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Picking a suitable webhost

Overview

A brief intro to hosting for those not familiar, brief overview for the different types of hosting and my preferred hosts based on my experiences.

Hosting Introduction

Once you have a domain name you need a hosting solution to server your web pages. The type of server package you require depends on the number of websites you want to host and their size and traffic. Hosting comes in many different packages you can get hosting for a single site, shared hosting or your own dedicated server.

As with many problems in life budget drives a lot of peoples decisions (free hosting 1,500,000 searches on Google monthly). My experiences with hosting reflects the adage “you get what you pay for” if your looking for free hosting i can only presume you aren’t looking to make any money from your website which is great and i wish more people were driven by passion than money, however if it does make enough money to you should get some paid hosting.

What hosting package

Web hosts offer different packages to cater for your website needs if you just want a single site hosted then a standard web host (shared hosting) will be sufficient. You need to check if you will receive enough disk space and bandwidth allowance for the package, also what extras do you receive; how many MySQL databases, subdomains, email accounts can do you get. If you aren’t familiar with these terms don’t panic you probably won’t need them and you can always upgrade the package later.

The more individual websites you want hosting the more the package will cost. If you want to host sites for over people and want them to be able to access their own server control panel (i tend to go for cpanel) Then you would have to go for at least a reseller package. Once you outgrow that and what to install your own server applications then a Virtual Private Server is for you. Dedicated servers are for those people who want a server that’s not shared with others, where they have total control over software without restrictions.

Free Hosting

I’m not a big advocate of free hosting the only time i can see it being a solution is if you are a beginner web developer and want to play with building websites with no commercial interest. Especially when you can get a single website hosted for a full year with a good host for less than $50. If you are setting up your website as a business or to earn money and you can’t afford $50 a year you should rethink your business. If you are getting free web hosting its typical that you will have ads on your site. The “best” free web host i have used that doesn’t have adds is definitely 000webhost.com

Paid hosting – Budget Hosting

I consider both Hostgator and EZPZ hosting to be excellent hosts you get an excellent service for your money for those wanting to venture into paid hosting. I have seen people complain that there are cheaper hosts out there and i agree (you can even get free hosting) but if your serious about building quality websites then you won’t get such a quality feature rich host for cheaper than Hostgator or EZPZ. I’ve had a few issues with slow response and downtime and that’s the downside when going for a “budget” provider. However they have always responded fast to my support tickets with good information and in the past they have given me a few months credit for problems they have had.

Paid hosting – Performance hosting

When you can justify it to yourself you can buy hosting from a slightly more reliable provider. MDDHosting is an excellent host if your willing to pay a bit more for them it’s far less likely to suffer from slow server response or downtime than EZPZ or Hostgator. I know web companies that make hundreds of thousands of dollars and still don’t fork out for better servers, but complain about slow server response and downtime. In the scale of successful businesses hosting is incredibly cheap and should be paid for especially if it is a web based business. I use Godaddy for most of my domain names and i have used their hosting before but i would suggest that you only use Godaddy for domain names, that’s putting things mildly. Don’t cut corners.

Final thoughts

When it comes to downtime and server response unless you have a dedicated server hosting performance is shared between you and the other people on the server, therefore you i can’t guarantee that you will have a good or bad experience based on my own experiences. Features functionality and support is what i have based my recommendations on.