Nowadays, domain names are cheap. Everyone’s grandmother can easily get one at less than $1. Because of that, the web hosting industry has become more competitive. There are so many web hosting plans out there that are good and not so good. So, the important question is, how in the world do I narrow down my choices and choose a web hosting company that fits my needs and grows with me? Below are 7 factors to consider before realizing a mistake.
- Top 10
- By Location
- Windows or Linux
This is the easiest way to choose. Just google it and you will fine tons of websites listing out top 10, 20, 30 web hosting companies. However, the problem is that there are certain websites that will only list out web hosting companies that they are affiliated with. Be careful in that area. You may be influenced into registering with their No.1 choice, only to find out hidden terms and conditions days later. That time, it’s too late.
The most important thing is to look for a good explanation. For example, Web Hosting Unleashed, chooses their top web hosts that have :
..more than 15 positive reviews and are recommended by at least 90% of the reviewers.
Find My Hosting is another reliable site that helps consumers to find web hosts.
This is another factor that every webmaster should consider. Of course, the best plan is to have the website hosted locally. This will help in lowering cost and it is more convenient. However, if the target audience of the website is elsewhere, it’s only logical to host it at that location. For example, if your visitors are primarily from the UK, you may want to choose a UK web hosting company over a US web host.
Another influencing factor on location is if you need to make frequent updates to the website, and are often transferring many large files, the speed difference between a web host in your country and a web host in a different country will be significant. Even with a broadband connection, uploading many files to a web server in a different country will prove frustrating. One fine example is Malaysian broadband ISP, TmNet Streamyx.
Basically, there are two standard web hosting operating systems which are Windows and Linux. The difference is that Linux is significantly cheaper and has greater compatibility with most scripts. Unless the webmaster is an all out Microsoft supporter and develop web applications in dot net, he’ll use Linux web hosting. Below are 10 examples of free and very, very famous web applications that uses Linux.
- WordPress Blog Platform
- OSCommerce Shopping Carts
- Help Center Live
- Joomla Content Management Systems
- Invision Forum / Discussion Boards
- Drupal Content Management Systems
- 4Images Image Gallery Management System
- SMF Forum / Discussion Boards
- Noah’s Classifieds
- PHProjekt Project Management System
If you are just starting out, look among the ‘chosen ones’ that has a hosting plan for the smallest bandwidth limit size. It is logic to say that the smaller it is, the cheaper it is. The host must also allow customers the flexibility to switch plans when and if the site grows bigger than the allocated bandwidth limit.
I have 4 websites under my belt, and have been through 3 different hosts. My first host, well, was an eye opening experience for me. At that time, rangit.com was hosted in my first host. The thing is, I have upload and download limits when I transfer files, even though it is hosted locally. The upload limit was 10kb and download was 10kb. At that time, I was inexperienced and thought that it was normal until I found my 3rd host. I was shock to see my files transferring at top speeds. Really. Then only did I realize the importance of FTP Upload and Download speed.
Technical support. The single most important factor in choosing a webhost. The only way that you are going to find out about this is through reviews. Of course, every webhost will say that they have 24/7 customer support. That’s advertising. The only way to truly find out if that particular webhost is good, is by reading comments.
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