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WEB HOSTING HOW-TOS

How to Choose a High Volume Host
By: Katie Gatto
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    2010-02-24

    Table of Contents:
  • How to Choose a High Volume Host
  • Criteria for Choosing a High Volume Host
  • How to choose your host

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    How to Choose a High Volume Host - Criteria for Choosing a High Volume Host


    (Page 2 of 3 )

    Now that we have looked at the basics we can define some of the criteria for a good choice in a high volume host. After all, information with no criteria for comparison is not of much use to you as a consumer.

    Reliability

    As we discussed before, having a host that is reliable is paramount, if for no other reason than that it affects your visitors' perception of your site. Not only that, but if you have ad revenue agreements, any time that your site is down is lost ad revenue.

    Besides, when you pay good money for a service, you should get what you pay for. Since we can assume that you do not want to have to field end user complaints and stalk your host to get them to keep the site up and running, reliability is an important trait.

    Compatibility

    Unless your site is running on nothing but XML and CSS, you may need to be wary of compatibility issues. Nowhere is this more common than when you host a WordPress-based blog. They only have certain hosts that can be accommodated with their systems. Other sites, however, should be aware of a list of the languages in which their site is coded.

    Be sure all of your languages and special issues are on the host's list. If there is no risk, take the time to ask. This can also help you to gauge how responsive the company is to customers. Be wary of long reply times or ineffective answers.

    Cost Effectiveness

    This may be a secondary concern, since quality may legitimately cost more, but ruling out a potential host who has prices far above competitors of a similar caliber is probably a good idea. That way you can spend your money on other things, like rewarding your end users or sponsoring a contest.

    Customer Service Quality

    We all hope that nothing bad will happen to the site that you have worked so hard to build, but it might. Whether that issue is a minor glitch or a total crash, you want to get it fixed, and fixed fast. Yes, you should look at other people's hosting reviews online, but you also need to be sure that you test it first hand. Be sure to get the number, then ask a question. Make it one that requires some thought. When they answer, gauge it for the following criteria.

    • How long does it take them to answer?

    • What was the tone of the reply? Did they seem annoyed to be bothered?

    • Was the answer complete and did they actually answer the question that I asked?

    • Did they give you a way to ask follow up questions or get clarification?

    You know what the answer to these questions should be. If the response is poor, you may want to consider another hosting option.

    Dedicated Space

    This one may seem a little bit obtuse, since you are paying for space, but you want to be sure that you are getting dedicated space on the system. That means not just a set amount of space, but a guarantee that it will not fluctuate down, and that the server can accommodate the bandwidth associated with using that space to its optimum capacity. The exact details will be a matter of some debate, but you will want to be sure that you are getting not just space, but space that you can actually make use of.

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