6 Steps to Good Web Hosting
The web hosting market is flooded with tens of thousands of different web hosts all offering lots of choices, so how do you decide? The truth is 80% is these hosts all offer great hosting and to avoid the 20% that don’t you just need to follow the following 5 steps.
1. Type of hosting platform
The first step when choosing a web host is to decide on the type of hosting platform, usually a choice between Unix/Linux and Windows.
Your choice is largely determined by your website and the technologies used to create it, generally a website created with Microsoft technologies will run on Windows servers while most other sites using open source will run on Unix/Linux based systems, the standard is generally Linux, and due to the fact that you will not be charged licensing fees by Microsoft this is also the cheaper option.
2. Hosting Features
Once you’ve chosen your type of hosting platform the next step is determining the hosting features you will require, for example blogging software requires the use of databases, and any sort of dynamic content will require PHP, you need to look at the make up of your website to decide on your features.
Common hosting features are.
Data Transfer Allowance
Money Back Guarantee
Databases (Number & type)
CGI, PHP, Perl, Python, SSI
Number of Email accounts
3. Connection speed
The next vital requirement is a good connection, i.e. sufficient bandwidth, this affects the download speed of your website, a good way to check this is to see how fast their site loads in your browser, especially at peak times such as when people are just getting home from work. A good host will have connection redundancy i.e. more than one connection, you can ask about this when you speak to their customer support.
Choosing a web host based on price alone is not a good idea, remember that the cost of your web hosting is more than just the monthly fee, think about the total cost of ownership this includes lost sales due to downtime & slow speeds, downtime rebates, extra bandwidth charges, setup costs, extra feature costs, and your monthly fee.
5. Good Customer Support
In order to have good customer support a web host will have to be well established and be running a well organised web hosting business. It is preferable for the support staff to be based at the server farm and essential that they are well trained in server management – it is a good idea to telephone the customer support line of any potential web host to get a feel for their level of knowledge, you can also ask them about their company infrastructure.
If a web hosting provider has a published uptime of 99% it may sound pretty good, until you realise that over the course of one month equals 7.2hrs or 3.6 days per year – that’s 3days 14 1/2 hours that you are not making money. It is therefore imperative that you choose a web hosting company, which has a 99.99% uptime guarantee.