What To Look For In Web Hosting

Author
Aron Schatz
Editor
RudeMoody
Posted
December 24, 2005
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25173
What To Look For In Web Hosting
Welcome to the wonderful world of web hosting. There are many different hosting companies hungry to get your business. Find out what to look for when searching for web hosting.
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<b>Introduction</b>:

Shopping for a web host can be a very difficult task. Although it would seem as if it would only be comprised of the simple task of finding one for a good price, this is far from the truth. Countless factors go in to what makes a quality web host. These factors must be given consideration when searching for a web host in order to find not only the best price but also the premier web hosting choice.

<b>What to Look for</b>:

The main thing that can cause problems for web site owners is the reliability and speed of the server the sites are being hosted on. Although reliability can be something that varies from time to time, one person might have their server crash and hate the host while another might have excellent uptime all with the same host, one should still use search engines or word of mouth to get some feedback on the web hosts they might be interested in using. It does not help any web site owner to have a host that is constantly crashing. The speed of a web host is usually pretty consistent; however this is something that one will not be readily displayed until after using the host. Similar to reliability, one can usually still check with feedback on the host and get decent ideas of what the speed of the servers are like. It is important to look at all of the good and bad feedback on the host (and every host will have both good and bad feedback) in order to get a clearer picture.

Once speed and reliability are out of the way, then the user must look at customer support. Customer support is something that varies greatly from host to host. Usually, large web hosting companies will have elaborate customer support systems in place that offer web contact forms, phone numbers, forums, FAQís, and e-mails to customers so that they can choose the method that is most needed for the problem at hand. Smaller web hosting companies, on the other hand, generally only offer an e-mail address and can sometimes take longer to reply to a problem. In many cases with web hosting, you get what you pay for.

On that note, price is very relative with web hosting. Donít be fooled by price, it means almost nothing in the hosting world. Quality servers can be cheap or expensive, and bad servers can be cheap or expensive. This is where looking at as many hosts as possible and reading up feedback on them prior to purchasing is so important. Many big companies will have web hosting packages that cost four times as much as other companies for the same service with no better speed or reliability. There are so many web hosting alternatives out there that there is always a better price to be found and that lower price, if with a good company, usually wonít mean any drop in the quality of service provided.

<b>Big v. Small Company</b>:

When searching, most people will tend to lean towards big companies. This is for a couple reasons. The first is that big companies tend to have the best reliability and uptime, although sometimes the speeds arenít always great if they overcrowd their servers. Big companies also generally have better customer support, which is obviously a major drawing factor. However, smaller hosting companies should still be given consideration. As was mentioned, price means little in the web hosting world, and big companies can tend to gauge their customers with high prices. Smaller companies, on the other hand, can be found that will offer incredibly low prices with the same exact service. These companies, however, can only be found by those who take the time to shop around and weigh their choices.

<b>Linux v. Windows</b>:

Another aspect of web hosts that must be weighed is whether to go with a Linux or a Windows server. Starting with Linux, this hosting is cheaper for the hosting companies and the savings can be passed on to the customer since there are no large license fees to pay and staff costs can be reduced due to the prevalence of staff with Linux experience. The many modules that make up a hosting server are also available for free and separately so the administrator can install the modules he requires and leave out the ones that are not required. Windows on the other hand comes as a complete package so most of the modules are already installed whether they are required or not. Linux works across many different hardware platforms this enables hosting companies to choose the hardware that will best serve their clients needs once again the savings can be passed onto the customer.

In addition, Linux servers tend to be more reliable and crash less often than Windows servers (big surprise there!). However, Windows servers can sometimes be faster and easier to work with for servers, so each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Both servers will work for a user, but Linux is usually cheaper and more reliable while Windows can be easier to use and faster.

<b>Conclusion</b>:

The search for a quality web host can indeed be a long and tiresome one. There are simply too many web hosts out there, and cutting through all the bad ones to find the right choice can be difficult at times. The key for the long run is to stay on course and be dedicated to making the right decision. This means allocating the proper amount of time into searching for companies and looking at feedback of others user of that company. By properly analyzing all of oneís opportunities, one will be able to find a quality web host at a great price.

This article was writen by Brandon Whitworth. You can visit his website at http://www.MadBum.com

PS: http://www.ase.cc will soon be opening for business and we will be providing hosting and design. Feel free to drop me an email if you would like to have your website hosted or designed by us. (aron [at] ase.cc).

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