However, a good host is not just important but also indispensable. After all, you wouldn’t want your visitors to find your site offline 9 times out of the 10 visits that they pay to your website, would you?
Here at 1WD, we have taken upon ourselves to help you find the ideal web host. In this article I shall be discussing the things that you need to consider, plus the things that you do not need to consider (or, in other words, things that need to be avoided), and then finally wind up the discussion with a small round-up of some major web hosting providers. And, most importantly, unlike the zillions of web hosting related articles that you’ll find on the internet, this one does not have any affiliate links.
Yes, that’s right. While the allure of earning big bucks by getting others to click on links is tempting, I have ensured that this article is totally unbiased – trust me, this article does not contain affiliate links because 1WD knows the importance of a proper web host.
Things You should Consider when Choosing a Web Host
Everyone knows what shared hosting is, VPS, and reseller hosting packages. Just in case you don’t, simply do a Google search!
Always do your home-work before finalizing a web host
What matters is picking the ideal hosting package for you. If you have a personal blog or a small website, shared hosting will suffice. But you should consider a dedicated server or a VPS if you have a large website that generates a good deal of traffic. Also, make sure you have ample space and bandwidth in your plan. The worst thing that can happen is to see your website growing, and then noticing that there isn’t enough room for it to grow anyway. Plus, a good web host will allow you to easily upgrade from one plan to another as, and when, the need arises.
Bandwidth v/s Disk Space
Assuming that your main website runs Drupal, and you also host your blog using WordPress on a sub-domain, and your kid is experimenting with Joomla! on another sub-domain, your website space will still be within 300 MB. Add another 1.5 GB for media like photos, and you can have a decent sized small website within 2GB of space. Of course, if you are running a huge website, 2 GB will not suffice. However, even in this case, bandwidth is of greater importance.
Never under-estimate the bandwidth!
Long story short, the less bandwidth you have, the less traffic your site is capable of handling, period.
Know Your Web Host
Hosting a website can be like purchasing a home – you don’t want to purchase it from an unknown vendor. Make sure your web host has a good reputation, and some noteworthy clients (we take a look at this later on in this article). A good way to assess your host’s skills is to drop a test support ticket – say, inquiring about a package that you wish to opt for, etc. BEFORE you actually buy their services. You can assess the host’s overall support abilities by looking at the response that you get.
Not the kind of tech support one would hope for!
Here is what I did:
Dropped this support ticket to two different hosting firms (not a fake ticket, by the way, I actually needed Ruby on Rails):
I was wondering if you offer Ruby on Rails on your shared hosting packages? I need to run an RoR based CMS, and I can’t afford the bigger packages. I’ll just opt for the 1 GB shared hosting package.
The response from Host A:
Yes, we have Ruby on Rails.
Yes, we offer Ruby on Rails, and shared hosting or dedicated, all our servers offer 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24×7 support.
Let me know if you have further queries.”
Wow! I got two emails! Let’s bug them further. Another (legitimate) query:
Many thanks for your reply.
Can you please comment on the discounts, if I purchase hosting in bulk, say for a year?
Also, I am not very good with RoR, so if I ever run into trouble with my CMS, will you help me?
And, the replies:
You can look up our discounts’ section <URL>.
Sorry, we do not provide support for third-party software.
Of course, we have discount coupons and promotional packs. If you purchase a year’s hosting in advance, you can get 20% off directly, and then use the coupon code <CODE> to get an additional 40% off for the first year! More info can be had at our blog <URL>.
Sadly, we do not really provide support for third-party apps, but if you tell me the CMS that you will be using, I can give you more info about their forums and docs, and see what I can do for you.
I refrain from commenting further. Both of them have similar services, but the tone of support staff evidently shows that I should be opting for Host B.
Things You should NOT Consider when Choosing a Web Host
Read Reviews Online Using Google Search
Do this: go to the Hosting Recommendations page at Drupal.org
Now, check the links to each web host. What did you see?
Yes, all of those links are affiliates, wherein each sale pays a small fee to the recommending site. Drupal.org is just one example – all across the internet, hosting reviews are all about affiliate links. This is why certain firms score well in hosting reviews (owing to heavy affiliate commission), but fare badly in overall user service.
By: Sufyan bin Uzayr
Sourced from 1stWebDesigner