Your Web Hosting Guide: Questions, Options And Selections

Posted on Jun 15 2012 - 10:52am by Editorial Staff

So you too are in the run as well as confusion of selecting the best hosting provider and plan for your hosting needs – no matter you are looking to host a single website, a bunch of websites or even more, a whole of server. You do know pretty well that a web hosting is a type of internet hosting service which allows individuals and organization to make their website (their brand actually) in front of whole world via the World Wide Web.

Support, Parking Service, Backup, Uptime Guarantee, Accessibility, Shared or dedicated hosting, Add-ons, Scalability and Exit Strategy – Sounds like a huge list of things one wish to consider, but what and where it makes you lack while considering all these points. There are 100s of 1000s of hosting provider across the world. Those providers let you provide space on a server owned or leased; totally on your own wish, how you want it. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center.

If you think I can opt for free or extremely inexpensive sites, than do change your mind, if you are keeping a long term goal in your mind, reason is simple as those sites won’t offer service guarantees and it may be even vulnerable to hackers and email spammers. These sites could go down for a month or months and you’d have no recourse.

The hosting can cost you few dollars to a lot more, totally depending on your need, although it comes in a range of $8 to $35 per month to $150 to $500 per month. Further, you can opt for either shared or dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is the one in which you share your server space with the other customers of your provider whereas in Dedicated hosting, you are the only one who owes the whole server space, called as private server.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • What do I need in the package?
  • Basic “shopping cart” software for online purchases availability?
  • What’s my budget?
  • How fancy is my website going to be?
  • Will they be there when I have a problem?
  • Backup?
  • Scalability?
  • Exit Strategy?

HOSTING PROVIDER CHECKLIST

  • What services hosting company offering? What are its specialties? Must I pay for features I don’t need or use?
  • How much server space do I have? What happens if I exceed it?
  • If I’m sharing a server, am I guaranteed a steady amount of bandwidth even if other customers’ sites get busy?
  • Do hosting provider offer 24/7 technical support?
  • Are there limits on the amount of traffic my website can receive?
  • Is reliability guarantee is there?
  • Do hosting provider offer network redundancy?
  • If the network goes down, do mine site still remain up?
  • Can the service scale as my business grows?
  • Does hosting provider have contingency plans for keeping customers online if the company shuts down, begins bankruptcy proceedings, or gets acquired by another provider?
  • What will happen if I need to move to another host?
  • Some customer references?
  • How will the record of mine tally, track, and report on visits to my site maintained?
  • What kind of network security offer?
  • How the hosting provider will protect sensitive or confidential information and transactions?
  • What kind of disaster-recovery plans do you have? What will happen to my site if hosting provider facility gets hit by a fire, a flood, or a major power outage?

DISCUSSING OPTIONS

Shared server: Your website is not the only one on the server, means your websites shares a web server space with other customers. Remember, if you believe your site experiences heavy traffic, this option not suits for you as it results in crashing the site.

Price: Starts from $4 to $25 a month

Vendors: Yahoo Small Business, DreamHost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, 1&1 Internet

Grid server: Your website is hosted on a grid of servers, means if your site experiences the heavy traffic load, other servers will pick up the load, results in your site will not get crashed.

Price: Starts from $20 a month, with some charge extra for services (other resources) used during high traffic hours.

Vendors: Mosso, 3Tera, Media Temple, Layered Technologies

Virtual private server: You are getting a chunk of piece from a whole big dedicated server where your site is virtually shared with others.

Price: Starts from $35 a month

Vendors: Media Temple, Spry VPS Hosting, Verio, Web.com, GoDaddy.com

Dedicated server: This is the one in which the control from A to Z is all yours i.e. this is your own server, no sharing with other although you can offer the space from your own server to others if you want to. Everything is perfect in this, but if a sudden large number of visitors visit your website, it will definitely overwhelm the server.

Price: Starts from $75 to $1,000 or more per server per month, totally depending on the capacity you are opting for.

Vendors: Rackspace, Hostgator, SoftLayer, FastServers.net

SELECTING THE WEB HOST

You have gone through and understand each and every point so far and even understood the concept properly and even determine which suits the best as per your need, but now the confusion is to opt for which hosting provider, there are huge information, comparison tools through which you can find the best hosting provider:

Web Host Directory: Directory of Web hosts; includes searchable database, industry news, function for requesting price quotes

Web Hosting Talk: Information site with discussion forums and searchable database

HostIndex.com: Directory of Web hosts; includes large searchable database articles, other resources

SAS70.com: Information about the Statement on Auditing Services No. 70 (SAS 70), an auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts for examining service-provider quality

FindWebspace.com: Directory of Web hosts; includes search engine, comparison tool, and glossary

HostCompare.com: Information site offering a comparison tool, industry news, and many free articles, including one providing a basic introduction to Web hosting

TopHosts.com: Directory of Web hosts; includes articles, industry news, instant price-quote function

Web Host Magazine & Buyer’s Guide: Reviews, articles, host-finding resources

Web Host Industry Review: Reviews, directory, news, glossary, tips on finding or switching hosts

About the Author
Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts led by Karan Chopra.