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The 411 on Web Hosting

Sep 3, 2008
Web hosting enables you to own a piece of cyberspace which is accessible on the World Wide Web. You can upload several documents, files, data, bulletins or news in that space. There are a number of web hosting companies that provide you space on their server as well as Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Some web hosting companies also provide connectivity to the Internet and data center space for servers they do not own. This method of web hosting is known as colocation. However, to receive this space it is essential for you to own Internet with a network connection to the Internet backbone and computers operating as servers. It offers access to your files and mail server for people on the World Wide Web in order to view the website as well as to send and receive email with you. Usually simplest web hosting companies provide a page and limited file storage and upload, whereas more advanced website needs a service that provides access to the own control panel for managing e-mail accounts as well as for installing scripts.

Web Hosting Features:

You must consider your budget needs and what storage and bandwidth you require before choosing what web host features you want. If you have an e-commerce site you will need a payment facility. This can be done through SSL, Secure Sockets Layer, encryption and the addition of a shopping cart. If you run a forum or discussion board services like PHP or Perl are useful as is CGI scripting. In addition you may wish to be able to access database such as Microsoft SQL Server, Postgre SQL or even MySQL. All of this means your initial tasks should be to focus on what you need to have to run your site as extra costs equals extra money. This means knowing how much bandwidth you'll want, what limit of storage space and will you need facilities like protection from spam or assistance with building your site.

Trusting your web host is vital for all firms because if something goes wrong, they need to fix it. To pick the best web host, try and use the following tips as a guideline.

What you Must Do:

Undertake a lot of research: Study all the different web host firms and compile a list of the features you need. Compare the firms and how they match your list. See which one offers the best deal. Remember to search forums and ask webmasters and other users for what they think about a company. Read online reviews of companies and see what other users say. Study the awards and achievements if a company. Try to find out what data centers they use, how many customers they serve, how many staff members they employ and what support they offer. If you can, discuss matters with a client who already uses the company.

Create a list of what you require: Items like bandwidth size and space for storage are vital for all site owners and a list should be made of what you really need. A higher level of these functions would be good but is it worth paying for? If you don't really need them could you use the money in other ways? If you believe you may need these features but are not definite, try and find a host that offers some room to grow. This will give you a better chance of avoiding big bills for exceeding your usage limits.

Do have a good back up plan: It is wise to plan a back up support in advance to deal with any kind of system breakdowns or other related problems. You can not always rely on your web hosting company to keep backups of your sites, as most of them don't. However, in certain cases the new companies do keep the backups. Keeping good back ups ensure that you will suffer less amount of data loss and downtime if you ever do have problems with your host and plan to move somewhere else.

Ensure you will be offered support: It makes perfect sense to contact a firm before any deal is agreed and asking some questions about their experience and service. You can learn a lot by seeing how quickly they respond to your questions and how well your queries are answered.

Somethings you Must not Do:

Do not choose a host on price alone: It is always better not to choose a web hosting company only on the basis of their pricing. You will find a number of cheap web hosting providers from whom you get only what you pay for. But there is a very less chance of getting quality service from them. For an average reliability, generally, you need to pay at least .50 cents for one gigabyte of bandwidth. However, if you want high quality hosting you will have to pay three or four times more.

Ignore the chance to use a free web host: If you want people to take your firm seriously, avoid this common mistake. Free web hosts are able to offer this service by offering adverts on the site. It is obvious that customers are not a fan of this and many users will not consider you a serious firm if you do this. It is also true that some of the advertisements on the site can cause damage to your computer. This is another thing consumers disapprove of and will weaken your reputation. If you are getting customer credit card information and want to be seen as reputable it is always best to work with a web hosting professional.

Be wary of testimonials from "customers": Please be advised that each testimonial that you will read with regards to a company may not be the truth. The host will very often create these testimonials to make the firm seem better than what they really are. Some of these reviews may be trustworthy whilst others may be complete fiction. You should always try to read reviews from diverse sources and forums and to gain as many views as you can. A great way to do this is to find clients who have used the company and ask their opinion. Other customers who have used the host before of the company/signature will offer honest evaluations on the company the service they offered. If there are contact details beside a review, why not contact the person and get more news about the firm.

Do not get your host and domain name from the same place: A great amount of people will try to find a fabric host that also provides a domain name for no cost along with its main package. If it is possible, this should be avoided. This style may work is if the domain is held by the site owner allowing them complete control. This situation is not sometimes the case and the web host will endeavor to register the domain in its name and then allow you to use it. If there is a large demand for the domain name they may try and take control of it or if you want to move to a new web host, they can try and remain in control of the domain name.
About the Author
This article is published with permission from WebHostingMadness.com, a publisher of web hosting company reviews, comparisons and detailed articles about web hosting.
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