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Selecting A Web Host For Your Site

Feb 22, 2008
Survey a number of web hosting prospects and ask the No.1 criteria they would use to select the right web hosting firm. The chances are that many would quote price as the most important factor. After all, hosting companies seem to be selling the same web space everywhere.

The truth is that there are many aspects beside price that differentiate one web host from the other one. Once we start detailing these factors, it won't take long for these prospects to realize that basing the choice of hosting company on price alone is as wrong as showing up at the cheapest laptop repair shop. You can get your laptop fixed at cheaper rate this way but will it be as reliable as before?

First of all not only do you need to figure out the details of their infrastructure strength, as in how powerful servers do they have available and with what bandwidth limits, but you also need to understand the vital difference between what is advertised and what is actually available. Infrastructure claims made in advertisement can be tricky. While a company can be perfectly true in claiming they have hundreds of servers, they may not tell you that their current customer base consumes almost 95% of these servers, hence leaving few resources for the new sign ups. Make sure you unearth the right figures and do not blindly follow the advertising claims.

Secondly, and very importantly, reliability matters. Those hundreds of servers are useless for you if the server that hosts your website is down quite often. Be practical, outages are here to stay and even big names like Google and Yahoo have to face these. What is important is the ability of your hosting company to combat these outages and have fail-over solutions in action.

In an industry where everyone claims to be offering 99.9% uptime, how do you figure out which one would actually keep your website more alive than others? You may be surprised to know that not all hosting companies have the same definition for uptime. Some may not recognize scheduled maintenance as downtime and that becomes an issue when their maintenance seems to be more frequent than others.

As we mentioned above, failures can't be ruled out. What is important is the technical and human expertise of your hosting company to get over these network and hardware related issues as fast as possible. The faster they are in diagnosing and isolating the cause of failure and work towards resolution, the least downtime your website will suffer.

Finally comes the issue of security. With the abundance of viruses and spam found online, it becomes very important if your host has multiple layers of security applied to their network or not. You may realize that a cheap hosting company doesn't have the necessary skills and expertise to deal with web server security issues and may be depending upon their uplink provider or outsourced staff; both of these take time to respond and hence cause downtime for your visitors.

There is a lot more to hosting deals than cheap pricing and only once you have found multiple hosting companies that deliver based on the above criteria should you begin to base your decision on price.
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Visit The Top Ten Web Hosts today to find out more about the Best Webhosting companies in the business and learn a bit more about Selecting a Web Host.
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