Choose a web host



Your web host should become your best friend. He is the one who delivers your web site to the world. He is the one who has to guarantee the upload time of their servers.
And he is also the one who makes your (domain) email address available for others and handles the email traffic from others to you. He is also the one who offers extra services, like your site statistics, FTP control (the way you can upload or download your files) and many more features to maintain your web site.

For those reasons it is important for you which web host you have to choose. Just ‘google’ the words “web hosting” and you’ll get millions of results. It will cost you almost a live to do a research if you don’t know where to pay attention for. There are ten thousands affiliate web sites who sell web hosting like if they are the real hosting company behind it, wrong, they are only selling web hosting services for others and get a commission of every client to bring in.

There are also many web host sites who guarantee you a 24/7 support service and a 99% upload time. Sounds good you think, but what does it really mean? If I had a service or support company, then I also would use an automated response system, that immediately sends an email to you that your request is being handled and that your answer will come within 24 hours. And the upload time of their servers is not the only thing you need to keep your site alive. I can bore you with technical stuff what also can cause slowness to your web site connection, but I won’t.

I only want to say that it is important to choose a web host that has his own data center at different geographical places (in case of a drop down) and that they also have direct connection on a backbone (the super highway of the www traffic or literal: A high-speed line -or a series of connections- that forms a major pathway within the Internet network).
Not every web host has a direct line with a backbone and you can really notice the difference.

I am since 1999 on the web and have changed hosts four times till I finally found the one who really meet my personal requirements. In one of my pages I told you that I own several sites for different purposes. These sites are divided among different web hosts I trust, these are:

  • GoDaddy.com, which is a pretty cheap host, with enough features for starting web sites. They also claim to be the largest web host, which honestly is for me not a criterion for a good host, but that’s also a matter of personal opinion. But GoDaddy.com is pretty good and reliable web host for the money you have to pay.
  • My favorite web host, which I use for my really important sites, is webmasters.com. They have only one hosting plan, which is called the “business hosting plan”. They also offer a free domain name when signing up for a hosting plan. Their uptime is really great, their support is also really great and they use (24/7) real human beings for their support unit.
    They also offer a lot of free tools, utilities and web management programs all included in one price.

I suggest to visit both web hosts and decide by yourself. Of course you also can review all those other ten thousands hosting companies, but why should you?  I have no ‘shares’ at both companies, neither do I work there, but I do (and a lot of my fellow web owners too) have personal experiences with both of them for a lot of years. You can consider that I already did the research for you.

But if you have plans to choose neither of them, then keep in my the following features your future web host should offer:

  • Easy transport of your domain name to another host

  • A good traffic statistics tool for your web pages

  • A reliable uptime of their servers and network they are using (try find reviews about that host)

  • The possibility to use own written CGI scripts

  • Database support

  • Backup/restore facilities

  • Good references (ask for them)

  • Use of SSL

  • Use of unique IP address (in case that is important for you)

  • Use of dedicated servers (in case that is important for you)

  • The possibility to edit your .htaccess file (search for .htaccess and you learn more about this important file). With the access of your own .htaccess file you can for example create SE-friendly (301) redirects of your files.
  • Your own domain management

  • A good email management system (including a mailing list manager and a very good spam filter)

  • Custom error page

  • And enough web management tools

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