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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 ...

hosting, host, web host

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!

 

How to Choose a Web Host: Factors to Consider

With all of the web hosting companies, including resellers, out there today, and with all of the promises they make, choosing a web host isn’t always easy. Here are five factors you should consider when comparing web hosts and their hosting plans:

web hosting, cheap hosting plans, web hosting advice, domain name articles, web development

Copyright 2006 Stephen Ashton

With all of the web hosting companies, including resellers, out there today, and with all of the promises they make, choosing a web host isn’t always easy. Here are five factors you should consider when comparing web hosts and their hosting plans:

Support

Even if you prefer email support, see if the company at least offers a toll-free support number. Check the hours that it’s available. If something happens, and your site goes down, will someone be there to help you? Also find out what kind of support documents they make available to their customers, which you can use to find answers to your own questions. At the very least, email the hosting company with some questions, and see how long it takes them to respond to you. A good hosting company will answer you within a matter of a few hours if you email them on a weekday (some even on the weekend).

Price Plans

Don’t worry so much about the exact monthly price, but instead on how you’re expected to pay. You’re better off finding a host that allows you to pay on a month-to-month basis than one who requires you to pay up front, whether it’s for three months, six months, or even a year or more. Don’t just trust that a hosting company will be around for long, or that they’ll let you out of your deal without any problems if you find their service less than satisfactory. Comparing the simple price per month can be misleading, because you need to account for every small detail being offered between two competing hosting packages.

Services & Features

Most small business sites would be fine with 100mb space, and sometimes less, if they don’t have an image-heavy site. Other sites require more space and bandwidth, because they host many image, audio, or video files. You should find out what you need and compare similar services from different hosting companies. For instance, do you need to host unlimited domain names? Do you need to be able to create unlimited sub-domains? Do you want access to Fantastico? Do you need a certain number of email addresses included? Do you need access to set up a MySQL database, or even unlimited databases? Do you need a hosting provider that includes a stats package? Do you need to have FrontPage extensions or e-commerce support? Do you want a hosting company that provides free web site templates? These are all different features that you should consider when evaluating a lower-cost plan that may not have them, versus a higher cost plan that does.

Their History

Find out how long the hosting company has been in business. A larger number of new hosting companies don’t survive past their first year, so signing up for an account with one that’s been in business for several years is usually the best idea. You can find out how long a hosting company has been in business by running a WhoIs search on their domain name to see when it was originally registered. You should also do a search on the Web for reviews about the hosting company you’re interested in. Don’t simply believe the testimonials on their own sites. Specifically look for negative reviews to see what past complaints have been.

Your Freedom

Before you sign up with any web hosting company, find out what kind of freedom you will, or won’t, have when managing your site(s) through them. Something as simple as blacklisted email can be overlooked. For example, let’s say you run a small business, and you want to run a company-wide newsletter. You can sign up for email marketing services through companies such as Constant Contact. If your employees each have an email address associated with your hosting account, you may find out the hard way that your employees won’t be allowed to receive your newsletters. For instance, if you were hosted through GoDaddy.com, you’d find out that they blacklist certain email providers from sending mail to their customers. So, with Constant Contact blacklisted (which it was at last check), you would be forced to sign up for a new email management service or a new hosting provider. Some hosts, such as HostGator.com, allow you to decide who you want to blacklist and whitelist, so you’re completely free to use whatever external services you choose. If you’re running a very small personal site, you might be willing to give up on some freedom for the savings you’ll find. But if you’re a business owner, be sure to find out all of the details about what kinds of freedoms you will and won’t have when running your business’ site through any potential hosting provider.

 

How To Choose A Quality Web Host

There are thousands of web hosting services available online, and some of them are more reliable than others. When you are looking at the number of options available, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

hosting

There are thousands of web hosting services available online, and some of them are more reliable than others. When you are looking at the number of options available, it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is important to look at potential problems with hosting companies prior to using them. This can save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.

You should avoid hosting services which have servers which are constantly down. A good hosting company should be able to monitor its servers and quickly fix problems. Some hosting services may be down as long as a few days, and these are companies you will want to avoid. It is also important to make sure all the features offered by the company work. If your email is down, this prevents you from being able to run your business. This is something you can't afford, and you will want to make sure you stay away from companies which do this.

Another thing which is important for you to look at is tech support. How long does it take the tech department to answer your phone calls or emails? A good company should answer within a few hours. Some hosting companies take many days to answer your questions, and the answers they give you may not solve the problem. Hosting companies like this should be avoided. You should also look for hosting services which communicate well with their customers. A lack of communication is one of the leading causes of business failure. You don't want to do business with companies that don't effectively communicate.

Sometimes when you cancel your account, the hosting company will continue billing you. This is a very frustrating situation, and you may have to file claims with your bank in order to get your money back. Most hosting companies take out automatic payments, and you will want to do research to make sure they stop billing customers once the service is cancelled. When you look online at hosting companies, always look at the price. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. The prices charged should be enough to pay for their service maintenance and other fees.

Any hosting services which advertise unlimited bandwidth should make you suspicious. If you use a lot of bandwidth, you may have your website taken down. Hosting websites which don't look professional should also raise red flags. Websites with lots of spelling errors or no information about the company are unlikely to provide quality service.

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