Web Hosting Comparison
Successful websites start with a reliable web host. If you are searching for a reliable web hosting company, or if you are new to web hosting, you have come to the right place.
It’s important to get a web hosting comparison when you are looking at purchasing a web hosting company. There are so many web hosting companies out there and most of them provide a similar service, so which is the best web hosting company for you.
Before choosing a web hosting provider, make a little research to sign up with a web hosting company that meets all your needs and requirements. You should always take your time when choosing a web host.
Do you need Web Hosting?
If you want to have a website which can be accessed by an online user from any computer around the world with an Internet connection, then you need web hosting. It takes a complicated and expensive network of servers to host any website so the expense of subscribing to a web hosting company is definitely worth it. Take the time to check and compare the top 5 web hosting companies to see which one suits your needs best.
Web hosting features requirement
This is probably the most important consideration to start finding a host for your site. You need to decide the technical requirements for your website, this including:
a) Server platform and hardware requirements
If you plan to set up a website that uses programming environments such as Active Server Pages (ASP), Visual Basic scripts, Cold Fusion or Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL database, in this case, you will need to find a web hosting service that supports Windows platform such as Windows NT or Windows 2000 servers.
Likewise, if you plan to use programming languages such as Perl, CGI, SSI, PHP or mySQL database, then any web hosting plans that support Unix/Linux platform should be sufficient to meet your hosting requirements. Once you have these server platform and hardware requirements in mind, you can decide the best web hosting plans for your need. For more information, you can read “How to select a web server and server platform?”
Disk space & Bandwidth requirement
Here is another technical requirement that you need to consider before selecting a web hosting plan, i.e. disk space and bandwidth. If you intend to publish a website that does not have a lot of contents (meaning, web pages), then the disk space requirement may not be a big concern to you. In general, a disk space with 200MB to 500MB should be enough to meet your hosting requirement. In contrast, if you plan to host a website with enormous amount of graphic pictures, mp3 or video files, then you should consider a web hosting plan that provide huge disk space, for example, 500 MB to 1,000 MB.
Similarly, the bandwidth requirement will depend on your site traffic estimation. Obviously, website that expects to attract high traffic will consume the monthly bandwidth allowance very fast. If so, you will need to find one web hosting service that offer huge bandwidth with 40 GB to 100 GB per month. Depending upon your website requirement, choosing web hosting services that provide sufficient amount of disk space and bandwidth is crucial consideration to prevent paying extra costs in the future should you overuse the monthly disk space and bandwidth allowance.
Other hosting features
While the above requirements are utmost important, there are other hosting features that you have to consider too. Can web hosting provider support video clips on your website, if you have? Is the web hosting service compatible with Dreamweaver or FrontPage web authoring tool? Do you plan to set up a virtual store online? Can the host support the e-commerce features without adding extra cost to your monthly payments? On top of that, you may also want to find out the number of email accounts provided, number of FTP accounts, web statistic software (analyze your web traffic), type of control panel supported (manage your web hosting account), database and scripting languages supported and etc.
While there are many specific types of web hosting, all hosting solutions fit into one of these three technical categories:
- Shared Hosting – Shared hosting is when you rent a portion of a server – like renting an office room in an office building. Usually shared hosting packages are sufficient for basic web sites. If requested, your hosting provider will reserve your own domain name (www.yourname.com) and provide you with email at your domain name. Or if you reserved your own domain name in advance, your web host will provide you with the information necessary to “hook it up” to your web server. Pricing in the category of shared web hosting can range from free to over 0/month dependent on the service offerings.
- Dedicated Hosting – This is when you rent an entire server – like renting an entire office building. Once you have your server you can put whatever you would like on it, your choice of applications, your choice of data. You can store whatever you need on a dedicated server with fewer restrictions than that of a shared hosting solution. Low end dedicated servers start around 0/month, and go up from there.
- Co-located Hosting – This is when you actually buy the server, hardware, and software. Your server is then monitored and connected to the web from a data center. This gives you the most control of your server – not only do you choose what to put on your server, but what technology will be hardwired to the physical machine itself. Frequent clients of co-located services are web hosting providers, because they want 100% control and ownership of their servers. Co-located services are for companies or individuals in need of mission-critical hosting operations. Co-located web hosting prices are not usually based on specific pricing plans as the prices vary greatly on each individual client’s needs.
Customer service and support
The last major consideration in choosing a web hosting service is to find a web hosting providers that offers excellent customer service and support. You should always search for a web hosting provider that offers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week technical support that fielded with highly experience technicians, so that any web hosting problems will be resolved within a reasonable amount of time. You may also want to consider to test how responsive their customer support is by sending few inquiry emails to the web hosting provider. In general, any response in less than 24 hours is considered acceptable. It is a sign of poor customer support if they take more than one day to response.