Selecting a host
Hosting your site really depends on what you want to do and how much you have to spend. I have outlined a few factors for choosing your hosting company.
This is a major factor for most people and online it seems to be the major motivator. You can always find it cheaper somewhere else online even if you have to have your site in Taiwan. Prices for monthly hosting range from $2 (paid yearly) up to several hundred dollars. If your business needs require monthly hosting charges around the $200 dollar level you may step up to co-location services. You can buy or lease your own server and house it in a facility.
It all depends on what you need. If you are going to put up a template website with 1-5 pages you are not going to be paying much.
This is listed as number 2 because most people look at this last. The type and quality of service provided by your hosting company is very important. A big part of this is also locality. If its a local company and I know the owner I can give him a call on his cell phone to have something fixed or changed. Larger companies (AIT) have 4 levels of support toll free numbers, etc. This is not the same a quality service. When we hosted with larger companies, we would routinely spend most of the day on the phone going from Level 1 all the way to the System Administrator who would tell me the server I was using (mysql) wasn't installed when it was. Thats not service. we just needed someone to reboot the mysql deamon. Thats it.
We had no technical access, no direct contact with any competent person. This is unfortunately true for a lot of other hosting companies. Smaller businesses tend to provide better service, more know-how and appreciate your business. You should support local businesses too. We do! If you prefer a business with some track record use a company that has been around for at least 2 years.
Price and service don't mean a thing if your site is always down. There are several factors when going with hosting company in this field. Here are a few questions that need to be asked, or the answers found on the site before paying for hosting.
- What is connection does the hosting company have to the internet?
- Is there a limit on website traffic?
- How much storage space, email accounts, etc?
- Is there virus/SPAM filtering for email?
- Is this a reseller?
- Who is your support person, technical contact?
- What is the server operating system/platform?
- What scripting languages can be used? Database access? <== your developer will need to know this
- Is there backup? Website monitoring?
Or do you care? If you are reading this you might. Most small business owners don't know anything about the internet and just want the site up and running at a reasonable cost.
You get what you pay for. The $4.99/month hosting companies don't last, are probably resellers and provide no "service" themselves...just marketing. Go with a smaller local company. They will appreciate your business and you will appreciate their dedication.