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Web Site Hosting

Choosing a right web site hosting service for your website is not an easy task especially when there are many options and thousands of hosting providers all offering packages. It is important to know a few major factors before you start.

What are your Web Site Hosting requirement?

What web server platform, operating systems requirements do you need:
I'm going to try to keep this as simple as possible otherwise it can get very technical and I need you to understand what you primarily need to be thinking about.

Basically, there are two types of hosting platforms you can choose from, Linux hosting platform or a Windows hosting platform. Remember this has nothing to do with the operating system you have running on your computer. People will be accessing your web site from the server not from your computer. You will have two main options for connecting to the hosting web site server and that is through a CPanel or FTP software of which both should come free when you buy hosting. Both Linux and Windows provide reliable hosting platform, however Linux is the cheaper option of the two.

Linux verses Windows hosting platform
With a Linux platform you cannot in most cases run extention files ending with .ASP (Active Server Pages), Visual Basic scripts, Cold Fusion, SQL database or other Microsoft Access applications. As an option you can use WINE, which stands for "Wine Is Not an Emulator". This consists of a program loader that loads windows applications on Linux, and a translation layer or a compatibility layer that implements windows API (application programming interface). Linux should be your choice if you want to run PHP, Perl or MySQL data base files. If you are not an advanced user and just use html files do not worry about this to much as Linux is a sound choice to select. We use Linux ourselves in most cases. Once you have your server platform and hardware requirements decided, you can make the decision on what web hosting plan is needed.

Disk space & Bandwidth requirement
Another technical requirement you need to very carefully consider before selecting a web hosting plan. Many people get caught out here with not having enough disk space and bandwidth and ends up costing them more to keep their web site live. If you intend to publish a basic html website with five, ten or twenty pages, that does not have a lot of images, graphic pictures, video's and music then your disk space requirement may not be a big concern. Just plain text, content does not use up much space, however most basic hosting plans come with a maximum of between 250MB and 500MB of space. This should be enough for your hosting requirement.

The bandwidth is a bit more difficult to calculate as it will depend on your web site traffic (visitors) viewing your web site on a monthly basis. Obviously, a web site that expect to attract a large amount of traffic will consume the monthly bandwidth allowance very fast, however check with the hosting company first to find out the cost involved if you need to increase your bandwidth usage and compare it with other service providers.

Other hosting features to think about.
While all of the above requirements are important, there are a few other hosting features that you need to consider too. You need to find out if the provider supports video clips from your web site. You may not need it now but might at a later stage? You may want to use a shopping cart, ecommerce, selling on your web site? How many email accounts your going to need? The amount of FTP accounts, will it be just one or more? The type of support you get. If you go for the Control Panel hosting option (CPanel), some technical skill is required? Are you going to run Wordpress a database driven web site? The support side is very important!

Reliability and scalability.
A good web hosting provider will offer a reliable server uptime. You should only choose a web hosting service that guarantee at least 99% server uptime A reliable web hosting provider usually invests heavily on their data center infrastructure with high performance servers with firewall software protection in place to ensure they meet the uptime guarantee specified in their terms of service.

You should choose a hosting service provider with hardware facilities that are designed for scalability, so your business can grow with them rather than having to change provider later on. For example, if you need to increase bandwidth, disk space or the number of databases, you should be able to upgrade without any problems.

Customer service and support.
Best solution is always to find for a web hosting provider that offers 24 hours 7 days a week technical support, with experience technicians, so any web hosting problems are resolved quickly. Ask how long they've been in business, Search on line for reviews. Do they have phone contact, send their support an email and if they haven't replied within 24 to 48 hours I would'nt be interested in using them?

Depending on your web hosting requirement, take advantage by us recommend the hosting service that match your needs. Good luck and if you need further information this is a good link to click on to continue with your search.

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