Posts tagged ‘Uptime’

Some Things To Look For In A Web Host

web hosting has changed a lot in the last few years. Gone are the days of paying through the nose to have a website on the World Wide Web. Nor must you be a technological genius to set up a website. There are literally hundreds of choices when it comes to web hosts these days.

So, how do you choose the right one for you? In some respects, it may depend on what type of website you are looking to host. Do you just need to host a simple brochure type site? Do you plan to write a blog? Or, will you need tons of bandwidth for photo galleries or audio-visual media? Knowing the answers to questions such as those is your first task.

However, there are a few essential features that every good web host should have. This article will outline these features, in no particular order.

1. A reasonable price. Unless you have very special needs, you should never have to pay more than $10 to $15 a month for dependable, full-featured web hosting. You can often save money by paying for a full year in advance, but at any rate, there are many cost-effective web-hosting solutions available today.

2. A cPanel interface. All of the best web hosts offer “cPanel”, which is a web-based control panel that allows you to manage your domain through a web interface. It’s an industry standard that enables site configuration and management, including setting up email, database administration, file management, FTP, and installation of scripts. Cpanel also generally comes with Fantastico, which is an easy-as-pie installer for the WordPress blog platform, bulletin board software, and more.

3. 100% reliability. Your web host should be able to guarantee 100% (or at least 99.9%) uptime. That means you can count on your site being live virtually all of the time and that you will have access to it, cPanel, and your email. Being able to guarantee that type of reliability will generally require that the host have back up server capability. If you’re not sure, check before you commit.

4. Easily accessible customer support. Look for both web-based and telephone support. One or the other should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Web solutions may include both email (or an email-based support ticket system) and live chat. You’ll also want the support to be intelligent, reliable, and friendly. In addition, it will be helpful if they offer help files you can download or access online.

5. Multiple domain hosting. If you never plan to create more than one website, this feature may not be important to you. But for most Web entrepreneurs, this is an important consideration when choosing a web host. Most web hosts today offer cost-effective options for hosting more than one domain on an account. Some even offer unlimited domains for one low monthly (or quarterly) rate.

6. Large amounts of storage space and bandwidth allowed. You want to plan for future growth of your site, both in terms of the size of the site itself, and in the amount of traffic it attracts. Ideally, you’ll sign up with a web host that won’t penalize you for your growth, at least not for a long time. 25MB is a good minimum, and if necessary you should be able to easily upgrade your space without having to switch hosts.

7. Number of POP3 email accounts allowed. Unlimited email accounts is best. That gives you the flexibility to add unique email addresses for different functions on your website, such as sales@yourdomain.com, webmaster@yourdomain.com, support@yourdomain.com, etc. If you can’t get unlimited email, then at least look for multiple email account capability.

8. Access to logs and statistics. You’ll want to evaluate your site’s performance over time, once it gets going. So having access to free statistics software and web logs will help with that analysis.

9. Ability to use FTP or online file management. File Transfer Protocol (FTP for short) is a tool where you can upload large numbers of files quickly. You’ll want to be able to use FTP, at least some of the time. But online file management (especially through cPanel–see #2 above) is great when you only want to upload a file or two, or when you want to be able to administer your site when you’re not at your own computer.

10. Backups. There should be some sort of plan for backups with your web host. Ideally, they’ll include it in your price, but you may have to pay extra. All companies, though, should be doing some sort of backing up as a routine security measure. Find out, too, what is backed up, e.g., files, databases, server settings, etc.

So, there you have it–a rundown of the top features to expect from the best web hosting companies. By the way, free web hosting IS still available, but the old adage, “You get what you pay for” was never more true than in relation to web hosting, especially if you want to host a business web site. Be willing to pay for quality, reliability, and a full set of features.

Where to find Free Web Hosting

Free web hosting companies are a plenty, ranging from the larger ones such as 007sites and 0catch, to the smaller and more obscure ones that lurk in the corners of cyberspace. At first look, free web hosting seems like a promising deal: a free web host that supports your website, letting you effectively earn money and conduct business without any costs involved. However, let us take a look at the implications, advantages and disadvantages of using free web hosting.

