How To Pick The Best Web Host Or Server
Web Hosting is a potential mine field for webmasters, There are more hosting horror stories on the net than there are web hosts. In this post i will attempt to clear up a few misconceptions about hosting and provide a few tips to help you not only find the best host for your online business but also find a reliable webhost.
What are your hosting requirements?Firstly you should figure out what you need from a host. What language are you going to build your website in? PHP, ASP, PERL, These are all options. Do you need an SQL database, What about a dedicated MySQL server? Do you need a server with mod_rewrite enabled. Most webhosts have scripting languages enabled, Such as PHP and PERL, But it is something you need to make sure before you sign up. You should also find out how many databases your host allows and how much space they allow in these databases. It's not uncommon for hosts to allow a large volume of bandwidth but only a limited about of MySQL space, And unless you have read the terms properly the first time you find this out will be when you go to view your site only to get an SQL error. This is when you will find your self shelling out extra cash to buy more SQL space.
Web Host ReviewsYou must find out what others think of a webhost before signing up. You can do this simply by typing the name of the webhost into google -domain.com and finding some forum posts or web host reviews. But even if you do find a scathing review of the web host it doesn't automatically mean they are bad, It is unlikely for any business for them to never receive a negative review, You need to find an overall opinion of the host from varied sources.
Test their Support SystemSupport is an important factor when picking a webhost. Otherwise when you do eventually need to contact their support (and you will) you will find yourself pulling your hair out when they don't respond to emails or pick up the phone. To test this is easy, simply submit a trouble ticket with a pretend problem and see how long it takes them to reply and how professional their response is. If you ask a question that you know the answer to and they don't, their support system is worthless. Also call their phone number, This number should be toll free, But it doesn't matter if it isn't. Again, See how long it takes them to answer and see how well they answer your question.
That pretty much covers the basics of how to find a good reliable host, In this next section we will look at some of the terms used by hosting providers. These terms can sometimes be confusing or misleading, Especially the way hosting providers use the word `unlimited`, So it will do you good to understand exactly what is meant by the terms used by your web host.
Unlimited BandwidthThis is a common ploy used by hosting providers, They want you to think "wow, Unlimited bandwidth" when what they actually mean is unmetered bandwidth. The difference between unlimited and unmetered bandwidth is that unlimited means you can use as much as you like, Unmetered means they don't monitor how much bandwidth you use. But should you use more than they would like they will suspend your account.. There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth.
Windows HostingWindows hosting is simply a server that runs the windows operating system. If you feel you will need ASP, FrontPage, the .NET environment, Windows Streaming Media, Access or MSSQL you should go with a windows server, Windows hosting however does usually cost a little more that Linux hosting. This is due to Linux being free and windows costing money.
Linux HostingLinux hosting is just like windows hosting, except the server is using the Linux operating system (well, duh).
Shared hostingshared hosting means your website will be hosted on a server with a number of other websites. If you are building a small to medium site shared hosting should be enough, But you may sometimes pay the price for other people messing up. For instance if a site on that server is being DDoS'ed effectively you will be getting DDoS'ed as well.
Dedicated Server HostingDedicated hosting is what you should use if you have a large site. This means your site will be hosted on it's own server. This will cost a lot more than shared hosting.
Dedicated MySQL serverIf your site is large and uses an SQL server you may need to have a server exclusively to host your database. But really you shouldn't worry too much at the moment about dedicated SQL hosting, By the time you need this you will know what you are doing.
You are probably hoping i will be able to tell you of a cheap reliable hosting provider to go with, But i can't do that, It entirely depends on what you have to spend, your requirements and a number of other factors. But with a little research and some time spent thinking about what it is you need from a webhost you should be able to find your prefect host in no time..