If you’re going to have a website — and you should — you need to have a reliable web host. How do you find a web hosting company with the features, support and price that serves your needs? Here are some tips that will help you select the right web host.
Go for Linux hosting unless you need to use certain applications or server-side languages. Linux hosting has a better reputation for uptime, stability, and resource use. Shared hosting that runs on Linux tends to be somewhat cheaper, as well. There are, however, certain applications that need Windows hosting, including Plesk, Microsoft Access, Silverlight, MSSQL, and ASP.net.
Read the terms of service when dealing with a web host who offers “unlimited” services. Many times web hosts will offer unlimited bandwidth or sometimes hard disk space. Read the terms carefully, as they may reserve the right to ask you to upgrade your plan, if you are a higher profile customer, that has increased usage.
If you want to run an online business, you should know that your web hosting service is going to represent your main investment. Even if this service seems costly in comparison to the other expenses related to your business, keep in mind that the success of your site will greatly depend on a good host.
To get the most out of a free web host, you’ll need to back up any data and files related to your site. Because free web hosts don’t generally offer any guarantees about backing up your data, if anything disappears, it will be on you, and not on them.
Think about setting up your own server if you want to save money. You will have to invest in hardware and learn how to operate and maintain your own server, but this also means you will not have to pay a monthly fee and have to rely on another web host.
If you have the ability to talk with other customers that use the web host you are looking at, make sure to do so, either on forums, message boards, or direct conversations. Asking them questions and confronting any concerns you have can help you to choose more wisely. Finding the right hosting provider will be easier when you affirmed by good reviews. One of the greatest sources of information can be from talking to current customers.
In some cases, advertising an uptime of 99.9% does not truly reflect the kind of performance to expect from a web hosting service. Uptime reports cover a whole month and represent the amount of time for which the site was available. It does not take into consideration traffic peaks: your site might be offline during the busiest hours of the day will not be reflected by a good uptime.
There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but not all will be suitable for your site. Take the time to compare hosts, and put these suggestions to use as you assess your needs, make comparisons, and ultimately select the right web host with the service and features you need.