Free web host providers are generally supported by ads; banner ads, pop-up ads, text link ads, top/bottom ads, frame ads, are all standard fare of free web hosting websites. The pertinent question is: do you want these ads to be displayed prominently on your website. The answer really lies in what you intend to use your website for.

A business website, one designed to appeal to clients and attract customers would definitely not want these advertisements spoiling not only their business image, but effectively driving clients, disgusted by the pop-up spam, away. Even for a personal blog, these advertisements can occasionally get on your nerves. Is the few dollars a month that you save worth the frustration and irritation of incessant advertising appearing on your website?

Reliability and uptime are keywords in the web hosting industry, of which free web hosts tend to lack both. Free web hosts usually lack a dedicated customer service. This means that your website might just disappear in the middle of the night and it can take up to weeks for it to get back online. This means a loss of visitors, traffic, and possibly some regular visitors may think that your website has been shut down. The consequences for a website, especially a business website, are unthinkable.

Does this mean that there is no role for free web hosting for a proper, serious website and budding website owner? The role of free web hosting is not to replace their paid counterparts, but rather to serve as a testing ground for new website owners. Free web hosting allow the website owner to get an idea of the website, and to allow him to experiment with new ideas with no consequence. Hosting a site on a free web host, even for just a week or two, can allow the web owner to collect real time information and data without signing a 12 or 24 month contract with a paid service.

You can obtain free web hosting at almost any provider available on the internet. A quick search in Google will easily turn up hundreds of free web hosting providers. How do we pick the best free web host? A good way to decide is to compare the number of advertisements that will be run on your website, as well as the amount of space they give you. This can range from anywhere between 50MB to 700MB. With the numerous choices available you can take your time to pick which free web hosting program suits you the best. Ultimately, if you are moving on to a paid service, the free web host you choose is not of crucial importance. However, getting a good free web host is after all beneficial for your website publicity.

Determine your Web Hosting Needs

You have a lot of choices in the web hosting market and it can be very confusing to find the best deal that meets your needs. So the first step of web hosting guide is to determine your needs of web hosting.

It can be very tempting to look for plans that offer everything. There are many such deals available, even at a low price, but you will be storing up trouble for yourself. Take a step back and determine exactly what you need, then select a best plan for your web site with the right price from a web hosting company that you are comfortable with. Let’s make a good start point for your web site.

1. Reliability and Speed of Access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low – it really should be 99.5% or higher. Most of the Paid web hosting can promise this percentage, and you will not get it from Free web hosting site. So if your business is critical, Paid web hosting Plan is your only choice.

2. Data Transfer (Bandwidth/Traffic)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as “traffic” or “bandwidth”) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site. If you go over the limit, then either you will have to be an extra fee, or your website will not be available. The amount of bandwidth you use is obviously related to the amount of traffic (visitors) that you receive.

There are web hosting companies that offer Unlimited bandwidth. This sounds like a good deal. The truth is that this is nothing but a lie and you should steer clear of web hosting companies that offer unlimited bandwidth. Bandwidth is a commodity that costs the web hosting company money – unlimited bandwidth is not only impossible, but would cost an unlimited amount of money. When web hosts offer unlimited bandwidth they are trying to trick you. They know that you will probably not use very much bandwidth. The moment you try to use a lot of bandwidth – then you will find your website shutdown.

For most web sites you will not need much bandwidth. Probably 99% of all websites use less than 2 GB of bandwidth a month. If you intend to have a lot of downloads of software, audio or video, then you may end up using a lot more bandwidth, maybe 50 GB. Sites like mp3.com require an enormous amount of bandwidth, but for the average site – a low level will be enough in almost all cases.

3. Disk Space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those “unlimited disk space” schemes. Most sites need less than 5MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 200MB or 500MB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 500MB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there. As a rough gauge, WebHostingClue.com, which had about 80 pages right now, used less than 5MB for its pages and associated files.

