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Criteria of choosing an ideal web hosting company

Written By: Leo L.

Before we talk about what it takes to be a cheap and good quality web host, lets get to the fundamental first.

What is a Web Host?

A web host is a service provider that places your web site on a computer which is connected to the internet. The term for this computer is called a server.

A web hosting provider will typically have a fast connection to the Internet
and they may host thousands of web sites on many servers. The web host essentially
rents out space to you so that you can get your website up on the world wide
web.

With a well-managed web host, you can free yourself from worrying the up-keep
of complicated server technology and proper technical maintenance. Thats the
whole purpose of the web hosting companies. You should leave the technical work
to web hosting professional while you focus on your own internet business.

Lets begin…

Feature Offered

The features that web hosting companies are offering are getting quite standard
nowadays.

The followings are some of the common features you’ll see in most web hosting
plans:

  • Control Panel

    Control Panel is an interface where you can access your site on the web server,
    allowing you to set-up and subsequently update and customize your web site.
    Though cPanel is by far the most popular control panel, some hosting providers
    customize their own so that they can up-grade and expand it at will.

  • Diskspace

    A vast majority of sites that don’t have tons of graphics, sound and video
    clips or downloadable files easily fit in 50 MB of disk space. You should
    always leave yourself some room for growth or check if the host has a bigger
    plan in case you need to upgrade.

  • Bandwidth

    Bandwidth is the amount of data transmitted or received through a unit of
    time. In web hosting, bandwidth is consumed when visitors make requests for
    files on your web site and download them to their personal computers.

  • Email Account

    With POP3 email accounts you can check email from Outlook, Netscape Mail,
    Eudora or any other Email software.

  • Scripting language

    As all our top 10 listings are using Unix and Linux platform, php, perl and
    CGI are the languages we are talking about here. It is best to choose a host
    that supports the latest version to maximize the latest web technologies for
    the fee that you pay.

  • Database

    If your web site is going to store a lot of data that should be dynamically
    accessible (like user accounts, stock prices, maps, Interactive news, message
    boards and forum etc.), you’ll need to look for an account that offers a database.
    MySQL is a powerful and most popular database program that runs on the Linux
    operation system. It is able to handle million of entries all at once. Its
    flexibility and speed allow you to also store logs and pictures. MySQL is
    designed to scale well under heavy traffic conditions and is ideal for database-intensive
    or e-commerce-enabled Web sites.

Customer Service/Support

No matter if you are an expert or a novice in web hosting, you need a web host
with good customer support system. What is the criteria of an excellent customer
support? Let us explain.

  • How big is the knowledge base?

    This is particularly important for those who want to search for quick answer
    without seeking direct assistance from customer support staff. Due to the
    huge database, normally its searchable. Some web hosting providers will even
    make your life easier by making a video tutorial guiding you step by step
    in setting up your new account. Very useful for beginner.

  • Responsive customer service staff.

    If you are too lazy to find the answer out of a big pool of database, get
    the direct answer from someone who knows it. Direct customer support comes
    in a few forms.

    a. Email support

    b. Phone support: Normally, sales and technical support uses separate phone
    line. A good phone support staff knows what your problem is and answers with
    relevance.

    c.Web Host like Lunarpages and Globat even have live chat support. However,
    its not how many support channels that are available but how responsive it
    is of the staff. You can find out the hosting
    reviews and ratings of each of our Top 10 Cheap Web Host.

Price to Disk Space / Price to Bandwidth Ratio

Are you paying too much for your Web Hosting Plan?

Having done the research on hundreds of web hosting companies, in general, weve
come to this conclusion: the more disk space and bandwidth you are getting,
the more expensive is the monthly price.

To help you understand which price is competitive enough for you to take up
the offer, we have categorized 5 different price range. For each price range,
a score of maximum of 10 is assigned. To understand the concept behind this,
please refer to the details here.

Popularity

A web host might have the best feature offered, unbeatable customer support
and reliability in place but without an effective marketing plan, it will go
bust too. Lets face it. If a web hosting provider does not have sufficient
members and steady growth of new members, its very difficult to survive in
this highly competitive industry.

We judge the popularity of a particular web hosting provider by looking at
the number of awards won, the reviews of other websites and the Alexa traffic
ranking.

All the hosting providers listed on our Top 10 Cheap Web Hosting Directory
are among the top 40,000 most visited websites in the world.

Reliability, Speed and Uptime Guarantee

Nothing can hurt you more than this: your visitors come to your web site only
to find that its not accessible. You lose credibility and possibly even a sale.
If your web host does not guarantee at least a 99% uptime, leave the web host
now!

To ensure maximum uptime, installation of redundant back-up systems is essential.
Each web host has their own management systems to minimize downtime. "Redundant"
means that if any of the Internet connections get interrupted, the alternate
Internet connection will take over.

We use Alertra software to monitor the uptime of each of our top 10 web hosts.

As for speed, even though routing, web server set up and local area networks
play a part in determining the speed of a site, the main concern of how fast
your site is depends very much on the types of network connections.

Many hosting providers still connect to the Internet through T1, or T3 connections.
This is not the case for our top 10 hosts- they are using OC (Optical Carrier)
lines.

A T1 line will offer data transfer rate of 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second),
while a T3 line can supply data transfer rates of 43Mbps. OC-1 refers to a circuit
that transmits 51.85Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed. Ultra-High
Speed OC3 and OC12 lines offers 155Mbps and 622Mbps respectively. Some hosting
providers have connections to major internet backbones at the speed of OC48
(2488Mbps) and OC96 (4976Mbps).

About the Author

Top 10 Cheap Web Hosting Directory – Provides extensive review of top 10 web hosting providers.

Website Hosting Directory – Directory of reliable web hosting services and resources.

Domain Web Hosting Checker – Find the right web hosting solution for you.

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