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How to choose web hosting service

Web Hosting: Knowledge Base

What to look for

  • Web space
  • FTP access (Browser, Site Copy, Telnet)
  • Bandwidth (Data Transfer/ Traffic)
  • Email (Email Aliases, POP3, Web-based, Forwarding)
  • Custom Scripting (CGI, PHP, SSL, SQL, Java, perl, ASP,, iSML, C/C++)
  • Installed Scripts (Counter, Form to Email, Email list, Guest book, Shopping Cart, Message board)
  • Control Panel
  • Platform (Unix, Linux, Windows)
  • Add on Features
  • Up time (reliability) and access time
  • Support

Web Space
Web Space is disk space on a web server for storing web pages. 20MB may be enough for most personal websites. If your pages use many pictures, sound files, video clips, you may need more Web Space. Needs may vary for kinds of business web site.

FTP access (Browser, SiteCopy, Telnet)
Browser access is the simplest and slowest way of upload and manage website files. FTP access let you easily move files from your computer to webhost. Telnet access give you the priority to do kinds of operation on the web host machine. SiteCopy can automatically copy your website from your other website address online, thus set up a website in minutes.

Bandwidth (Data Transfer/ Traffic)
Bandwidth is the total amount of file size visitors can load from your website. 2 GB is adequate for a simple site just starting out. If you expect large amount of traffic then bandwidth may be high. Don't believing any "unlimited bandwidth". Bandwidth of any web host is limited, so better ask them how much it means. You can compute your expected Bandwidth = expected visitors per month x number of pages viewed per visit x average size of page in Kilobytes (include the pictures, videos etc used by the page)

Email (Email Aliases, POP3, Web-based, Forwarding)
How many Email Aliases can you have using your own Can you use pop3? Does it allow catchall or forward feature? Can you access your email account by login in some web page?

Custom Scripting, Installed Scripts
Do you expect to do some Custom Scripting? What language does the web host support? Installed Scripts can let your set up your website quickly and easily. Message board is often useful to communities. If you want to open an online store, you may need shopping cart.

Control Panel
what features their Control Panel let you to do? Is the Control Panel easy to use? Does it allow you add, delete, and manage your email addresses ? Does it allow you add, delete, manage your domain and sub domain setting directly, or need wait to go through their technical support?

Platform (Unix, Linux, Windows)
Unix is extremely reliable, Programming flexible, much more administrative control can be taken. It's very popular amongst enterprise servers. Unix holds over 1/2 of the market for server operating systems. Disadvantage: case sensitive.
Windows NT is a relative new but is rapidly growing. It's easy for newcomer and hassles of administering a web server. Disadvantage: not as secure as Unix, cannot run all CGI script.

Add on Features
You may expected your website growing and later need more traffics, more features. so you may notice does the web host afford any add on features? Is it easy for you to change the plans? How about the price?

Up time (reliability) and access time
The web host be reliable and fast. Any time the website inaccessible may lose many customs. Up time for a business website should be 99.5% and up.

Check to see if they have 24/7 technical support. Email and phone to the support service of the web host to see are their responds helpful to fix problems? How long does they take to respond?

Web Hosting: Related Links

How to register Domain Name?
Steps to design a good site.
Webmaster Tools.
Effective ways of site promotion.
Top10 webhosting

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