How To Choose a Hosting Plan

Coufused with so many options when looking for a web host? I was when i chose my first one. Its really a hard work but has guildlines to follow, and fortunately you dont have to find them out by yourself.

Server platform

It depends on the scripting language you want to use. If you choose PHP, Mysql, or Perl, a Linux hosting is preferable. But if you want to use ASP.net and Mssql, a Windows hosting would be better.

Shared or Dedicated

It depends on the scale of your website.If you’re a new starter and just want to build your own blog for fun or start a small online business, a shared hosting plan is appropriate. Shared means you share with others the server and of course the bill. The monthly price for a shared hosting is 5-10 dollars or so, which is attractive to newbies. Its cheap but believe me its enough. One day, you may find that your website runs out of disk space or usually bandwidth. Congratulations, it means that your website gets bigger and welcomed by more and more visitors. To keep your site goes on, you must upgrade your hosting plan to a new one with more bandwitdth and diskspace, which means you have to pay more. When the price is equal to that of a dedicated host, its time to shift. Yes, a dedicated one is expensive. Its easy if you have made enough profit from the traffic to your site. If not, think about it right now and there is a way.

Reliability and Accessibility

You never want to visit a website down constantly, so putting your site on a reliable host is important. Many hosting prviders guarantee their uptime to be 99.5% or higher.But you should know that it’s hard for you to monitor the uptime by yourself. Although you can find some web site monitoring services to keep an eye on your sites, it’s better to compare the hosts before you make the decision. Reliability is not everything, the host should be fast at the same time. No one could wait 5 seconds to see your website’s face.

Disk space and Bandwidth

Disk space is the room of your website. Do not be fooled by those “unlimited disk space” schemes. You’ll find that 100 MB or even 10 MB is enough for you. So never pay too much attention to it. “Unlimited disk space” makes no difference with a 500 MB one, except you want to put big files like vedio or something like that on your website. Bandwidth (also called data transfer) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site. It’s much more important than disk space. I put them together because the “unlimited” schemes. Most hosts claim “unlimited” data transfer. Actully most small websites consume little bandwidth. But it’s not the same if you run a popular website. You may receive an exhorbitant bill for having “exceeded” the “unlimited bandwidth”, which happened to many high bandwidth sites.

Technical Support

Sometimes something goes wrong and you need help from your host. Technical support is important in this situation. It should function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around, because you never know when problem will come. Note that a host claiming 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond and how helpful they are.

SSL

If you are planning on doing business through your website, you need a  host with SSL support.

Multiple Domain Hosting and Subdomains

If you want to run multiple website in one host account, you should look to see if they provide this, and the amount extra that they charge for this (whether it is a one-time or monthly charge, etc).

Control Panel

Control Panel is where you manage your host, somethings like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. The most popular control panel system is “CPanel” it’s easy to use.

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