Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to Choose a Web Hosting Company?

When looking for a web hosting company, you need to consider a large selection of criteria to determine which company to go with.

Customer support

Website hosting service isn’t just storage or bandwidth. If you own a business website, your hosting provider needs to be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem.

Downtime guarantee and service monitoring

Long downtime may be very harmful to today's companies which spend large amounts of money on advertising their websites.

Reputable web hosts will post statistics on their site:
1. What is the frequency of interruption?
2. How about the average percentage of downtime?


Make sure that the company runs scheduled backups. Always having a backup of your website yourself, as you never know what might happen. cPanel, which is the most popular web hosting management software at this time, has a very comfortable backup-making tool. It allows you to backup files and databases quickly and easily, so backups are no longer a problem.

Acceptable use policy

Each hosted website has different resource usage for their customers. There always is a possibility that a few of those customers host illegal content. There are web hosts who have had their servers unplugged, resulting in their clients’ websites going down.

Hosting your site on an uncared-for server will also result in a low speed. If somebody on the same server sends spam, the server's IP address will be blacklisted and you'll have serious problems as recipients stop receiving your emails. Spam is being sent almost everywhere, so having one or two red records isn't that bad but if there are more, it may become a problem later on.

Unlimited bandwidth and web space

Do not fall for hosts offering unlimited allowances, as there is no unlimited bandwidth, nor unlimited web space. Host's pay for each GB of bandwidth themselves. Hard drives also aren't free, so how can they say it's unlimited? They simply are performing false advertising in order to attract customers. The average website doesn't use more than 1GB of bandwidth per month.

Will you really own your domain name?

When you buy a domain name together with a website hosting package, make sure the host will register the domain name under your name. It usually should be written in their FAQ, but, if there is no such information, simply contact them.

Control Panel

For ease of maintenance, a feature called a Control Panel is a necessity; this tool will normally allow for regular maintenance, be it email mailbox additions/deletions, password resets, web additions, web count reports, statistics and so on. The most popular web hosting management software currently available is cPanel. It's a next-generation web hosting control panel system that allows you to manage your domain through a web interface. The idea is to transfer as much of the control of managing your web site to you; you have the ability to manage all aspects of e-mail, files, backup, FTP, CGI scripts, and web site statistics.

Value-added services

Hosting companies offer different value-added services in order to set themselves apart from the competition. Of course, these are an advantage, but a common mistake customers make is choosing a host just because it offers many value-added services which won't be used anyway.

The last tip

You should know yourself that price and allocations aren't as important as the quality of service; if the budget is absolutely limited, then the price can be a valid criterion, but otherwise it shouldn’t receive much credence.

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