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Hard knock's guide to finding quality web site hosting services

By Aaron wok

As a beginner or pro -- selection of web site hosting services -- will be crucial. And we say crucial because it can become a heavy cross to carry if we choose the wrong web site hosting services. We have to choose wisely. Whether the website that you painstakingly developed will be viewed by your target market lies solely in the hands of your web site hosting services; therefore exceptional care must be given in your selection process. Once your website is on the Internet, you could lose hundreds of dollars (or as a beginner, a few dollars) any one day your website is off, very often caused by malfunction in the systems of the web site hosting services.

You cannot afford to experiment in this area. Choosing will be difficult but the peace of mind that you will enjoy when your website runs will be worth the effort.

Our concern about the proper selection of web site hosting services is that it will be a burden for us beginners to contend with changing web site hosting services if the first choice was not satisfactory. And in the beginning, expect to need a lot of assistance from our hosts' support department, as we familiarize ourselves with the features and tools offered by the web site hosting services. Our nightmare at this point is to find a web site hosting services that is so highly inaccessible that we literally feel that we were thrown in the hinterlands far from civilization.

Making the right choice is important primarily because moving to another web site hosting services can be a very disruptive process, sometimes downright messy. The first web site hosting services, depending on the congeniality of your relationship, can make the transfer as difficult or as easy as they may decide to. But certainly, moving your domain to another company will take time, normally from 3-5 days (or more if your web host dislikes you!).

But before your go around shopping for a web hosting company, think of what you need first. You need to know and understand your requirements, what your website may need and the kind of response that you can expect. Will your website be a simple and straightforward presentation of your products or services requiring only a few kilobytes of diskspace? Or will it contain a thousand pages? Will you need the capability to run CGI scripts? Are there areas in your site that needs to be password-protected? Do you need a shopping cart and online capabilities to process payments? How much traffic do you expect? Identify what you need, then look for web hosts that you think can address your requirements.

 

 


An important consideration for many people, and the number source of complaints, is the quality of customer service. It is important to find a company that will be there for you to answer your questions, hear your complaints, and learn of your server problems - if and when you need it! Many web hosts offer both telephone and email customer support, although some offer even live chats over the Internet. Some offer 7 hours a week/24 hours a day support; while others have set time. Stay away from companies that has no customer support contact numbers; you don't want these companies that can never be reached when you have emergencies or your server goes down for one week. If they offer only email support, check how fast their response times are. If they get back to you after one week, they do not deserve your trust (and your cash). However, always bear in mind that response time to a potential customer and to an actual customer can be two different things! Contacting each company by phone and gathering information on their support services and trying them out at random, would be very helpful in your final decision.

To help you in your choice of good, reliable, and reasonably priced hosting company, you can visit sites that rate hosting companies. Webhostingdeal.com is one good source; check their page where individuals rate and review the web hosting companies that they have used. These reviews are honest to goodness assessment of their experiences with certain web hosting companies. The ratings and candid comments from those who have actually experienced the quality of service given can help you make your own hopefully, informed choice. You definitely wouldn't want to enlist in a web host that consistently gets the poorest score, even though they offer the lowest price! Researching on the kind of service offered by the web hosts will give you some amount of confidence when you make your own decision.

Web hosting companies have their facilities well advertised in business magazines. You then make your selection by matching the their capabilities and features with your hosting requirements. As a beginner, you must always look for the best for less, right? The standard on going rate for a 20-25,000 KB site ranges from $19.95 to $29.95 a month and this comes with standard facilities like, email, list server, file manager, statistics manager, cgi-bins, FTP server, and several standard programs. The rate increases, as you require more sophisticated programs like a secure server and shopping cart software. Some companies have special promotional rates ranging from $7.95, $8.95 to 12.95 a month for a standard website hosting. Cedant.com offers $7.95 a month with an EXCELLENT email support service, no set-up fees and set-up takes only three to four days. Icom.com offers $8.95/month. Forsite.net offers $14.95 with free shopping cart and merchant accounts and no set up fees. As you increase the features and level of sophistication, the web-hosting budget can run up to $200/month (more if you want a dedicated server).

To give you a better idea of web hosting companies, we will share with you some of the ratings that we gathered from Webhostingdeal.com. While we endorse no one, the ratings that individuals gave based on their own perception and experience will give you an idea of who is the best around.
Web hosting companies that received a rating of 8-10 for excellent support include:

Mxhub.com
HostMagix.com
Lunarpages
Infinology
Startlogic
midPhase

Companies with POOR Ratings include: Interland Digitalspace VR World Technologies, Inc. NoMonthly.com Icom JPS.net Sitehost4u Iperweb ProWebSite

Companies with POOR Ratings include:

Interland
Digitalspace
VR World Technologies, Inc.
NoMonthly.com
Icom
JPS.net
Sitehost4u
Iperweb
ProWebSite

A word of caution, though: what may be good for someone may not be the best for you. Know what you need, then find the best company that ranks up high in terms of reliability that can meet your needs.

 

 
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