You will see that even a lot of pages doesn’t really create a big requirement for disk space since the size of each file is small. If your web site doesn’t have a lot of picture, video or mp3, Disk Space should be an important factor when you choose a web hosting plan. Many web hosting plans will offer large amounts of disk space. This is fine, it doesn’t hurt to have the extra space – but unless you have a huge site – you will more than okay with 20MB.

4. Technical Support

You need to ask yourself questions like Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? If you have a small website that is not critical (i.e just some personal web site to introduce yourself) then you probably don’t need it. Otherwise, you should see this item in your web hosting plan.

5. Email Accounts

If you have your own site, you would probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like sales@yourdomain.com, etc. How many email accounts will you need? Normally 10 is enough, but if you think you might want more then you can use, especially you build the web site for business usage, and you have many employees in your company, you will need more email accounts, and the good news is: most of the web hosting plan will give you more than 1000 email accounts, and some of them are un-limited.

6. PHP, Perl CGI-BIN access

This requirement depend on how you build your web site, do you use php or perl in your source code? If yes, you need to have this one in the plan otherwise, your web site will not work properly.

7. SSL, MySQL, and Shopping Cart (eCommerce Cart)

If you are planning on doing any sort of business through your website, you might want to look out to see if the host provides these facilities. These facilities normally involve a higher priced package or additional charges. The main thing is to check to see if they are available at all before you commit to the host. You will definitely need SSL if you plan to collect credit card information on your site.

8. Server Type

Is the type of operating system and server important? Whether you think so or not on the theoretical level, there are a few practical reasons for looking out for the type of server.

  • If you have a small website, then it is unlikely that you will need to select a particular type of server for your website.
  • Windows 2000 server web hosting tends to be a little bit more expensive than Linux. If you need to run a Microsoft SQL server database, or use Microsoft Active Server pages then you should choose Windows2000.
  • If you have no clue what these things even are – then you don’t need Windows2000 – you will almost certainly be fine with any type of server and my preference is to sign up for accounts using the often cheaper, more stable and feature-laden Unix systems running the Apache server.
  • 9. Subdomains, or Multiple domain Support

    For those who are thinking of multiple domains or subdomains hosted in your account, you should look to see if they provide this. If you have many web sites, and most of them don’t use a lot of space and bandwidth, then, host all your domain in a web hosting plan is a great choice for you and will save a lot of money for you. Many company provide this kinds of plan, such as: StartLogic, IXWebHosting, HostMonster, and BlueHost, etc; They can host 6-10 web site in one web hosting plan.

    10. Price

    Price is always a factor, you should realize that you often get what you pay for, although it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best. A stable, 24*7 support server is more important than money.

    Most web hosts allow you to select an annual or 2 years payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. You might be worried about if you aren’t satisfied with the plan you purchase, what can you do. You need to check that whether the company provide the money back period so that you can request a refund if you are not satisfied. Or the other choice is to sign a plan provided by a reputed web hosting company. Below are some company will provide money back guarantee (trial days): StartLogic, and IXWebHosting, etc.

    11. Free Domain Name

    You need to check whether a free domain name is included in the plan. In most of the plan with price more than $3 monthly, a free domain will be included. But if not, you need to apply for domain name by yourself and then direct it to the service you just order. To register a domain name, please refer to Register Domain

    12. International

    If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (eg a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices too.

    13. Else

    There are also some specific requirement related to what web site you want to build and your skill levels. Considering web hosting company provide more than just hosting, you might want they can provide some web design tool if you don’t know HTML well and also want to build it by yourself. Or you want to create a blog, photo galleries or Forum in your web site, if all those are included in the web hosting package, it would be easy for you to build the site. Below are some addition service you might find in web hosting package:

  • Blog
  • Photo Galleries
  • Forum
  • Web Design Tools
  • Web Site Market Tools
  • etc.
  • Although, we have listed a lot of factor above, you need to think about what’s the most important factor to you, try to rank all the factor above, and give them a value. If you care about the support and reliability and with a lot of budget, you should find some company can provide quick support and 99.99% uptime. If you only have limited budget, you might need to lower your expectation on bandwidth or multiple domain host, etc. There is always a trade-off between price, reliability and features that you’re willing to live with. There’s no way for you to afford to put all your sites on your “ideal” web hosts. For sites that are not so critical, you can pay a cheaper price at the cost of a little more “down” time and inconvenience than your more important sites.

