No one likes to see their years of hard work disappear within a few seconds. Now, many reliable web hosting service providers have a daily automatic backup feature.

Learning how to choose a reliable web host for your web hosting needs is really about what is important to you and your needs!

Web Hosting: Which Is The Host With The Most?

So you want to publish a web site do you? Welcome to the club. These days it seems that almost everyone has a web site of some kind, and thousands more continue to be launched every day. It’s challenging enough to design a site and fill it with interesting content, but when all is said and done another challenge still remains – where to host it?

A popular choice for newbie webmasters, and even experienced ones, is to secure a free hosting plan with a company such as Yahoo! Geocities, Tripod or Angelfire. While these are easy to setup and free of charge, they do have limitations. Most free hosts don’t offer all the nice features that paid hosts do such as FTP access, CGI-BIN, or your own personal domain name. Instead you’re stuck with minimal features and a generic URL such as [http://www.freewebhost.com/marcswebsite]. This somewhat limits your web site‘s potential. Most free hosts also require you to run banners or pop-up ads on your web site to make it worth their while – these banners and pop-ups can obstruct the view of your web page and ultimately annoy visitors and drive them away. Lastly, most free hosts have a daily bandwidth limit that is very small, so if you do get a lot of traffic you’ll most likely exceed the allotted bandwidth and your site will be temporarily disabled. Overall I would recommend free web hosts for people that are new to web hosting and want to get a feel for how it works. I’d also recommend them for web sites that are personal in nature (such as an online journal) as well as web sites that don’t plan to generate any revenue. Free web hosts are a great stepping stone to paid web hosts – I myself starting building web sites 4 years ago using free hosts, and today I run several high traffic web sites that are hosted on paid web hosting plans.

Now it’s time to get into the good stuff – paid web hosting. Web hosting companies that charge money for their services are plentiful on the Internet, and feature a wide array of hosting packages at various price points. First we begin with so called “budget” web hosts, who claim to offer you the world for only $1 per month. Having used numerous such companies I feel I must tell you to proceed with caution here, as these companies aren’t all that they are cracked up to be. Many claim to offer 24/7 e-mail support, which in my experience turned out to be 0/0 e-mail support. My e-mails were either never answered or answered a week after I sent them. Even when I got a response it was generic in nature and completely unhelpful. Also, expect frequent outages with these budget web hosts as they rarely even have their own web servers – often they are reselling space on someone else’s web servers over which they have no control. One budget web host I used went down unexpectedly for 6 days, and they didn‘t even bother to notify their customers. As a result, my web site was down for 6 days and I lost most of my visitors as well as my hard-earned search engine rankings. Lesson learned: if the reliability and success of your web site is important to you, budget web hosting might not be the answer. However, this is not to say that all budget web hosts are bad – 1dollarhosting.com is one of the leaders in the budget web hosting arena and has quite a good reputation.

The next type of paid web host is what I refer to as a “mid-range” web host, meaning that they offer prices and service that will satisfy the majority of web sites out there. Mid-range web hosts like PowWeb, Your-Site.com and iPowerWeb offer packages ranging from $5 to $8 per month and provide the tools that most webmasters will need to run a web site, such as: CGI-BIN, tons of e-mail addresses, FTP support, visitor statistics and more. These hosts do have monthly bandwidth limits, but the limits are quite high, and most web sites will never reach them. However, if your web site features hundreds of file downloads and gets decent traffic you may be shocked at how soon you’ll reach those bandwidth limits. When you do, your site may be temporarily shut down or you’ll have to pay bandwidth overage charges, which can get pricey. Overall though, mid-range web hosts will be satisfactory for 90% of the web sites out there, and generally offer excellent uptime/reliability. In fact, many web-based businesses are successfully run using a mid-range web host. However, as mentioned previously, web sites that offer large files for download or sites that get a huge amount of traffic may find that a mid-range host doesn’t quite suit their needs. These types of web sites may require “high-end” web hosting solutions, the next topic in our discussion.

High-end web hosts typically service web sites that are extremely popular, have a high amount of traffic, and/or require pretty much 100% uptime. Most businesses rely on high-end web hosts to host their web sites. Rackspace.com is an example of a well known high-end web hosting company. Pricing for high-end hosts varies, but typically runs from about $50 per month to several hundred dollars per month. Many high-end hosts give you your own dedicated server (which they support) that is reserved just for you and your web site. The mid-range hosts I discussed earlier typically host many different web sites on the same server – this is known as “shared” hosting. High-end web hosts offer stellar reliability, bandwidth, and just about every tool you’ll ever need to run a successful web site. Another feature that some high-end web hosts provide is “co-location” hosting. In this scenario, YOU configure and provide the web server, but you get to plug it into their data center/network. This can be very nice because their data center usually has a fiber-optic connection directly to the Internet, offering blazing bandwidth and stellar reliability. People who run web-based businesses or extremely popular, high traffic web sites are good candidates for high-end web hosting.

Hopefully this brief overview gives you a good picture of the various types of web hosts that exist, and which one might be right for you. When you begin your search for a web host, always keep in mind the old adage “You get what you pay for” because it really does hold true in this case. Before you make the commitment to host a web site be sure to take some time and analyze what you want out of the web site, and decide which factors are most important to its success. Answering these questions will get you many steps closer to choosing the web host that’s right for you.

Web Hosting Providers and Their Services

Web hosting service falls under the category of Internet hosting service and is the most important aspect of your web presence. Web hosting providers give users the scope for stocking up information, imageries, video or other things that is reachable via the World Wide Web. Web hosting service companies help their clients by providing space on a server owned by them. In a data center, web hosting provider gives their customers the access to the Internet also. Web hosting providers also help in collocation where internet connection and data center space are allotted to the servers, not owned by them. There are numerous web hosting providers for running web servers.

There are web hosting providers whose services are restricted to the web. The free web hosting providers offer web hosting service free of cost or sometimes it is totally backed by advertisement. If you compare this service to paid hosting service, then this is very much constrained. The clustered web hosting providers boasts of several servers that host identical content. Thus, the provision for resource exploitation gets enhanced. Then there are shared web hosting providers whose websites share the same server with many other sites. The range of these sites ranges from just a few to more than thousands.

The duty of collocation web hosting providers is almost similar to dedicated web hosting providers. The dedicated hosting service providers help the user to obtain his/her own web server. The user gets the total command over the web server. But, the collocation web hosting providers facilitates the process of the user to own the server. The server gets hold of the physical space provided by the web hosting company. The company also looks after the server. The most potent and costly web hosting service is provided by collocation web hosting service. Mostly, the machine of the client gets equipped with electrical appliances, Internet admittance and storage space for the server.

The clients themselves become web hosts in reseller web hosting service. For separate domains and under any mishmash of the programmed categories of hosting the resellers can carry out functions. The affiliation with the web hosting provider is important here. The virtual web hosting providers slice up a server into virtual servers. Though, in this case, users can think that they are being provided dedicated web hosting service, but, practically, they are allocated a server along.