Knowing how to select a hosting company is an important and challenging task. Businesses worldwide are under pressure to cut operating costs to pay for their server and security agents.
A company’s e-mail, website and other internet technology solutions are difficult to manage. In addition, many companies view these necessities as a significant cost/inhibitor.
As a result, hosting companies can appear to reduce the cost of having e-mail, a website and other internet technology solutions.
Below are the benefits and services that are important to look for when seeking a hosting company.
1. Technical Support
Seek to find a hosting company that will deliver technical support whenever your company needs it. A quick response to your technical problems is a must. Make sure the hosting company you select has 24/7 support and service. It is important that your site be up and running around the clock.
Look for preferably a 99.9% uptime. 99% is the industry standard, but most hosting companies offer more.
3. Money Back
It is better to go for a host that offers a money-back guarantee. That way, you would be able to try out for yourself their services. And on the hosting company’s part, it is a sign of confidence that they do not have to resort to tying down their customers with long-term contracts and/or setup fees.
4. Disk Space
A full standard website with flash and graphics does not need much disk space. Consider getting more disk space than the current need for future growth.
Bandwidth means your website is accessible. Consider opting for a package with more bandwidth rather than paying for add-on bandwidth, which will usually turn out to be a lot more pricey.
Downloads, images, video and sound files as well as e-commerce shopping carts are all items that will increase the need for more bandwidth.
Each company has different needs when it comes to hosting. Try to find a hosting service that offers various products and features that will fit your unique needs.
7. Control Panel
This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I would not go for a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email 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.
Most free web hosts enforce advertising on your website. This is done to cover the costs of offering your site free web space and associated services. Some hosts require you to place a banner on your pages. Others display a window that pops up everytime a page on your site loads. And there are those that enforce an advertising frame on your site.
There is really no hard and fast rule which is to be preferred. Some visitors hate a pop-up window, other webmasters dislike having to stuff banner codes onto their pages, and many people cannot stand an advertising frame (which may cause problems when you submit your website to search engines). Whichever method is used, check that you are at ease with the method.
9. Types of Hosting
Shared (Virtual) Hosting: Entry level hosting. Your domain is hosted on the same server as several other domains. You usually will not get a shell account with this type of hosting. This is the most common type of hosting overall. It is well suited for personal websites or very small businesses with minimal hosting needs. Virtual hosting is generally very inexpensive ($0 – $20 USD) Many things can be limited in a virtual hosting environment such as number of databases, number of email accounts, and you usually cannot install additional software packages onto the server. Your hosting provider is responsible for the management of all server related issues and you administrate only your own specific domain.
Dedicated Hosting: With dedicated hosting you have an entire server reserved for your own needs. You can host your own site(s) and/or resell hosting to others and provide shared hosting for others. With dedicated hosting you usually have root or administrator level access to the entire server. This type of hosting is well suited with sites that have specific needs that cannot be met in a virtual hosting environment such as advanced scripting needs, unlimited access to databases and email accounts, custom server configurations, installing your own software and several other benefits. Dedicated hosting can be managed or unmanaged. In managed dedicated hosting your hosting provider performs most of the server level administration such as keeping your installed software up to date, make security patches, custom changes in server or software configurations. Unmanaged hosting leaves most of the administrative tasks up to you. You would need to keep your software up to date, make custom changes to software as well as the administration of your site itself. Your hosting provider is still responsible for network and hardware work that may need to be performed on the server as you generally will not have physical access to the server.
Collocated Hosting: In collocated hosting you supply the servers, built and configured yourself to suit your specific needs. You are paying for the dedicated connection, backup power, and physical security of the server environment. You are responsible for the management of the server. All server level tasks are up to you, including upgrading or replacing hardware, keeping software up to date, custom configuration of the server hardware and software. This typeof hosting is much like having the server in your own office but the location of the server and the network it is on is better designed for hosting than most offices are capable of providing.
10. Other Tips
* Draw up a list of needs and check with the hosting company to see if it will meet yours.
* The best way to know if a hosting company is right for you is to give it a try.
* Keep in mind, not all large companies offer good hosting services.
* Use a company that has solid, fast and new servers, with daily backups.
Examples of hosting companies
* Host Gator http://www.hostgator.com
* Rackspace Managed Hosting http://www.rackspace.com
* UnicHost Managed Servers http://www.unichost.com
* Centada at http://www.centada.com/
* BODHOST.com at http://www.bodhost.com/
* Elite Online Design at http://www.eliteonlinedesign.com/
* Power Hosting Online at http://www.powerhostingonline.com/
* Webhosting thru UNI Marketing at http://www.webhost4life.com/
* The Planet/Ev1Servers at http://www.theplanet.com/
* SGD Networks at http://www.sgdnetworks.com/web-hosting/web-hosting.html
* Exaltinfo at http://www.exaltinfo.com/
* PHP Mysql Hosting at http://www.hostcento.com/
* UK Web Hosting – http://www.eukhost.com/