    Reference

    Web Hosting: Guides, Compare Prices, Hosting News, Consumer Review, and Marketing

    Web hosting plan for Small Business

    Web Hosting Guide

    Choosing a Good

    The first thing people notice when shopping for hosting is the price. We all thing about saving some money, and shaving a few money off your monthly hosting initiative can help a lot.
    However, you need to remember that market value is not everything. Some businesses provide very cheap hosting, but have very low bandwidth, web space, etc, or control panel is’nt user frendly have a lot of downtime etc…
    When choosing a web host, you should be very careful. The principally step you should do, is analyze what exactly your needs are. Every site needs a different brand of hosting. If you just recently made? a blog or simple web site, you could probably get away with a shared hosting plan. However, if your site is larger, and it has a lot of traffic, you should get a premium hosting plan.

    If you have a site that has many return users, you ought to need to look for hosting that has minimal downtime. However, if when chosing? a web host you are promised 100% uptime, you are being lied to. There is no such thing as 100% uptime. For those who do not know, “uptime” is the age your website is basically live and able to be accessed by people surfing the internet. It is nothing to worry about, as usually downtime lasts less than an hour, and is a really rare .
    Though there are many methods on the web to help you when you are choosing a web host, the a large amount of valuable, in my opinion, is a nice forum. There are many webmaster related forums out there, filled with helpful people who are more as opposed to willing to help you out. There are as well a number of websites that are utterly devoted to provided that you with information to help you in the difficult process of choosing a web host.
    For amateurs to web hosting, you should consult an web resource, or ask someone who has supplementary experience. It is hard to appreciated exactly what you need in a hosting company. For those amid just 1 to a few sites, a simple hosting procedures will suffice. However, if you own 10 or more websites, it may be worth it to purchase your own dedicated server.
    You should always take your time when choosing a web host. The decision of what host to use is not one that should be made hastily. Hosting is vitally important to your website. If you have low top notch hosting that loads slowly and is at a slump often, it will be hard to convince people to end up with to your site. Return visitors are absolutely vital to your site. Whether your site is commercial or personal, you will be much more and more successful if you convince those to return to your site.

    For an top notch resource on the best bang-for-buck web hosts out there, check out the? free hosting review website for a truthful listing of some great web hosts.

    Ways to Get a Dependable Web Host

    If one?s new website is all set to upload, the next desirable thing for him/her is a web host. Conceivably he/she already possesses a web host, but uptime and support are lacking. With several scattering web hosts all around how can the users choose an ideal one? One should be aware of what can go wrong and what to look out for, and investigate prospective web hosts cautiously.

    Mistake, which may appear with web hosting

    Excessive downtime:

    It is inevitable that problems arise in the course of time happen, but even in the condition in which they don?t appear server maintenance results in a minimal amount of downtime. One can not only hope a dependable web host for well maintenance of his/her servers, but also expect monitoring the servers and fixing of problems immediately. With the type of web host one want to avoid, however, his/her site may be down for days.

    Features that cannot be put in use:

    Once the email of the user doesn?t work, his/her business shuts down. Problems related to databases and other features can also deliberate down or stop his/her business. Such problems are taken into consideration by several web hosts, but a few don?t concern to give high priority on keeping not only the user?s site online but everything working as well.

    Ghastic support:

    The response time taken by the dependable web hosts to answer tech support questions is utmost a single hour. Other web hosts, however, have been recognized to take several days to give response. And when those responses come, often they?re canned responses that don?t deal with the issue.

