Web Hosting: Which is the host with the most?Written by Marc Eberhart
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The next type of paid web host is what I refer to as a "mid-range" web host, meaning that they offer prices and service that will satisfy majority of web sites out there. Mid-range web hosts like PowWeb, Your-Site.com and iPowerWeb offer packages ranging from $5 to $8 per month and provide tools that most webmasters will need to run a web site, such as: CGI-BIN, tons of e-mail addresses, FTP support, visitor statistics and more. These hosts do have monthly bandwidth limits, but limits are quite high, and most web sites will never reach them. However, if your web site features hundreds of file downloads and gets decent traffic you may be shocked at how soon you'll reach those bandwidth limits. When you do, your site may be temporarily shut down or you'll have to pay bandwidth overage charges, which can get pricey. Overall though, mid-range web hosts will be satisfactory for 90% of web sites out there, and generally offer excellent uptime/reliability. In fact, many web-based businesses are successfully run using a mid-range web host. However, as mentioned previously, web sites that offer large files for download or sites that get a huge amount of traffic may find that a mid-range host doesn't quite suit their needs. These types of web sites may require "high-end" web hosting solutions, next topic in our discussion.
High-end web hosts typically service web sites that are extremely popular, have a high amount of traffic, and/or require pretty much 100% uptime. Most businesses rely on high-end web hosts to host their web sites. Rackspace.com is an example of a well known high-end web hosting company. Pricing for high-end hosts varies, but typically runs from about $50 per month to several hundred dollars per month. Many high-end hosts give you your own dedicated server (which they support) that is reserved just for you and your web site. The mid-range hosts I discussed earlier typically host many different web sites on same server - this is known as "shared" hosting. High-end web hosts offer stellar reliability, bandwidth, and just about every tool you'll ever need to run a successful web site. Another feature that some high-end web hosts provide is "co-location" hosting. In this scenario, YOU configure and provide web server, but you get to plug it into their data center/network. This can be very nice because their data center usually has a fiber-optic connection directly to Internet, offering blazing bandwidth and stellar reliability. People who run web-based businesses or extremely popular, high traffic web sites are good candidates for high-end web hosting.
Hopefully this brief overview gives you a good picture of various types of web hosts that exist, and which one might be right for you. When you begin your search for a web host, always keep in mind old adage "You get what you pay for" because it really does hold true in this case. Before you make commitment to host a web site be sure to take some time and analyze what you want out of web site, and decide which factors are most important to its success. Answering these questions will get you many steps closer to choosing web host that's right for you.
Marc Eberhart is an IT Project Manager, webmaster, and all-around Internet junkie. His web site http://www.webhostingdiscounts.net/ offers visitors 40% off web hosting plans with top-rated hosting companies.
The Basics of HostingWritten by Ric Shreves
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If you are in e-commerce business, or providing support services through your website, down time can be very expensive. Larger hosts will provide redundancy for drives, power supplies and bandwidth. If your site produces revenues, donít scrimp on host. Security of your data and your customersí data is a sensitive issue. While your host is unlikely to guarantee security of any system, they should have in place adequate assurances that their environment does not contribute to risk. They should also be willing to guarantee turn-around time on installation of patches and security fixes as they are released by vendors (like Microsoft!).
Selecting right host for your company requires taking a hard look at your needs. Issues that must be resolved and prioritized include your need for ongoing maintenance and physical support services, network quality and speed, contract terms, and of course value for money. Letís not forget that current market, with its slough of bankruptcies, has also taught us that financial stability of firm is a factor.
For most clients, level of hostís customer service is key to satisfaction. Poor customer service is commonly cited as a reason for moving from one host to another, so make an effort to assess any firmís abilities in this area. Several sites now focus on rating web hosts and these should serve as a good starting point for your investigations. Try Hostsearch.com, with its wizard interface, and Web Host Directory. Make a point to ask around - word of mouth is a strong persuader in customer service game.
Other issues that will inform your decision include your preferred operating system Ė Windows, Linux or Unix -- and your database needs. The additional services area is where a lot of firms distinguish themselves, offering incentives in form of unlimited email addresses, or free domain name re-directs. Look carefully at fine print and add up cost of additional services. You may well find that more expensive package bundles a lot of items marked as additional expense in budget packages. But, also never forget that company will be more than happy to let you upgrade to a bigger package if your needs change in future.
author: Ric Shreves, www.waterandstone.com
Ric Shreves is an Internet consultant and author specializing in web technologies. He is a partner in Water & Stone, a web design agency focused on Mambo, osCommerce, and other open source tools. Read more of his work online at: http://www.waterandstone.com.