Now that you’ve probably just spent hundreds of hours and possibly even thousands of dollars to build your web presence, one of most important decisions you’ll make next is where to host your website.
Choosing a Platform It may be true that Unix tends to be more reliable than NT, but it is even more true that any server when overloaded with sometimes 250+ web sites, like most web hosting companies do, will not be as stable as you need it to be. Don’t expect your site to incur 100% availability if you are on a shared virtual server. There are too many things that can go wrong when 250 different sites are competing for same resources. If your web host doesn’t publish how many sites they put on a single server, find out from them, they shouldn't have anything to hide. By way, 255 sites is maximum that Windows NT will allow per server, and most web hosts take full advantage of that for their lower end solutions.
Web sites running on NT/Windows 2000: *Rapid application development with scripting languages such as ASP or Cold Fusion. *Typically is easier to administer in a shared hosting environment. *If need ODBC to support database driven a site. *FrontPage tends to work better on NT
Web sites running UNIX/LINUX: *Scripting languages such as PERL, PHP or any CGI applications. *If you only need email or a static site, use Unix/Linux, it's cheaper. *Tends to be more reliable then NT in a shared hosting environment.
Web site running on a dedicated server: *If Uptime, user experience, branding, and site performance are a main concern. *If you new to hosting, check out Cobalt RAQ.
Narrowing Selection: Price – Its true here like most things, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect enterprise class uptime for 20 bucks a month, even if they guarantee it. Options – Don’t skimp on your options, if you need extra email address, get them. Some options are a "must have" depending on your websites functionality. Site traffic reporting tools are extremely useful also. Support – Most of top web-hosting providers have 24/7 support. Make certain that your host has a toll free number for support. Waiting for someone to email you back when your site is down and you’re losing business is no fun.