Friday, 22 April 2011

Choosing Web Hosting Service for your Website

How to Shop for the Best Deal

Creating a website is not just simply about design and codes. There are several crucial decisions to make to complete the process. As the owner of the website or the head of the project, it is important that you play a big role in the decision making process even if you hired a web development firm. No matter how competitive the web designer or web developer is, it is only you who have the in-depth understanding and knowledge of your business. After deciding which website model best represents your business and identifying the best domain name for your website, the next step would be determining the best web server host.

What is a web host in the first place? It is a location called server that stores your website to make it visible to the internet. Without the web host, no matter how beautifully designed your website is, it will not be accessible. Think of a web host as a renewable house for your website.

There are different types of hosting services you can choose from. To help you decide which one is best for you, read the descriptions below:

Types of Web Hosting

Free Web hosting service

     As implied by its name, it is free. However, before you jump ahead and choose this type of service, there is a catch. First are the advertisements. The company giving you free hosting service places banners and pop up ads on your website to compensate for the free service. Then, the limitations on the space, design, size, speed, bandwidth, security and technical support. Also, most likely you will end up with a domain name that looks like this:

But the biggest no-no is the uncertainty of its reliability. Since it is free, the odds of the site being down is high. This type of hosting might be enough for personal sites and family use. But if you're in business planning to have a professional looking website and expansion is part of your goal, this is not the hosting for you.

Paid Web Hosting Service

    For serious business owners, this is the recommended type of service. Price and features depend on the plan you will avail but it provides better,more sophistiated and reliable service.

Shared Web hosting service 
     This is a very common type of hosting service. Your website will be placed using the same server along with other sites. This means space, bandwidth, memory and other facilities are shared and security is restricted. Even the price is shared resulting to a very cost effective plan. Although you have full control of your website, the hosting company still manages the server. And since they will have to consider the other customers hosted on the same server, there are some restrictions to what you can do so as not to cause problem for others. A server can host hundreds of websites at the same time but we only recommend this for average sized websites expecting average traffic. 

Dedicated web hosting service 
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     This type of service means your website is stored on a dedicated server, you don't share it with others. This is the reason why it is expensive. A dedicated server is the best choice for large websites with high traffic. If your website uses special software, this is also the recommended type of host. If you avail this service, you also have the option to host multiple websites and have multiple domain names

 VPS(Virtual Private Server) hosting service
     The balance between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. Although you still share space with other users, it is more secure because there is a partition that isolates one VPS account from other VPS account. Also, it offers many of the same features as dedicated hosting minus the expensive cost. You have the freedom to install special softwares and make changes to the configuration.

Co-location web hosting service  
     This means you own the web server but the service provider allows you to place the server on their physical premises. Why not just house the server in your own office? Because this service  benefits you from 24/7 server monitoring, maintenance and high-level of security.

Factors to Consider

Now, a web host is as important as the location of a brick-and-mortar store.But choosing a web host is more complicated because you can't perform any ocular inspection beforehand. That is why it is important that a thorough research  of all candidate companies should be performed before choosing the best service that suits your needs. Below are some considerations that can guide you in making informed decision:

Amount of web space
      Choose the  package that will support your website's needs, depending on its size. Don't readily believe the advertisements of unlimited disk space. You will most likely not use all the disk space anyway. Investigate more on other features being offered before you make up your mind.
Data Transfer/Bandwidth
     This is the amount of bytes transferred when visitors view your website. Again, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. If this is being offered and you don't want to be surprised of additional fees for having exceeded your plan's bandwidth allocation, visit the hosting company's terms of service and read the fine print.

     There should be an uptime (percentage of time that your website is live) guarantee of 99.9%.  Do not settle for anything less.

Technical Support
     There should be a 24/7 support that is quick to respond to and resolve your issues. A chat support facility can also be considered. 

Location of Server
     A hosting company can be located on one place and their servers on another. It is a great advantage to choose a hosting company with a server located where your target market is. Why? Doing so can potentially deacrease latency issues that results to faster website. Just remember that it is the server's location you are considering, not the hosting company's location. 

     Check all the features being offered.  A control panel should be provided to allow you to  remotely perform necessary tasks on your website. Do they offer SSL for E-commerce business type and other securities? How about Email, Auto-responders, Mail Forwarding? Is there a means to track website progress through server logs?

Support on Software and Web Technologies
    Check the type of scripts or software that the hosting company allows. Identify if you need a Windows server or Linux server and make sure the server provider can accommodate your needs.

Back- ups
     Back-ups should be performed to make sure your website data and content is archived in case of an emergency.

     The cost of a hosting package is important but it should not be the decisive factor.  Don't settle for cheap plans and compromise the stability of your website. More often than not, you will get what you pay for. Instead be wary of payment schemes. The company should be able to offer monthly, quarterly or yearly payment plans. Go for the monthly payment first to test the waters. If you are satisfied with the service, you can change it to annual payment. If you are not satisfied, make sure you have the ability to upgrade to a better server or cancel the service with a money back guarantee.

Take your time when researching for the best hosting company that suits your website needs.  Weight all the options and possibilities. In the end all the effort will benefit you in getting the most of your website potential.

Pinoylancers, founded in 2008, is a Philippine-based team of professionals specializing in different IT fields. Recognizing the fact that every client has unique and distinct business needs, Pinoylancers constantly strives to become a one-stop shop that will offer and develop personalized end-to-end web technologies and solutions.
We are constantly improving to better suit your needs. Please send us any comments, suggestions, or questions you might have. You can simply reply here or contact us at:

Contact Numbers: 09153150809 and 09065216070


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