How to Consider a Web Host?

Written By: Ross Dalangin

Now that your website was built. Your next task is to find a web hosting company that will not cost you more money and time. More money if the hosting fee is expensive and more time if you failed in selecting a good web host, you may try to find again another web host to transfer all your files. How if you have an active community? You have active visitors using your message boards, chat, e-commerce software and other stuff on your website. You stuck on them.

The things you need to find selection of a good web host is to make sure they have a high-speed connection (T3 or higher) to the Internet, price is competitive, reliable servers (hardware ad software), they have plans available for your expansion, high bandwidth, backup system, quality of support service (how they handle your complaints and speed of responds), they can give you email addresses, FTP access or file manager and other features such as allow scripting (cgi or php or asp) and database (SQL or MySQL). Sometimes they allow you to use their existing scripts to your website.

- Make sure they have high-speed connection (T3 or higher) to the Internet. Expect your visitor not to come back again or disconnect their connection of opening your site if you’re website is very slow.

- It must be competitive. Expect to pay $3 to $50 per month for your 5 pages website. Some web host gives you discounts if you pay them annually. Most small web sites uses only 2 to 5 MB web space. Choose a plan based on the size of your website.

- Ask them the server specifications and the uptime guaranteed. If the computer they use is in the top brand and model, and 99% guarantee then you are lucky. But no one can give you 100% guarantee because there are times the earthquake and other disasters strikes. Ask them the issues involve when there’s disasters and how will they answer it?
- Ask them about the backup system, if they have.

- Most of the web hosts have different plans on expansion. Ask them if you can upgrade your plan later.
- Aware on this one because if they give you low bandwidth, you’re site will not be viewed. It will happen if your site has traffic.

- The quality of support is based on their speed of response and how they solve their problems. Most of the web hosts have experienced engineers doing the maintenance and support. Make sure you can contact them 24/7 by phone or email. Ask them more before you sign up.

These are some of the basic feature of a Web Host:
- Domain name registration
- At least 5MB of allocated space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- POP3 E-Mail Accounts
- Email Forwarding
- Email Auto-responders
- Email Aliases
- FTP Access
- FrontPage Support
- Own CGI-Bin Access
- Free Scripts
- Scripting (CGI,ASP,PHP,etc.)
- Server Side Includes (SSI)
- Secured Socket Layer (SSL)
- Password Protection
- Free Technical Support
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Room for expansion

Plan your website carefully because in the future you may need to add more pages and add more programs. Less feature less consideration.

Types of Hosting:

A. Free Hosting
- Most of the Free Hosting Companies displays thier banner on your web pages
- It is only applicable to small websites
- Limited support
- Limited web space
- Unreliability of server (hardware and software)
- No notice when they want to Shutdown their server
- Sometimes you can’t use your own domain name

B. Virtual or Shared Hosting
- No Banner Ads
- Low cost
- Good for small to medium size websites
- With Support (most are free)
- reliable server(s)
- Speed may vary depends on how many sites on server
- Sometimes slow updates
- Can use your own domain name

C. Dedicated Hosting
- No Banner Ads
- High cost
- reliable server(s)
- Good for large websites
- Full Support (most are free)
- Speed may vary depends on how many sites on server
- Can use your own domain name
- Can add more domains. This is good if you have several domains registered.

Now that you know the type of hosting and the some basic features on a server, you can choose a good web hosting company to serve you. It will be your partner for your online success.
About the Author

Ross Dalangin
Software Developer Since 1991
Computer Instructor Since 1994
Web Developer and Consultant Since 1995
Database and Network Administrator Since 1996
Search Engine Optimizer Since 2000
Web Publisher Since 2001

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