It’s time to start your own website-maybe you’re going for a personal blog, or maybe you’re launching a multimedia powerhouse. You’ve read the reviews, gotten an idea of what’s out there and now you’re on the hunt to purchase. Here are five things you have to keep in mind as you compare hosting services:
The operating system of your Web host’s server is an important factor in picking the perfect host. Many hosts offer a variety of operating systems, such as the latest Windows server edition and various distributions of Linux and BSD. The operating system determines the Web technologies that are supported, the scripts you can use and the database system available. In most cases, you’re going to want to choose a Linux-based server due to the flexibility you get with this operating system. However, if you’re using Microsoft-specific technologies, such as Frontpage Extensions, go with a Windows server.
Even if you’re an experienced system administrator, you’re going to run into problems with the server from time to time. There is nothing worse for an entrepreneur than the servers going down and losing valuable Web traffic. Find a host that has an appropriate range of support options, focusing on those that offer 24/7 support. Many hosts keep lower-tier clients on a ticketing support system, so find out whether you can call in without additional costs, or if you are going to be waiting for your ticket to be addressed.
Some server applications are absolutely brutal on system requirements, so check the hardware specs of the server you’re considering to determine whether they will be able to stand up to your needs. The base server hardware isn’t all that you need to consider, either. If you’re looking at a shared or virtual private host environment, confirm with the host you’ll be able to get enough system resources allocated so your script runs smoothly.
You probably aren’t going to want to control your entire website through SSH, so having a solid control panel option makes your Web hosting life a lot easier. One of the most common control panels you’re going to run into is cPanel. This is a full-featured control panel that makes most administration and website management tasks simple. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re reselling your hosting package, as you get complete control over sub-accounts. Direct Admin is another great option for a control panel.
Generally, the cheapest Web-hosting services are shared servers, and the most expensive are dedicated servers. If you’re running a small, personal website without resource-heavy scripts, then a shared host works well and costs less than $10 a month. If you have hundreds of domains, databases and resource-hungry scripts, a dedicated server makes better sense. The cost of a dedicated server can go into the hundreds or thousands of dollars for high-end options. Tech Radar reports 37 percent of people believe if a business has a bad website, they’d be better off having no website instead. You don’t want to have that kind of issue when you set up your site, so choosing a solid host is a necessary requirement.
Consider using an online guide that helps you compare service providers, such as WebHostingBlueBook.com. Make sure you’re not just looking at price, either; a good guide should help you compare a wide range of factors, including the control panel, overall ease of use, support, reliability and popularity.
What Web host do you use for your websites? Share in the comments.