How to Choose a High Volume Host
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Choosing a web host is always a bit of an act of faith. You are not only giving that host your hard-earned money, but you are also giving them a stake in your reputation with your end users. That's all the more reason to choose carefully, especially if your web site receives a lot of traffic. Not sure where to start? Keep reading.
You may not enjoy thinking about this, but if your site is down or redirects poorly, it is not your host that your users will blame. You will be the one that takes the heat. This means that you should make your choice very wisely.
At no time is that more true then when you are choosing a web host for a site that will need to use a high volume host. Of course, before we begin to talk about how to evaluate a high volume web host, we need to cover some basic ground. If you're familiar with these topics, feel free to skip ahead.
What is a web host?
A web host is, for our purposes, a service that you hire to make your site available to your end users. The cost is usually annually or monthly. Web hosts vary by quality and cost. Some people do set up self hosting for their website, but that requires a server capable of handling the traffic and some specialized software setup. There are some articles that explain this setup information available through the Developer Shed family of web sites.
What is a High Volume Web Host?
A high volume web host will be, for the most part, a package that you choose from a hosting service. It will be one that is designed to accommodate both a high volume of users and a lot of data transfers at the same time. The exact details can vary from host to host. Choosing a high volume host can have its pros and cons. Letís take a look at some of them.
- You are less vulnerable to having the site down because you are over capacity. Anyone who uses Twitter regularly can tell you how annoying this can be for your end users.
- You will be able to accommodate a higher number of users on the site.
- You will be able to handle a greater number of streaming media hosted on the site. No more embedding your videos via You Tube to get them onto your site.
- A high volume hosting package will cost you more than a standard package. This means that you may lose money on a hosting package even if you are not using the extra bandwidth.
- Sometimes the sites with the most users are the sweetest targets. Someone who breaks the server may choose to take down all high volume customers. It is a rare occurrence, but one that you should be aware of before you buy.
So, when deciding whether you should go with a high volume hosting plan, you should pick with the future in mind. That is not to say that you will need to buy the more expensive package right away, but that you should pick a host with the full range of needed packages. This way you can start out small and move up to the larger package when you need it.
Sure, you could change it later on, but moving a domain name can be complex. By thinking about the long term now, you can save yourself a lot of grief, and possible down time down the road. There is no point ton losing all of your traffic because of a snafu.
What if I Need to Expand Now?
If you need to expand on your current hosting, then your best option is to look to your current host, provided that they are reliable and offer what you need. If not, then you are going to have to think about switching over. That means independent evaluations. Either way, having a good working knowledge of how different hosts stack up, both in terms of their cost and their service quality, will be a tremendous asset to your decision making.
How is Shopping for A High Volume Host any Different From a Regular Host?
In a lot of ways it is similar. You will be looking for indicators of quality and a set of useful features. What is different is the level of research. Since you are investing on a larger scale, you need to be absolutely sure of your decisions.
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