    Poor communication:

    If proper level communication skills are present, it supports people to restrict problems from becoming bigger problems. As told, ?Everything looks fine here, so the problem is solved,? promotes irritation. Thus, one?s site can shut down because it has used plenty of resources rather than the web host contacting him/her about the problem first.

    Troubles of Billing:

    Yet problems persist even after user cancels his/her account. A number of below dependable range web hosts don?t repute their refund policy. Others do not discontinue the automatic billing even after cancellation of account.

    Things to watch out for:

    One should consider the following as the red flags to warn the user of possible problems that can come on their way.

    Untenable pricing:

    If the pricing looks to the extent of superb to be true, it perhaps is. Will it be sufficient to pay for server maintenance and tech support? One gets similar what he/she deserve to pay for.

    Limitless bandwidth:

    There is not anything which is really unlimited in real sense. If one signs up for an account offering limitless bandwidth and then uses a lot of bandwidth, anticipating having the plug pulled on his/her site. The web host may locate further excuse for discontinuing his/her account, but ?unlimited? classically represent that ?as long as you don?t use a lot.?

    A website with unprofessional look:

    The user foremost consider how much effort the web host is putting in providing a usable website along with informative content. Does it really mean that user has got full confidence in the web host, or is it overwhelmed of unsubstantiated statements and grammar and spelling mistakes? A web host doesn?t require being a specialist in spelling insertion, of course. But if the company hasn?t advertise much enough to the user about their services, will they be meticulous about matching the clients? requirements?

    Way to research web hosts:

    It is quite easy to look out for web hosts. Search engines can be one of the ways to went on the websites of thousands of web hosts. But short listening after going through features and price, how can the customer look out which web hosts are reliable?

    Interpret particulars of web host package and TOS:

    If the host provider is offering hosting packages with huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth for quite cheap prices, that means something is fishy around. One should not expect that company to be well equipped with enough money for maintenance and support.

    If one wants to be sure that he/she can get a refund if he/she want one, should ensure what the Terms of Service (TOS) signify about refunds.

    One should examine the web host forum:

    User should be aware about the questions like, what is the ambience in the forum. Are clients? questions answered satisfactorily? The user should not be anxious on seeing a problem but in the condition when they don?t. It is quite common that, some web hosts remove posts that don?t demonstrate their company in a positive light. But if posts about problems stay in the forum, the user can easily monitor the way the host use to tackle the problem.

    User should examine web host reviews:

    There is no lack of cases in which, client feedback at the web host?s site perhaps may or may not be legal. One could not ignore the possibility of manufacturing of feedback and tracing it from other sites. The user should inquire about that via different web sites.

    There are several forums which permits people to post their web host reviews. While reading the reviews, one should deem the poster?s credibility. A few people knock their hosts just because of the reason that they?re unhappy about somewhat. If the host posts in response to a problem, the user should inquire the way host tries to resolve it.

    Inquire about the background of the company:

    The page which displays the points like ?About Us? or ?Company Background? should disclose the answer of following questions.

    1.) The experience of the company in this sector. A new company perhaps is excellent, but it?s good to keep in mind that an ample of businesses fails within the first year.

    2.) Does the company use to publish a privacy policy? And does this policy clearly protect clients? privacy?

    3.) Where are the servers located? Ideally, they should be in a datacenter, and not in someone?s basement.

    4.) About the server uptime statistics? If the web host doesn?t publish a link to a server uptime monitor, one should ask for a link to one. Uptime of about 99.7 percent or higher is usually considered good.

    5.) Does the company publish an address? The user perhaps should not be in the need of it, but when he/she placing his/her company website in another company?s hands, it is his/her right to know that the company is legal and handy.

    Email pre-sales queries

    Response to user?s pre-sales questions will tell more than enough about the web host. One can easily judge how fast the company responds and about their communication efficiency. One can ask questions about any of the above points as well as questions precise to his/her requirements.

    There is no doubt, that, Finding a dependable web host spends time, but dealing with problems and moving one?s site rather takes more amount of time. The time spent searching for a reliable web host is a worthwhile investment.