05 Dec How To Choose A Commercial Web Hosting
When you plan to host your website, you might be get confuse to choose a best available commercial web hosting. So to facilitate this issue we are explaining some factors here which should be consider before choosing a web hosting company.
- Reliability and speed of access: The web host should not be only reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.
- Data Transfer: Data transfer is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site. It is referred sometime to as “traffic” or “bandwidth” Don’t believe any commercial web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”. The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. Do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.
- Disk space: Many sites don’t host videos or music. These sites need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there.
- Technical support: Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times.Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent.
- FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, telnet, SSH, MySQL, cron tabs: If you are paying for a site, you really should make sure you have all of these updated latest version installed on server. Note that some commercial hosts do not allow you to install PHP or Perl scripts without their approval. This is not desirable since it means that you have to wait for them before you can implement a feature on your site.”.htaccess” is needed if you are to do things like customize your error pages or to protect your site in various ways (such as to prevent bandwidth theft and hot linking, etc).Telnet or SSH access is useful for certain things, including testing certain scripts , maintaining databases, etc.
MySQL is needed if you want to run a blog or a content management system.Cron is a type of program scheduler that lets you run programs at certain times of the day (eg, once a day). Check to see if these facilities are provided.
- SSL (secure server), Shopping Cart: If you are planning on doing any sort of business through your website, you might want to look out to see if the host provides SSL or not. These facilities normally involve in a higher priced package or with an additional charges. The main thing is to check to see if they are available at all before you commit to the host. You will definitely need SSL if you want to collect credit card payments on your site.
- Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding: If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. Does the host provide this with the package? Does it allow you to have a catch-all email account that causes any email address at your domain to be routed to you? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a pre-set message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software? Can it be automatically forwarded to your current email address?
- Control Panel: You must be provided a control panel by web hosting company where allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. If they don’t provide you, you will have to write them every time to perform require operation on your hosting account. Such chores are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.
- Multiple Domain Hosting and Subdomains: Multiple Domain Hosting is an important aspect which is need to be consider at the time of selection web hosting company. You may require to host some services on sub domain (ex support.domainname.com or blog.domainname.com etc). So you should look to see if they provide this or not.
- Web Server and Operating System: Web Server and installed operating system must be consider at the time of selection web hosting package. In general, if you want to use ASP language to write programming code, you have no choice but to look for a Windows server.With all other programing language (PHP, Perl, HTML etc) we suggest you Unix systems running the Apache server. In fact, if dynamically generated pages that can access databases (etc) is what you want, you can always use the more portable (and popular) PHP instead of tying yourself down to ASP.Another reason to prefer Unix-based web hosts (which include web hosts using systems like Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, etc) using the Apache web server is that these servers allow you to configure a lot of facilities that you typically need on your site (error pages, protecting your images, blocking email harvesters, blocking IP addresses, etc) without having to ask your web host to implement them.
- Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans: Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. But we suggest you to pay monthly with all new web hosts until you are assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows you to switch web hosts quickly when you find that the current host does not meet your requirements.
- Resellers: Not all hosting companies own or lease their own web servers. Some of them are actually resellers for some other hosting company. The disadvantage of using a reseller is the possibility that you are dealing with people who don’t know much about the system they are selling and who take longer to help you (they have to transmit your technical support request to the actual hosting company for it to be acted upon). In fact, a number of resellers sell the same packages cheaper than their original hosting company. If you find out that a particular company is a reseller, you will need to investigate both the reseller and the real hosting company.
- International: If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary.