Your Choice Of Webhost Is A Really Important Decision – Make It Wisely
What is the purpose of your website? – usually it is to be seen by as many visitors as possible. Since this is such an important objective, you should take some time over reaching this decision, and weigh up all of the factors that will contribute to the success of your website. This is so that your website is visible to as many people as possible.
These Are The Points To Consider When Choosing Web Hosting
Consider the following attributes of each of the webhosting services that you are considering, before making a decision about which one to choose
- What Are Their Statistics For Server Uptime?
The fundamental consideration for a website to be found by searchers on the internet depends on whether the server where your files are stored is online i.e. whether it is up and running at all times.
This is called Server Uptime, and is the primary statistic for you to consider. Many webhosting providers claim to have a 99.99% server uptime. Some webhosting providers even claim to have 100% uptime.
How can you verify what webhosting providers claims are in fact true?
One thing that you can easily do is to search for existing users comments on the service that they receive from their webhosting provider.
If you have the time and inclination, you can search for users comments of the webhosting provider on internet forums or elsewhere online, just Google search for comments about your chosen webhosting service provider.
The safest decision would be for you to choose one of the larger and long established webhosting providers, who have a good reputation, even if this means that you may have to pay a premium to your webhosting providers.
Most reputable webhosting companies have multiple server data and power backups, some of which are located in different countries. A few webhosting companies also promised 100% service uptime and are prepared to back up this promise with a guaranteed refund in the event that any downtime might happen. This is a really good deal from the customer´s point of view.
- What Is The Customer Support Like For Your Webhosting Company?
Another very important feature of a good web hosting is Customer Support – you should check on the internet forums and using Google search for comments, good and bad about each webhosting service provider that you are considering to use..
A good webhosting service provider should provide customers with 24/7 phone and internet support, 365 days a year. They should have a good collection of tutorials and FAQs readily on their site in case you might need help. Make no mistake, you will contact your hosting support more often than you think, especially if you are serious about your website.
- What Is The Webhosting Service Provider´s Pricing & What Are The Features They Include?
When you look at the whole marketplace you will find that the range of pricing and features included in web hosting packages from different service providers are spread over quite a wide range.
What do you want then from your webhosting service provider? You will probably want a fair balance of features and quality that will suit your needs, unless you are an unusually demanding user. As with any other product or service, cheaper usually means that you get lower quality or fewer features. You need to weigh up what extra benefits or features you may get for higher pricing. Do you actually get better value for higher pricing or not? Can you justify a higher or even exorbitant price without any special value added.
The prices of webhosting packages are usually dependent on the set of features included by the webhosting service provider.
These features will usually include the following, amongst others:
- Data storage capacity
- Bandwidth limits,
- The number of allowed addon domains
- The number of added subdomains,
- The number of email accounts hosted
- The ftp accounts hosted,
- Shared or virtual or dedicated server plans,
- Programming languages
- Site tools,
- Shopping cart
It can be confusing with these numerous choices and can be even more so if you are not familiar with these features. This article is intended to help you to see the wood for the trees, and to clarify for you if possible.
The pricing level for a reasonable value shared hosting package can usually starts around 6-8 US$ per month, or $72 to $100 per annum.
Virtual Private/Dedicated Servers usually start at around US$ 30-50 per month, that is $360 to $500 per annum and Dedicated Servers at US$ 60-80 per month, that is $720 to $960 per annum.
Here is a Good Pricing Consideration: If you have not yet acquired a domain name or you may want to add another in the future, then some webhosting service packages include free domain with hosting. They can be a good value if you think about the longer term.
There are many many webhosting service providers and packages on offer these days. Each one of them has its own unique benfits and pros and cons. So how can you decide which one of the many available options is the best one to choose?
Even if you home in on a particular webhosting service provider, you still need to choose the webhosting package that will suit you, from their available range. Every webhosting company offer many different types of packages to choose from. The most popular type from common consensus is the ‘Unlimited Bandwidth’ package.
- Data Storage Space and Bandwidth limits
If you are new to putting up websites, you might have very little idea about how much data storage space and bandwidth your site will need. First off, don’t worry too much about this. Even the most professional people will tell you that themselves. Because your needs will grow as the number of visitors to your website increases, you will know all about it as you go along.
- a) Data Storage Space:
What Storage Space Do You Need? Or what do you think you may need in the future? Unless you intend to host lots of videos or movie clips or a massive amount of high resolution pictures, then most webhosting packages will do the job adequately for you. Normal websites rarely need more than 40-50 MB (megabytes of storage space). The basic shared webhosting package for the top registrar costing approximately $5 per month, or $60 per annum, includes 10 GB(1000 MB) of storage space.
Bandwidth limit is the amount of data transfers that your webhosting service provider permits per month. This requirement usually depends on how many visitors your site has and the type of files that you serve i.e. basic web pages, picture images or videos, move clips etc. Again, there is not that much to worry about for normal websites. Most webhosting providers will offer “Unlimited Bandwidth” even on their value shared webhosting packages.
- Shared Hosting / Virtual Private Server / Dedicated Server / Cloud Hosting
How can you best choose between these types of hosting? Putting it simply, you should choose by how busy or popular you think your site will be, and we would recommend either Shared or VPS or Dedicated – Cloud, in that order.
The majority of websites on the internet use Shared webhosting. This is usually good enough for personal and small websites. They are the most economical of webhosting packages. In shared webhosting, a number of webhosting accounts, usually 10-100, may be hosted on a single physical server. They all share the same server storage and broadband connection.
Shared webhosting is particularly recommended for starters and small to medium personal and commercial websites that do not host picture images, or movie clips or video downloads. These can cost between $5-$15 per month, or $60 to $180 per annum.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS):
VPS webhosting is often used by medium sized websites with medium storage and bandwidth requirements. VPS´s are hosted on unique ip addresses (for example 22.214.171.124) and are like a dedicated physical stand-alone server, but incurring less cost than a physical dedicated server. The way that VPS works is that multiple accounts of say 4-10 websites are hosted on a single physical server, each account having it’s own unique webhosting id or ip address, data storage and bandwidth and each one is separated from the others by software.
VPS hosting may cost between $30 to $150 per month, or $360 to $1800 per annum depending on the features for a 1 year contract. Note that all webhosting packages prices decrease as you increase the number of years of contract, so a longer commitment is more economical.
Dedicated Servers are often used by the medium to large websites that need storage and bandwidth scalable to their variable requirements. They are usually hosted on separate physical servers. That is, they have a server rented out to them individually. Such large websites may have full control over the server with its own unique address, hard disk, RAM and bandwidth.
The cost of renting a Dedicated Server depends on the physical components of the server, the hard disk capacity, the processor version, the amount of RAM and its broadband connection. Prices can vary between $65 to $200 per month, ie $800 to $2400 per annum.
This is the most recent innovation in webhosting, Cloud Hosting is the next generation of webhosting. Rather than having one physical server, cloud hosting uses several servers located in different locations connected to each other to provide the necessary Storage and functionality.
The main advantage of cloud hosting is the scaleability and cost efficiency. For large websites there is big benefits. As a website plans to grow larger than its current capacity, it can easily add another server to join the networked group of servers.
Cloud hosting packages may be priced anywhere from $100 to $550 per month, that is $1200 to $6000 per annum, depending on the storage and bandwidth provisions.
- Addon Domains & Sub Domains
Addon Domains are the domain names i.e. websites for example.
Such domains you plan to host with your webhosting provider. If you intend to host more than one website, you need to choose the right package that allows you to do this. Many of the cheapest webhosting packages will allow only one website.
They are the different directories that you may want to create within your website, for example:
The number of Sub Domains allowed may be different on different webhosting packages.
This should not be confused with folders eg. http://www.mydomain.com/folder1
There is no limit on folders.
- Email and FTP accounts
These are unique email accounts for your website/s for example: “firstname.lastname@example.org”. You can set up such an email address and give it to anyone who may visit your website such as your friends, visitors, customers. Most of the webhosting packages will give you more than enough email addresses.
FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. FTP accounts are used to access your webhosting files from web softwares. FTP accounts are of help to web masters in that they allow update, deletion or creation of new files and folders in your webhost directly from web design software and ftp software programs. Most webhosting packages will give more than 10 FTP accounts. You can allocate these FTP accounts to your colleagues and designers and administration as needed.
- Programming Languages & Databases
- Frontpage Server Extension,
- Custom PHP.ini,
- Perl w/FASTCGI,
- Python CGI,
- Ruby CGI,
- Ruby on Rails w/FASTCGI,
All of the above are programming softwares and databases that may be used by any webhosting server.
Such software programs are used for the more advanced web features like automated content management, user management, running scripts and programs etc.. Most of the webhosting packages include the popular languages and databases that you might need when you want to use them.
- Content Management, Blogs, Forums:
- Vanilla Forum
All of the above websites are ready made tools and platforms for setting up blogs, forums and content management to enhance websites. Most webhosting packages have sufficient choices here as well.
- Website Tools, Marketing Tools, Shopping Cart Website Tools:
- Website Builder,
- Web Analytics Tools,
- FrontPage Extensions,
- Google Custom Search,
- Google Webmaster Tools
The above products are basic tools that helps in building websites, gauging website popularity and statistics and site enhancements and are included in most webhosting packages.
- Google AdWords Credit – $50,
- Yahoo! Search Marketing Credit – $25,
- Facebook Ads Credit – $50.
The above are advertizing credits for advertising your website, and are worth real money. They are great bargains if they are included within your webhosting package.
For those wishing to sell products online this Shopping Cart tool is essential. Most webhosting packages include them.
- Webhosting Ideas For Optimum SEO
In order to improve and optimize your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your own website, you will need to consider when choosing a webhosting package, what is the location of the server. Common user experience indicates that search engines prefer locally hosted websites when search is being made by them.
The big search engines like Google are known by consensus to give preference to locally hosted sites.
What this means is that to rank higher in the UK, for example, it would help to have a webhosting server that is located within the UK.
Another factor that also is generally known and agreed is that to help SEO in local search rankings is regional TLDs or domain names. So for UK, the domains.co.uk or.org.uk are given preference by search engines.
Bear in mind another point to note is that shared webhosting can harm your website’s SEO rankings. SEO experts believe that if you have a site which shares the same server and ip address as a Google penalized site, your site will also suffer as a result. Obviously the way to avoid this sort of penalty is to host your website or websites on separate ip addresses which means a dedicated server or a Virtual Private Server.
Here is where we recommend to start your research your webhosting, try A2Hosting.com.