Choosing a Web Host, Get What You Need
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Setting up and maintaining web servers can be an expensive and complicated undertaking for any company. There are countless technologies that you need to be ready to set up immediately. If you need to get a site live quickly or cheaply, it can be nearly impossible to do it yourself. Outsourcing these tasks to professional web hosters can save money and headaches. But there are so many hosts. How can somebody choose between them?
So you have decided that you need a web page. Setting up your own server can waste your time and money when there are so many hosts ready to put your site on internet. The problem is that there are so many, and to some shoppers, there is a lot of technical jargon that can get in the way of picking the right one. This article is meant to simplify matters a bit by giving a reasonable way to gauge a web hostís value, not to promote any particular hosts.
The most important step to choosing a host is the first one. You must decide exactly what you need the web page to do. This will determine exactly what you need from a host. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Is this going to be a business, organization, or personal site?
- How devastating is it to me, my business, or my organization if the website is offline for several hours every month?
- Will this site need to sell things or will it possibly sell things in the future?
- Will it need forums, hit counters, or other server side scripts?
There are more factors in what will determine the best host for you, but this touches on most of them. Primarily, you will need to assess hosts in four areas: reliability, features, customer support, and finally price.
If this is a personal website that is just for fun, you may not need anything more than the webspace that comes included with your ISP service (AOL, Verizon, Adelphia, etc.). You may even be happy with free services. However, for those with a more serious need for a website, like a business or organization or archive of information, those kind of sites can be insufficient. Sometimes their terms of service even prohibit commercial use on those types of servers. For most purposes beyond a personal page, you will need to look at commercial hosting solutions.
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