Through this, Ive been looking for a good web host a few times. At first, I did not even know where to start. So the first two web hosting companies I went to were GoDaddy and iPower. First, GoDaddy was the only one I knew after their infamous Supwerbowl commercials. I heard about iPower from a colleague we did domain name registrations with them, and I learned that they also offered cheap web hosting. Just around that time, we needed to host some sites so I signed up for iPower Virtual Private Server that was only 35 a month.
To make this story short, since then I have changed some web hosting. With some of them I entered a lot of headache and frustration, but some are really good. I would like to share some things I learned during the process, as well as giving some tips to choose the right for your business. To help you choose, here are the most important criteria to consider:
Uptime, service monitoring and backup
Uptime warranty is crucial if your companys website provides you with customers and revenue. How would you know if your website was down because of the network problem for web hosting or a server where your website is hosted, does SNAFU or FUBAR go? What if you lost all your data? You would start to lose your customers and revenue. Therefore, you need to look for a company that offers the best uptime for its hardware and network. Further questions to ask the company are about their premises security and bandwidth redundancy.
Secondly, you need to know if they are monitoring their service if they only get to know about a problem after calling technical support.
And finally, you need to know if they offer daily backups. If the server with your site goes down and trust me, it may happen I happened to risk losing your site and, most importantly, your data, especially if you have an ecommerce or content site with all data stored in databases. Ask hosting company if their backups are in place or on site. Backup backup helps you protect your data.
Good and prompt technical support is extremely important, and I would say it was important. In this area, you must answer these questions: Is their support proactive or reactive? The difference is that reactive support takes care of the root when it happens. Proactive support is sure not to touch hands. Secondly, what is the availability of technical support? Is it normal opening hours 8 to 5 EST Monday to Friday when you live on the west coast or is it 277? Trust me, there may be cases when you need technical support awake late in the evening. And finally, you need to have an idea of how long you have to stay in order to speak to a technical support specialist and how quickly they usually respond to support tickets.
Location of the data center
If your target market is concentrated around a particular geographic area, one factor you may want to consider where the data center is. The idea is that closer to the data center is for the visitors to your site the faster pages are loaded. Below I will explain why I was hosting LA.
Here you must start by assessing your sites requirements and your budget. Is your website a simple static or is it using web applications and databases? How much traffic to your site do you expect? How much space on your hard drive do you need to host your website? Do you need Windows or Linux hosting, or does not matter? And lastly, how much can you afford to pay for hosting, because web hosting can range from about 4 to hundreds of dollars for a managed dedicated server. If you have a static page of 12 pages and you do not attract thousands of hits a day, basic hosting will suit you. It only costs 4 10 per month. If your site is going to earn dynamic content, especially media content like audio or video, you need a more advanced web host. Generally, the idea here is to have all the necessary features and more than enough bandwidth, and stay within budget or even consider a higher budget if you need.
The control panel allows you to perform several tasks related to your host account, such as managing email accounts, editing DNS settings for your website, managing FTP users, passwords, system performance display and bandwidth reports, etc. Most popular control panels today are cPanel and Plesk. I have used both and prefer cPanel, but Im comfortable with Plesk. Control panel selection really is up to the person who will handle your site yourself or your IT staff.