What to Look for in a Web Host.

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A feature-rich web hosting package can be ordered by anyone for next to nothing, but cheapness isn’t the only factor that should be considered when choosing a web host. This essay will cover the fundamentals of selecting a web host, including the importance of reliability, honesty, pricing, and features. You don’t want to risk losing the clients you’ve worked so hard to attract because you want to save a few monthly bucks on web hosting.

Whether you’re looking for a web host to launch a brand new site or to relocate an existing one, there are several factors to consider.

Assistance to Clients

Web hosting is more than just data storage and transfer. In my and others’ experiences, even the best service is useless without enough user help. If you run a company website, you can’t afford downtime. Therefore, your hosting provider should be available whenever you need them and have the experts you need available immediately.

Service uptime assurance and failure tracking

A personal website outage is annoying, but a commercial website outage is a significant problem. How much money would you lose if your website was offline for a week? Companies today often invest much in advertising their websites so that any extended downtime might be disastrous. Two primary guidelines should be considered when assessing trustworthiness:

The availability of an uptime guarantee is the first thing to look at. Existing service-oriented businesses back their promises with discounts or even free service in the event of outages. Any provider who shirks responsibilities is unlikely to invest much into its product or service.

Second, there is no such thing as a server with 100% uptime. Thus, I would never choose a company that guaranteed that. Those who boast about a server’s invulnerability to hacking either exaggerate or fail to implement security updates.

Statistics are something that all good web servers should display: How often do you get interrupted? What is the typical amount of downtime? Ask if these aren’t displayed; a lack of response should raise red flags. If you insist on using a host that doesn’t perform server monitoring, you’ll have to set up and maintain your system. One of the best free monitoring programs right now is http://www.siteuptime.com, which is why I suggest using it.

Backups

Ensure the organization performs regular backups because no host is immune to technical and programmatic faults. Another piece of advice is to make regular website backups, as you never know when something wrong can happen. One of the best features of cPanel, the most popular web hosting management software, is its easy-to-use backup generator. Now that backups are no longer an issue, you can quickly and rapidly back up your files and databases.

Policy for Acceptable Use

There is no hard and fast rule about the maximum number of websites that can be hosted on a single server. However, estimates range from 200 to 300. A small percentage of the users may be serving illicit material. Some web hosts have had their servers shut down, taking down their customers’ sites. If you don’t want your business to suffer because your website is hosted on the same server as pornographic or pirated software sites, then you should read up on the host’s acceptable use policy.

Your site’s load time will also increase if the server it’s hosted on is poorly maintained. You could encounter significant issues if someone on the same server distributes spam and your IP address gets blacklisted. To see if a web host has been blacklisted, use the “Spam database lookup” function on http://www.DNSstuff.com. Since spam is being transmitted practically everywhere, having one or two red records isn’t a big deal, but having more than that could cause issues down the road.

Bandwidth and storage capacity on the web are not limited in any way.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” rings especially true in the web hosting market. Do not fall for sites that promise unlimited bandwidth or storage space; these features do not exist. The cost per GB of bandwidth is covered entirely by the host. It’s not endless because hard drives cost money, too. Simply put, they are engaging in deceptive practices to win over consumers. Customers are satisfied with their “unlimited” purchase, and the host gains a new customer at only $1–2 USD per month, given that the typical website uses less than 1 GB of bandwidth per month. But what if I had a website that used much more bandwidth than the average site and signed up with a hosting company that allowed me to use an infinite amount of bandwidth? If my account used too much bandwidth, the host would terminate it. Some providers advertise “unlimited” data transfer, but their terms of service specify that this limit is 40 GB.

How much control will you have over your domain?

Make sure the host you choose will register the domain in your name when you purchase a domain name and hosting package together. Contact them directly if you can’t find the answer in their Frequently Asked Questions section. This is a great way to gauge the responsiveness of their customer service personnel. It could be difficult to switch hosting providers in the future if the domains were registered in the hosting company’s name. Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) filing fees are substantially higher than the total cost of a domain name plus web hosting provider; therefore, avoid this situation if possible.

Management Console

Control Panels are essential for simple upkeep since they facilitate routine tasks like adding and removing users, resetting passwords, adding new websites, viewing visitor statistics, and more. This is mandatory if the site is intended to generate income. Currently, cPanel is the most widely used hosting administration interface. It’s a cutting-edge web hosting control panel gives you complete command over your domain from any web browser. The goal is to give you as much autonomy as possible in running your website so you have complete control over everything from e-mail to files to backups, FTP to CGI scripts to site analytics.

Services with added value

To differentiate themselves from one another, hosting providers provide a variety of value-added services. Of course, these are helpful, but many customers make the error of picking a host only based on the number of extra features it provides, even if those features aren’t used. Among the most helpful additions are:

The first is an auto-installer script, which is helpful if you plan on setting up a forum, gallery, CMS, etc. A simple auto-installer script may have a program up and running in seconds, even for new users who don’t have any experience with computers.

You can use an online website builder to develop a website in a matter of minutes without the need for web design expertise or specialized tools. Site Studio is a very effective website builder with an intuitive interface, granular control over color palettes and themes, single-click publication, and a library of pre-made layouts from which to choose.

One last thing

I’ve just touched on a few potential red flags in this essay. You should already know that cost and resource allocations aren’t as significant as service quality; if funds are incredibly tight, the cost may be considered; otherwise, it shouldn’t.

You can get to the point where choosing a web host is straightforward by reading this article and asking the right questions.

UPHosted [http://www.uphosted.com] is led by Karolis Petreikis, who also serves as the company’s chief executive officer.

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