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How to Choose a Web Host / Web Hosting Company

"Tips to be kept in mind when identifying a web hosting company. Do a thorough analysis before choosing your provider!"

When it comes to selecting a web hosting company it is important to first know the requirements of your websites and what kind of integration is needed. There are normally 2 platforms that are offered by web hosting companies – Linux and Windows. Linux is normally used when the database is created using MySQL. Windows is used when the database is MS Access. Now that you have identified the platform it is important to know how to select the right Web Hosting company. Points that you need to keep in mind are:

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  1. Support provided by the web hosting company
    This is important especially when you are inexperienced user and want to get your site hosted. Does the company respond to your emails promptly? Are they accessible by phone? Does it have a Chat option? Is the company reachable 24x7?

  2. Check the Uptime claimed by the company
    Normally the uptime is claimed in terms of a percentage. Check if the uptime is more than 99%. However, uptime refers to the time when the server is actually connected to the Internet and not when the server is switched on.

  3. Check the company website
    This is a good indicator to see if their own website is opening slowly or fast. A site that has professional appeal is the one that must be chosen when compared to one that has a lot of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, design and layout issues, etc.

  4. Do your research on the Internet
    Do some search on the Internet by checking various Forums and Blogs to read about the reputation of the web hosting company.

  5. Competitor Analysis
    Do analysis between different providers based on the Core Features, Special Offers, Photo Sharing Tools, Stuff for Geeks, Forum Software, Content Management System – CMS, Email, E-commerce Tools, Additional Features, Free Stuff – Promotions and most important the Price.

Now that you have identified the Web Hosting Company, the next step involves you hosting your site on it to make it visible on the Internet. For a website to be made visible on the World Wide Web [WWW] it must be hosted on a server. There are different ways in which a website can be hosted on a server - paid hosting and free hosting.

When one uses a Free Hosting company then these companies make their money by placing advertisements on the webpages of your website. The amount of space provided to host your website is limited. The traffic is also controlled as it depends how much the server can handle. Last of all it will not allow you to have your own domain name, but a name that is allocated by them. May not support certain high end applications like Mobile, Shopping Carts, SSL, etc.

When one opts for Paid Hosting, then that comes at a cost as it removes the cost for you to purchase the hardware. Here there are two options available. You can choose a Shared Server or a Dedicated Server. When you choose a shared server then the cost is lower but then more than one website will be hosted on it. When you choose a dedicated server only website will be hosted on it with a dedicated IP Address.