Choosing a Web Host

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by Alfacorps, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Alfacorps

    Alfacorps
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    Whether it is for your personal homepage or corporate website for your small business, one of the most significant relationships for any website owner will be with its web hosting company. Web host selection is important for anyone who manages or runs his or her own site. The following articles are intended to teach you about how to choose a web host so that you can make an informed decision.

    The Core Competencies of Hosting
    There are 5 factors by which all companies can be measured.

    1. Reliability – 99.9% uptime and my site is !@#$ down!!
    2. Technical Support – Defining 24/7 free support
    3. Company Stability – How long will your host last?
    4. Price/Features – You get what you pay for…
    5. Flexibility – Give me back my domain!

    Evaluating Your Needs
    Before even before researching companies, it is important to recognize what your individual sites needs are.

    1. Shared Hosting or Dedicated Server?
    2. Windows or Unix server?
    3. Choosing the right Database
    4. Multimedia Support
     
    #1 Alfacorps, Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2010
  2. chris34

    chris34
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    Hi

    Once you have created a website you must choose how to get it on the internet. You have 3 main options:


    1. Host the site on your computer
    2. Host the site on a dedicated server
    3. Get someone else to host the site


    The first two are only realistic options for big businesses or people with fast dedicated lines. Keeping a web server running is difficult and needs constant monitoring. You will require a fast connection (multiply the number of simultaneous users by their average connection speed (usually 56Kbps and you will see how fast it should be.

    Much easier is using a web hosting company. They will put your site on their server using their connection. You will have access via FTP to upload your files and will be able to change your website at any time. This is the way most people get their websites online. There are three main types of hosting: free, paid and dedicated.

    Thanks
     
  3. bistones

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    Research online. In order to verify the reliability of the different web hosts you will need to research online. Use search engines to gather customer reviews and check the online forums dedicated to web hosting
     
  4. Alexishost

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    When your site is important it is important to look alfacorps 1st point. 99.99 uptime.

    don't you think cris?
     
  5. wussa

    wussa
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    Before buying a package host I usually search for the host if it has any good history or reviews. usually doing some Googling should be enough or try WebHosting forums like webhosttalk
     
  6. DEADMAN

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    My first priority would be the server uptime. It's very usual you may get cheap hosting but the uptime may not be as good that you expected.

    If I'm buying any web host, then I would go for the uptime and generally to the support center too. I believe any web hosting company should be quick to the replies if one is having problem with the hosting.
     
  7. Alexishost

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    Thank you DEADMAN. Your oppinion is absolutely true.
     
  8. davshirley

    davshirley
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    I love when I hear hosts boast about never being down.

    The little secret about 99.999% uptimes: (also called 5 nines in some circles)

    All datacenters do periodic maintenance on their equipment. They will announce a "maintenance window" when this is occurring. During these maintenance windows, various levels of redundancy may be removed as systems are taken offline for stress testing. If something is going to happen that will take servers offline, it almost always happens during these maintenance windows since by definition part of the system designed to prevent that is not operational.

    That is why if you read the fine print about uptime calculations, it will say that it excludes maintenance periods. They know that during those periods, there is an increased likelihood of downtime so they exclude them from their calculations.

    And or course, if downtime does occur, they consider the downtime to be over as soon as power and/or connectivity is restored. It takes considerably longer than that to get servers back online. (rebooting, filesystem checks, etc.) None of that time gets figured into their stats.

    Back in the days that my datacenter was in my home, I kept a 20 amp load running 24x7 for 5 years with only 1 outage due to power. All that I needed to accomplish that was a UPS with a bank of batteries that weighed about 700 lbs and a small generator and a person to kick the generator on within an hour of utility power loss. The one outage occurred because I was too far away one day to get the generator on before the batteries died.

    Nowadays, the datacenter has to keep a 500 amp load running 24x7. The amount of equipment required to do that is MUCH bigger and WAY more complicated. We've suffered two five minute outages over the last three years and BOTH occurred while the UPS systems were in maintenance windows. One was while installing additional equipment and another was while stress testing the power system. (a bypass feeder breaker failed/tripped while we had the system in generator mode as we were switching the mains back in. This breaker supposedly requires a fault in excess of 4,000 amps lasting more than 200 milliseconds failed at roughly 450 amps. It has since been replaced.) This one breaker is physically larger and considerably more expensive than my first USP system was.

    In short, all kinds of interesting things happen during maintenance windows that you will never see reported.
     
    #8 davshirley, Feb 24, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  9. Fergal

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    Thanks for that David, I often wondered how hosts could boast that kind of uptime and now I know. Thanks for the education. Most industries have their own little tricks for making themselves appear better than they really are, the hosting industry is obviously no different.
     
  10. indigonl

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    The best way to check the support is to test the support; send some messages with questions, call them and test the response time.

    Another frequent mentioned issue: unlimited space/traffic doesn't exist and the worst part is some webhosting companies "oversell".

    So reviews are important as far as the review website is trustful.
     
  11. Fergal

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    That's a good point and it is something I generally do before signing up with a host. If they don't provide a good response to pre-sales questions, it is a strong indication that they might not be that helpful, when it comes to customer support.
     

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