How To Select Best Web Host?

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If you are looking out for a web host then you know how difficult it is to pick a correct one. What even increases the confusion is the abundance of the affiliates. Even I am an affiliate and I know that most of the affiliates will always write good thing about their affiliate product.

So it is your responsibility to pick a one which is suitable for you. Sometime we make more mistakes when we think too much and expect too many things.

So while hunting for your web host, keep it short and simple.

How do you pick the best web host for you?

best web hosts 2012

 

Now if you are searching for a web host then I assume that you know about web hosting so just to put things in order here;

  1. Shared hosting
  2. Virtual Private server hosting
  3. Dedicated server hosting

There are thousands of web hosts out there. Most of them indulging into a fairly aggressive advertising campaigns through affiliates and other promotional channels.

As a result, all of them look equally good on face but things may go horribly wrong if you choose a wrong one.

So instead of looking out for best web host, you should ask yourself few very basic questions before you begin with your search. It’s like a checklist.

So let’s quickly go through these question and then we will see how things shapes up.

Type of site to be hosted

If you are a small business, internet marketer or any other individual looking to start a website, then the first question you need to answer is “what kind of website you are going to start?”

It is very important question and is going to determine the kind of web host need.

A forum requires far more resources than a blog.

There are limits on number of queries your site can make to database and other resources. So shared hosting won’t be a good idea for most of the forums and dedicated hosting could be expensive for startups, so you should go for virtual private servers.

In case of blogs, you can even manage with shared hosting.

So pick your web hosting based upon the type of sites you are going to start.

Application installation on your host

This is the extension of your first question. Depending upon the type of website you are going to start, you will need to install application for that on your web host.

Now if you are used to web hosting and managing couple of sites, then it may not be a big deal for you. But those who are just starting up then it would be very important question for you.

There are two ways of installing application on your hosting accounts;

  1. FTP
  2. One click installation using software like Fantastico

Automatic application installer could be a life saver for you if you are not comfortable with installing application using FTP.

Most of the established web host like Hostgator and Godaddy offer one click application installer with shared hosting account.

If you are on VPS hosting, then you may need to check with the individual hosts if they are providing it but most of them don’t provide services like this by default.

Same goes with dedicated server hosting, so if you are looking to install wordpress which means you are planning a blog, then go for shared hosting.

If you are planning a forum, then you may prefer virtual private server for hosting your website.

Additional features with your web hosting plan

Web hosting just don’t mean a server to host your site, it’s a complete package.

You get lot of additional features with it.

As we all love freebies, often targeting those freebies can take away our attention from our primary requirements.

So stay focused.

These web hosting features are;

  • Email accounts
  • Logs to track happening on your server.
  • File system
  • Security
  • Domain Management system
  • Database management system
  • Software services to manage basic services on your site like PHP, Perl etc.
  • Advance features like Apache handlers, Image Handlers etc.

Most of these features are pretty standard with most of the established hosting players like Hostgator and Godaddy, etc.

Backups

Backups are extremely important for any web hosting because you never know what and when things may get wrong and your site’s data gets corrupted.

So you always need to look at this.

Shared hosting often come with instant backup like Hostgator, but make sure to check on this with other hosts.

In case of VPS and Dedicated server hosting, there are limited number of backups available by default like weekly backups.

If you need additional back up, then you can purchase them on the top of default option. So depending upon the kind of updates on your site, you need to decide if you want weekly updates or more frequent updates.

Resource requirement

There are resources required to support your hosting requirements, these resources include;

  • Disk space
  • Operating system-Linux or Windows based.
  • Bandwidth
  • IP
  • Number of domains
  • Free Private SSL
  • Customer Support
  • Control panel

These resources are extremely important for your web hosting and pay attention to them.

In case of shared hosting, you will get all of them but in case of VPS and Dedicated server hosting, you need to check with your host.

Customer Support is extremely important of any service you use.

There are many hosts with not very good support, stay away from them.

Always verify if your host is providing support on phone and chat along with email support.

Chat Support is extremely critical because if your site goes down, chat support is the one which comes into picture.

If you use mail, then it takes longer than so chat support is must along with phone and email support.

In terms of operating system, I think Linux is not only better but also economical. So if there is no specific requirement for windows hosting, then you should go for Linux hosting.

Control panel is very important part of any web hosting account but if you spend some time playing with it, you can always learn it.

cPanel is the one of the most popular control panel and comes bundled with shared hosting in Hostgator and many other web hosts.

Godaddy is using own control panel.

There are other control panels also. They are standard and in-built in case of shared hosting but with VPS and dedicated server hosting, you get a free control panel and then if you want, you can purchase additional control panels like cPanel.

Budget

How To Select Best Web host 2012

Budget is probably the most crucial aspect of any business. It always depends upon the individual pocket.

If you are looking to start a blog, then I will suggest going for shared hosting. There are lots of hosts offering economical shared hosting packages. They offer variety of shared hosting accounts and you can pick based upon your requirements.

Shared hosting packages can start from as low as $3.

If you are expecting heavy load on your website then you may need Dedicated Server hosting. But there is a good alternative to that; it is Virtual Private Server hosting.

VPS is an economical option for those who may need Dedicated Server Hosting.

Future goals

If you are starting up your site or business right now then your requirement might be limited but as you will move on, your business will grow and so as your requirements.

So plan according to that; You may upgrade your hosting account any time but there is always a cost associated with that and if you don’t have enough resources, then your site may go down which is adverse for your business.

So plans accordingly, don’t acquire too many resources in anticipation because that will add to your account so also keep optimum level of resources with you.

Summary

Don’t make it too complicated. Stick with well-established web hosts.

Focus upon your basic requirement and always have some additional resource for near future. Customer support is critical.

If you don’t need too many resources then shared web hosting is best for you.

I use Godaddy and Hostgator and can confidently recommend them to anyone.

If you have any comments or question, please leave it in comment section.

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About akhilendra

Hi, I’m Akhilendra and I write about Business Analysis, Data Science, IT & Web. Join me on Twitter, Facebook & Google+

Comments

  1. nice post can you please visit my blog and comment and maybe give me some advices to make it better and thanks a lot in advance

  2. Jackie Guevarra says:

    I am looking for a web host for my new business and I am actually new about web hosting so this article is a great tip. Thanks!

    • great to hear that jackie, web hosting is extremely critical for any online business and it is better to do some research before finalizing any. thanks for leaving your comment.

  3. Nice analysis, I have been using hostgator shared hosting for a while and now moved to a VPN from WiredTree. As you have mentioned VPN is seriously quite a good option for those who seek better hosting on a economical price.

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