web hosting companies comparison
Tips & Warnings
Be positive the web hosting company provides a fast enough connection to the Internet. A T3 connection is optimal, but a T1 will work for most Web sites. You can do this by calling them or sometimes they have this information on their site if you dig far enough.
Find out or ask how many machines on average will be sharing the server with you. If you are getting a dedicated server then you do not need to worry about that but if it’s shared you don’t want to be slowed down by traffic from other sites. Compare this number with other hosting services to give yourself negotiating room. If this information is not on their site – a friendly message to the web hosting company will get you an reply fairly quickly.
Investigate limits on bandwidth and hits. Normally called bandwidth – Make sure you won’t be charged severely if a lot of traffic goes through your site. Look for reasonable flat monthly rates as opposed to rates based on use. Also unlimited sometimes is not unlimited so ask about this as well.
figure out the type of customer support the website company/host offers. Shot them a message, give them a call anything to help you decide if they are going to reply quickly. Check if they have twenty-four hour support and speedy replies aren’t unreasonable demands. Try to avoid paying for customer support.
Plan in advance when thinking about your web space. The amount that you need really depends on what you are going to have on your webiste. If you are going to host videos on your site then you probably need a good amount of space. If you are going to have only content mainly be in text then you probably don’t need very much space. The amount of space you need depends on the nature of your site, but be sure to give your site room to grow.
Make sure the host provides adequate CGI-bin access if you’ll be using forms, and that the CGI bin can support your scripts. You should have your own CGI-bin directory with unlimited access.
Opt for Web-based administration if you’re unfamiliar with Web programming. This will provide a Web-based interface for the maintenance of the site.
Look for a host that offers FTP and Telnet access to facilitate uploading files and editing CGI scripts.
Evaluate your e-mail needs. Some servers offer POP mailboxes, while others simply offer aliases that reroute mail to existing mailboxes. Some hosts put limits on the number of allowed aliases. Make sure you fully understand the host’s e-mail services.
If you’ll be doing business through your site, be sure to get SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security for transferring credit card information.
Ask about reduced rates and free services for non-profit and student-run Web sites if applicable.
Ask about special features like anonymous FTP, mailing list management and e-mail auto-replying. Also ask if the host company will maintain statistical data for your site.
Be sure to tell your host which platform you’re using (UNIX, NT, MacOS, etc.) and make sure the host can support it.
Your current ISP may be able to offer sufficient Web hosting services if your site isn’t too sophisticated.
Some hosts offer the option of “vanity domains” instead of virtual hosting. This will give you a URL of the form, “yourname.host.com”.
- You should really try to avoid buying into a webhost for longer than 2 years but even 2 years is a little much – we just feel that if you are a year to year customer they will have to treat you better because your not locked into some crazy 5 year plan. Avoid buying into long-term contracts to save money. You want to be able to switch hosts whenever you want.