Finding the right web hosting provider for your website is very important. There are so many companies these days providing web hosting services with unlimited storage at low prices, that it is very hard to choose the best provider. But don’t fall for these attractive offers without doing actual research about that company.
Here are top 11 things to consider before choosing a Web Hosting Provider:
1) Shared or Dedicated Hosting: Shared Hosting is the most common type of web hosting account in which your website is hosted on a server which is shared by many websites. The benefit of shared hosting is that it can be very low cost. So, if you are not expecting heavy traffic on your website, then this is the best solution for you.
Else, choose dedicated hosting in which a full server will be dedicated to your website. This is the best solution for big eCommerce websites that gets thousands of visitors per day.
2) Uptime: Uptime is the amount of time that a server has stayed up & running. It is usually listed as a percentage, like “99.9% uptime.” Uptime is a great measure of how great a Web hosting provider is. Always choose the web hosting provider with the 99.9% uptime. Anything below than that is not good for your website.
Below are some mathematical explanations of Uptime:
98% uptime = 28.8 min./day or 3.4 hrs/week or 14.4 hrs/month or 7.3 days/year
99% uptime = 14.4 min./day or 1.7 hrs/week or 7.2 hrs/month or 3.65 days/year
99.5% uptime = 7.2 min./day or 0.84 hrs/week or 3.6 hrs/month or 1.83 days/year
99.9% uptime = 1.44 min./day or 0.17 hrs/week or 0.72 hrs/month or 8.8 hrs/year
Even though 99% Uptime sounds great, but just imagine that it means your site will be down for around 4 days in a year.
3) Disk Space: Disk space is an amount of storage space provided by Web Hosting provider to host your website and data. It is measured in Bytes, KB, MB or GB. These days almost all the web hosting companies provide unlimited disk space, so don’t go for any company which provides limited storage unless your website needs less space.
4) Inodes Distribution: Every time a file is created or uploaded on the server, an Inode ( Index Node ) is created which contains information about the file and identifies on the system. Inodes are actually the real limits on the amount of disk space you can use on an “unlimited” disk space plan.
All the web hosting provides will offer you attractive goodies such as UNLIMITED Domains, UNLIMITED Disk Space, UNLIMITED Bandwidth and 99.9% Uptime but what they don’t mention is that you’re allowed only limited Inodes, which in my case is 2,50,000 Inodes ( Hostgator) and I’m already done with the 10% of my Inodes.
So, don’t go for cheap plans which provides only 20K – 50K iNodes.
5) Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the amount of actual data that can be transferred from the web server that holds your website, to the web browser of the user who is looking at your website. Most of the companies provide unlimited bandwidth, so you can review this feature before purchasing any hosting plan.
6) Programming Language Support: It’s crucial to make sure that the web hosting company you choose provides the support for the most popular programming languages being used today which includes PHP, Ruby, ASP, Java, Perl, Python, and others.
7) MySQL Databases: Most of the web hosting companies provide freedom to create unlimited MYSQL Databases, and you should choose the one which provides unlimited support.
8 ) E-Mail: The hosting plan should support unlimited E-Mail accounts.
9) Addon Domains, Sub-Domains and Parked Domains: An Add-on domain is like running a separate web site from a single account. e.g. www.addondomain.com. An Addon Domain can also be accessed via www.mywebsite.com/addondomain and addondoamin.mywebsite.com.
A Sub-Domain is a part of the main domain. E.g. subdomain.mywebsite.com
A Parked Domain is that which simply redirects to an existing domain. E.g. www.parkeddomain.com will redirect to the www.mywebsite.com.
My Hostgator plan supports unlimited access for all of the above three types of domains. You should choose according to your needs.
10) Control Panel: cPanel is a Unix based web hosting control panel to manage all your hosting services at one place. cPanel provides access to all the features such as FTP, Fantastico which allows you to install the blogs, and many more.
11) Other Important Things: Web Hosting Provider should have a good customer support system to resolve all your issues quickly. You should also be able to transfer your website to a new server anytime you want to. The web hosting provider should also support automatic backup of your data to avoid any loss. And while buying web hosting plan, you should not be much concerned about spending some money because cheap web hosting can really hurt your business.
So to conclude, the most important thing to do before you buy a plan from any web hosting company is to read their Terms of Service(TOS). TOS will cover all their hidden range of issues which are not disclosed usually.
I am using Hostgator for a year now and would recommend every one as it is the best Web Hosting provider which provides all the features discussed above.
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