Hosting Your Website - Some Practical Selection Criteria
Article by Ailinaini
A crucial part of building your successful online business is web hosting. Hosting has to be fast and supported by as high an uptime as possible. At the same time hosting should be affordable when you start up your online businesses. I have tried many hosts over the years and have made the experience that “cheap” usually turns out to be fairly expensive.
Here are some general criteria you should consider when selecting the right hosting solution for your websites:
Technology - if you have a dynamic website based on open source technology (PHP, MySQL) you will need to select a host that supports this technology. Further you will need to check which scripts and so forth are supported.
Speed / Backbone Connectivity - this usually is a piece information that for an inexplicable reason is quite difficult to find on the websites of hosting companies - what datacenter are they located in and at which speed are they connected to the Internet - a connection speed below 100 Mbps is nothing you should be going for.
Uptime - 99,9 % uptime guarantee is the least you should expect. Think about it - 0,1 % downtime translates to 432 minutes downtime per month (1 month = 30 days) or 7 hours and 1 minutes. Such a long downtime may well drive yourself and your potential customers crazy when it does occur and it is actually a fairly safe bet for most hosting companies.
Support - this is where cheap hosting companies save money. Check out the service of a hosting company before you sign up, even if they have a money back guarantee. Online live help or a 24/7 hotline should be standard.
Scalability Options - you are starting small, but you want to grow big. Every DNS change is cumbersome and causes hassles for your email and uptime. The strongest consideration should be, however, that major search engines do rank websites lower that change hosts frequently.
Pricing - this actually should be the least important consideration. Saving like 5 USD a month might cost you dearly once the server goes down and support turns out to be slow and ineffective. And yes, sooner or later every server will go down. You are not rich enough to afford a cheap host, i.e. quality always pays off in the long run and is eventually cheaper.
There are two choices you might want to consider when choosing the right hosting option when starting off. Dedicated (you do not share the server with anybody else) or co-located solutions (you own your own web server and leave it with an ISP or hosting company) only make sense once you have a high-traffic website.
1. You use the name servers of your hosting company. This is the typical shared hosting option, this means that your web site is hosted along with many other websites on the same server. So when somebody looks up where you host in any “whois service”, they can easily obtain where you actually host your website.
2. You use your own name servers. This is really cool because it gives the impression that you are a big company when somebody looks up your name servers. you can host multiple domain names within the same shared hosting plan, i.e. you can create many websites within the same shared hosting plan. In fact you could be selling your own hosting plans with a reseller plan. Just imagine how much money you save when you have - let’s say 5 websites, but only pay once for hosting.
So, while web hosting is many times perceived as a commodity these days - which it effectively is to a certain extent - there is indeed more to choosing the right hosting solution. Most people will not be happy with their host if all is fine, but they will be very upset if downtimes occur. Hosting is a tough business and they somehow cannot win the game in the perception of customers.
About the Author
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