Web Hosting – How to Choose a Reliable Web Host

Say you a running a marketing campaign to drive thousands of visitors to your web site. The server from the web hosting company you chose goes down so your web site goes offline. You lose time, money and customers…an ugly thought but it can happens if you made the wrong choice.

Types of web hosts

Free web hosting

Free web hosts usually incorporate advertising to cover their costs of providing free web space and associated services. The other down side is that free web hosts often disappear because they can’t support the free services they offer. This will result in your web sites and email suddenly disappearing. Also technical support is often non-existent which is a must if you want reliability.

If you don’t need a professional domain name but wish to have an online presence, set up a free blog at wordpress.com or blogspot.com. The company provides free hosting as long as your web site remains with them.

Shared web hosting

This is the most common because it allows the web hosting company to host multiple web sites on one server. Beware of those companies offering unlimited space and/or bandwidth as too many web sites on one server will quickly use up all the resources. This may result in your web site disappearing or loading slowly for for your visitors.

Dedicated web hosting

If your web site needs a huge amount of space and bandwidth opt for a dedicated server. It allows your site to use all the resources it needs since it will be the only one on the server (unless you choose to put other sites there). It typically costs over $100/month or more so make sure you need it before making your selection. Sites that need this type of server may have 1000s of pages, images, data, videos, audio etc.

How to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company

If you wish to establish a professional online presence invest in a commercial web hosting company. It will be free of ads plus you receive the many services that come with it.

Features of a reliable web hosting company

1. Speed and reliability of servers and hardware

If your web site goes down you’ll lose visitors and sales because they’ll just click to another web site. Make sure the server has 99% uptime. This means your site will be online 99% of the time. Allow 1% downtime for server hiccups and upgrades.

2. Backup Systems

Good hosts will have back-up systems in place to guard against power failures, which will cause you to lose data and customers. Typically web hosts will do daily, weekly and monthly backups.

2. Fast technical support

Check the response time of technical support. Most will respond within 24 hours or less through email or phone support. This is crucial if your site suddenly goes down. It’s always a joy to experience fast, friendly, knowledgeable technical support.

3. Disc space and bandwidth

If you have a static html web site of 10-20 pages it doesn’t need much space. 75-100MB of space and 3GB of bandwidth will be sufficient. Make sure you have the ability to upgrade to a larger plan should you need it.

Database-driven web sites (ie content management systems) may need large amounts of web space and bandwidth as they grow. If you intend to host lots of videos on your web site look into getting a dedicated server.

4. Type of server

The 2 types of servers are Windows and Apache. I recommend Apache because it is less expensive, reliable and contains many features that are needed for running a web site. These include blocking email harvesters, creating 301 redirects, creating error pages, installing php scripts for contact forms,
protecting your images, blocking IP addresses etc.

5. Control panel

This allows you to manage your web hosting account e.g. create email accounts, autoresponders, check site statistics etc.

6. Check features

Here are some of the typical features to look for when hosting your web site or blog:

* At least 100MB of allocated space
* At least 3GB bandwidth
* Site statistics
* Free Technical Support
* POP3 E-Mail Accounts
* Email Forwarding
* Email Auto-responders
* Email Aliases
* FTP Access
* Front Page Support
* Own CGI-Bin Access
* Free Perl, CGI
* Server Side Includes (SSI)
* Password Protection
* 30 day money back guarantee

7. Price

Don’t go for the lowest priced host as you often get what you pay for. First determine what your needs are then look at pricing. Check how long the company has been in operation, test the support response time and look at the features it offers.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable, efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to the success of your business for many years to come.

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Check out my affordable web hosting plans at: http://www.isitebuild.com/hostingplans.htm.

The servers provide daily, weekly and monthly backups, 99% uptime, site statistics, email accounts and many other features.

Comments

  1. Thanks very much for your blog. Will eb back!

  2. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  3. As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  4. Prahmajankaya says:

    This webpage loads fast, can you tell me who is hosting it?

  5. Thanks for your input. I host my own web sites and offer web hosting to others..see the link above if you are interested in getting fast, reliable web hosting service with a personal touch.

  6. It’s a great guide for those who doesn’t have technical background of website-hosting at all.

  7. Good one. I’m bookmarking this for later!

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