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Web Hosting: Finding the Hidden Gems

Jul 19, 2008
Make a list of your entire specific web hosting needs before you start searching for a reliable web hosting company. Make a mental note of things like the number of emails, the amount of space required, whether you will need a database or a shopping cart and how much you would allocate for transfers. Think about if you might want chat features, need a merchant account or set up a forum. If a web host caters to your specific needs, then only will it be considered reliable. Thus, making a list of your requirements is necessary. Following are some of the things that every web host should have:

Dependability and Uptime

As greater Uptime translates into greater accessibility, find out how much Uptime your web host guarantees for your site. Nearly 99.5% Uptimes are guaranteed by certain web host! Enquire about the things that minimize downtime like the connection stability, hardware and safeguards.


You should be charged a reasonable rate and be offered flexible manners of making payment by your web host. Carefully look through for setup fees, hidden costs etc. To cover their costs for having quality technical support, most companies nowadays charge setup fees.

Bandwidth- Correct Bandwidth

Bandwidth often becomes an essential factor in either advancing your business' growth or curbing it. Some web hosts offer you small bandwidth, meaning you have to pay extra, if you cross the data transfer or download limit, while others offer greater bandwidth in roughly the same price. Choose prudently. Also never fall for the 'Unlimited Bandwidth' trap, for there is no such thing. Having a minimum of 1 GB of data transfer set for your website, allows for greater traffic when your site becomes a hit.

Storage Space of Disk

Another crucial factor for growth is space. Web hosts will offer in more or less the similar price, ranges of 20 to 50 MB space or even 100 MB space. As you will end up paying $5 to $10 for every 10MB additional space, choose the ones offering 100 MB and greater space.

Server Speed

Look into the server velocity before you choose a web host. Get a free mechanism like Net Mechanic to figure out the connection velocity for various things like connection timing, system speed, download timing, DNS research and lack of timeouts. The time required for download will give you an idea about the efficiency of the server. Make a quick search of the potential web hosts that you select, during the rush hours and no-rush times.

Fundamental Characteristics

Choose a web host that offers a wide array of features from the beginning. Some web hosts may charge you extra for features that they add on every month.

More than one Domain Names

If you have multiple domain names see if the web host lets more than one hosting and if they will ask for extra money for the work. Certain hosts do not ask for extra charges for extra domain identification.

Email Auto responders and Mail Forwarding Accounts-Mail Auto- Responders and Forward Accounts

Make sure that you can send mails through the web hosting account. In case you use many sites, it is workable and competent if all the mail is sent to the ISP work. Without logging into all your mailboxes, you can go through every mail together. A mechanism that conserves time and is a good advertising device is Autoresponder. It gives out an already written mail as a reply to anyone who sends a mail. It lessens your own work very much. However, it keeps you attached with everyone and improves on your public circle.

Mailing List-Mail lists

Check whether the web hosting company allows for mailing lists to be prepared. A mailing list or an online, e-mail based discussion group can come in handy when distributing your ezine and for other promotional events and marketing gigs.

FTP- File Transfer Protocol

Almost very web hosting company comes with the basic service of File Transfer Protocol or FTP. You can quickly and efficiently transfer files from your website to others and vice versa through FTP.

Setting up Anonymous FTP accounts-Making Nameless FTP accounts

This service gives you a FTP website that lets users have accessibility to download the required data and files. These nameless mail accounts can get you good money if people make huge downloads of free e-books or software and so on. The best advantage is that if the Net service or phone corporation drops work while file transfers or downloads, you can still keep downloading from wherever you stopped as soon as you reconnect.

Using a SSL Server or a Secured Server

You have to use a very secure server if your trade deals with financial exchanges through the site. You may require meeting extra web hosting expenses for the service but the lack of a secure server can prevent clients from coming. You need a safe server like SSL server, which lets data in a structure to be figured out before transferring it to the server from the browser. This is especially important in cases where orders are taken and personal data like card numbers are exchanged.

CGI Scripts

For obtaining information from any form, CGI scripts are usually used. Subsequently, this information is conveniently sent to your email account. People can use the library of CGI scripts for hosting their sites, available through respectable web hosting companies. You will also be allowed to add and use your own desired CGI scripts by the best web hosting accounts. Though you may think that you presently don't need CGI scripts, you may need them later. So, choose web hosts which allow you this provision.

Advanced Features

If your website needs advanced features and applications like Java Applets, RealAudio/Video, Password Protection, Database Access and PHP check with the web hosting company whether they are equipped with such advanced features.


Everyday, your web directory will most certainly be backed up by almost every web hosting service. It is unthinkable nowadays to not provide this basic service. To ensure that your website is not lost in the confusion, certain web hosts provide you with unnecessary and unimportant backups.

Security and Assurance

Since there are many web hosts present it can be problematic choosing and believing in the right one. Services that give plans like a money back strategy can be helpful if you are displeased with the functioning. Hosts giving out such plans are also more competent and trustworthy.

Flexibility of the Host

A stagnant web hosting service can be the worst bane for your website and your business. It too needs to grow along with your website and business. So if you desire to include newer features like ecommerce, it should be able to upgrade and provide you with facilities like shopping cart, storefront or a merchant account. The web host should have constant upgrades an should be ready to provide you services like more web space, or your own dedicated server or even a forum.
About the Author
Republished with permission from WebHostingMadness.com, a provider of web hosting company reviews, comparisons and detailed articles about web hosting.
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