Choosing the right Web Host

by on Apr.14, 2008, under Web Hosting

When it comes to making the choice on the right web hosting provider there are a few considerations you must look at. First being what you can afford, and second being what you need.

Remember YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! I cannot stress that enough! If you’re paying $5/month for hosting, you’re not getting anything good, despite what anyone tries to tell you. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that. (On more then one occasion).

$5/month sounds great, yes. But is it? No! You might be offered Unlimited disk space and Unlimited Bandwidth, and Unlimited everything else… like wow! Unlimited everything for $5/month!? Sounds too good to be true!! (Well, trust your instinct, it is). Sure a $5/month plan is great if you only have myabe 100 or 200 visitors a month and not a lot of files hosted. Because then you aren’t really all that worried about 1 physical server being stuffed with 200% of its physical capacity right?

Shared servers often go over what they know the server itself can handle… because a majority of these customers have websites that don’t do a whole lot. And that’s great if you have a simple site with no traffic… good for you. But if you have someone like me on a shared server, watch out because I’m paying $5/month when I should have paid the $150/month… and guess what, you’re website is offline because all the resources are being given to my website in order to handle the requests! Granted my site will get SHUT DOWN even though I signed up for UNLIMITED! Why? Because it costs them money to actually give me the unlimited data they promised. And guess what, now they’ve kicked me off their servers, kept my money and sold my space to 100 more little guys. And they can. That’s how they make money. They own the servers and can kick you off for any little reason they feel like. It’s written in the (TOS) Terms of Service when you sign up.

There is one shared server company out there that can SCALE up with your needs automatically, and sorry to say they don’t offer unlimited.. because they know they (and no one) “can”.

Having said that, shared hosting is great for the little guy that doesn’t need a lot. If that’s you, go for shared hosting. Try to use the unlimited data and transfer and see what happens ;-)

Other then that, if you need high bandwidth and as much reliability as possible, go Dedicated or Virtual Dedicated. Sure it’s more expensive, but you can guarantee there won’t be any problems associated with another account disrupting your service.

Dedicated Servers are just that. A physical server dedicated solely to you. One whole computer that might cost $6,000 for $150 – $750+ a month. Typically a $150 package or so is all you’ll need. If you need more then that, you’re probably not reading this article. All the system resources are dedicated to you and your needs.

Virtual Dedicated Server (also known as VPS). Similar to the dedicated server except the processing power and RAM are divided in such a way that no other VPS can overlap the resource quota. Each virtual server has a set amount of resources such as CPU and RAM which it cannot exceed. They are separate Operating Systems which can be rebooted individually and act as if it were a dedicated server. Consider it as taking a 3Ghz cup with 4Gigs of ram and making 2 VPS – you would then have 2x 1.5Ghz/2Gig ram servers.

Shared Hosting Servers – just for the sake of comparison similar to above, they are typically 1 server hosting hundreds or thousands of accounts. More often then not, they are stuffed beyond their capabilities. The average load on these servers are from 50-90%, where any spikes cause them to become unreliable, slow and offline. There are only so many resources to go around.

$20/month is “decent” price point to start. Any popular provider that is making millions of dollars as a company is worth it. If you can get a demo of the control panel and features – you should be able to gage the difference.

I myself am hosted with and recommend HaliHost.ca (Halifax Web Hosting).

Initially I was on NightMare Host (you know the one), which totally sucked. I switched to MT for about a year before making the final destination at HaliHost. I must say my experience with them is absolutely fantastic! Everything is easy to use and the customer service is excellent!

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