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WEB HOSTING HOW-TOS

Introduction to Choosing the Right Web Host
By: Joe Eitel
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    2007-10-03

    Table of Contents:
  • Introduction to Choosing the Right Web Host
  • Looking beyond the numbers
  • Specific hosting for specific websites
  • Important things to look for from a web host

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    Introduction to Choosing the Right Web Host - Looking beyond the numbers


    (Page 2 of 4 )

    When you visit a web host's website, they will throw a lot of numbers out at you. These numbers are very important, but they should not be the only thing you look for in a good web host. Of course up-time, disk space, bandwidth, and features are very important, but what about service, support, and performance? These aspects are equally important, and they are often overlooked.

    A little bit of research into a web hosting company will allow you to distinguish a good web host from a bad one. A good web host will have a technical service department with email support and a phone number. It is a good idea to test out the web host's technical service department's speed in responding to your questions. Send them an email or call their phone number and note how fast they respond or how helpful they are. This simple test only takes a few minutes, but it will pay off big time if you choose a good web host who can quickly help you with questions you might have in the future.

    Another really good thing you can do to find out about the performance of a web host is to simply email them and ask about the number of other websites, and types of websites, currently using their servers. This only applies when you are using some type of shared hosting, which is probably the most common type of web hosting for smaller websites. You will get better performance from a web host who isn't already overloaded with websites on their servers.

    It is sometimes tough to get a response from a web host when you ask them questions like this, but another good way of finding out about the performance of a web host is to check out customer reviews of a particular web host. Make sure these are non-biased reviews and not fake testimonials. You can usually tell the difference.

    Another very important question to ask your potential web host is if they have had any customers in the past which have been blacklisted. Frequently websites such as email spammers and porn sites will get blacklisted, which means that networks will reject email from these IPs. Some web hosts will redistribute these blacklisted IPs, and you may get one of these without knowing it. If you are trying to run a legitimate business which counts on email campaigns, for instance, this will greatly damage your sales and possibly put you out of business. So, make sure that your IP address is not blacklisted before you set up your website with a web host. You can see if a network has been black-holed by checking the following website: www.spamhaus.org/sbl/isp.lasso.

    Looking beyond the numbers is very important, and that is why I put it first in this article. I think that this step is often overlooked when searching for a web host. This step can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the future if you just do a little research into a potential web host.

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