How To Choose The Best Hosting Provider

How To Choose The Best Hosting Provider

Choosing The Best Hosting Provider For Your Needs

What Is Hosting & Why Do You Need It?

Unless you live under a rock in outer tanzania, you have probably heard of the internet, duh! Well, the internet is where websites live. So, as you try to wrap your head around why a hosting provider is necessary, I’ll be using some analagies, try to keep up. So as I said, the internet is where websites live. But how do they get there?

Well, It’s alot like the way people buy homes. A website can’t just float around the internet in ether space, it would be homeless, rummage around through other peoples junk mail, get viruses and end up in the internet black list zone.

It has to have property that it calls home. This property is called your URL or web address. Just like in the real world, all the realestate is for sale but you have to know who to talk to to get the best deal. Unfortunately, before you can buy your new website home/property, you need to get a legal address for it.

Now in the real world, your homes property address is determined by the building department. In a similar way, your URL or web address must be provided by a governing body called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This organization is a non-profit organization that is in charge of maintaining and coordinating the Internet, namely the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the Domain Name System (DNS).

Unless you live under a rock in outer tanzania, you have probably heard of the internet, duh! Well, the internet is where websites live. So, as you try to wrap your head around why a hosting provider is necessary, I’ll be using some analagies, try to keep up. So as I said, the internet is where websites live. But how do they get there?

Well, It’s alot like the way people buy homes. A website can’t just float around the internet in ether space. It has to have property that it calls home. This property is called your URL or web address. Just like in the real world, all the realestate is for sale but you have to know who to talk to to get the best deal. Unfortunately, before you can buy your new website home/property, you need to get a legal address for it.

Now in the real world, your homes property address is determined by the building department. In a similar way, your URL or web address must be provided by a governing body called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This organization is a non-profit organization that is in charge of maintaining and coordinating the Internet, namely the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and the Domain Name System (DNS).

What Is An IP Address & Domain Name

Think of an IP address in the same way as your house address. It tells the internet entities where to direct inquiries and searchers as to how to find your website. There are two types of IP addresses, just like there are two types of hjome ownership. You can rent or you can buy.

Dynamic IP Addresses

Dynamic IP Addresses are just what they say, dynamic; they are always changing or having the ability to change. Typically, dynamic IP addresses are a block of IP addresses that are associated with on overriding IP address.

To illustrate, Suppose you are going to rent an apartment in a high rise apartment building. What would your address be? Well, It would be the physical address of the high rise followed by the apartment you are renting.

155 North Internet Avenue, Apartment 15467

But now let’s say that your landlord is a slumlord and is constantly moving you from apartment to apartment, based on his own sick ends.  In the real world this would be a problem, but not in the internet world.  Because your website is associated with a block of IP addresses under one main IP Address, you won’t ever loose visitors because they will be directed first to the over riding IP address, which will in turn hand them off to the IP address you are currently assigned.

There are pluses and minuses with Dynamic IP addresses, as the chart below illustrates.

(insert graph here)

So, Dynamic IP addresses do have some drawbacks, however, they are used because they decrease the cost of hosting your website.

Static IP Addresses

Static Addresses are a different animal.  Much like our homeowner analogy, the static URL/IP address is just that, Static.  It stays the same and never changes.  It is registered with your domain name and doesn’t suffer from the rotating IP address shortcomings.  These types of IP addresses are very useful, especially when searches are dependent upon having a set IP address to reference.  They are more costly however, and are usually included with the higher end hosting packages.

What Is A ISP or Web Hosting Provider?

So, let’s return to our analogy of home ownership.  Now you know what makes your website visible online, let’s discuss your new property.  So you’ve procured your domain name (mynewcompany.com), now you need to find a place to build your new home.  Enter the hundreds of Website Hosting Providers.

ISP Providers

ISP stands for “Internet Service Provider” and is an alternate name for web hosting providers.  They are synonyms for the same entity.  A Web Hosting Provider makes it possible to host your website by providing the resources you need.  Storage space, Email servers, FTP Servers, and much more.  These resources are far to expensive for the average individual or small business to purchase, not to mention there would be no return on investment.  They also provide security resources to keep spammers and malware out of your code.  However, all these resources come at a price.  That price varies greatly from provider to provider, so much so that if you base your decision solely on who has the best commercials or has the best online visibility, you could find yourself paying 30 to 50 percent more than you have to and receive only a fraction of the services you need.

Our Top Picks For Best Hosting Providers

So now let us provide a discussion on how to find the best hosting providers.  We will leave the discussion of which providers are best to other postings which litter the internet and which are more often than not tainted by personal bias even though they attempt to appear objective.

I would highly suggest that you not base your decisions on any one article or opinion that attempts to rank providers, but instead base your decision on an informed set of criteria that you develop, based on your requirements.  To that end, let us offer our biased two cents shamelessly.

Rating Criteria To Be Considered

When it comes to choosing a hosting provider, the overarching priority should be “How much do I get for my money”.  That being said, I highly recommend you not trust your valuable website work to small unproven hosting companies.  I can’t tell you the number of times clients have contacted me for help because their website has been taken down due to malware or other problems.

While this is a risk regardless of the size of the hosting provider, you definitely lessen your risk by choosing a well known provider with sufficient resources to safeguard your website adequately.  We also highly recommend that you take some time and perform due diligence before you shell out your hard earned cash.  The hosting platform is the foundation of your online presence, make sure it’s solid and bullet proof.

Email Resources

I don’t understand why anyone would choose a hosting provider that makes you pay for email addresses or email hosting space.  In today’s competitive environment, there is no need to do so.  There are plenty of hosting providers that will offer “Unlimited” email addresses and storage in their premium packages.  Even in their introductory packages you can expect to get a certain number, usually 10 to 50, email  addresses included with the package.

If the hosting provider charges for email addresses or email storage, and call it email support services, run for the hills.  It’s just a ploy to take your money.  Walk away.

Domains & Sub Domains

It isn’t that uncommon for hosting providers to limit the number of domains you can have in their entry level packages.  However, in the mid range and premium packages you should be able to have multiple domains and even more sub domains.  Be sure you ask or find out what you are being sold in this area.  You may think, “I only have one company, why would I need more domain names?”.  Simple, if you plan on growing, you will probably want to have the ability to set up subsidiary companies, divisions or departments.  In addition, you want to keep your options open when it comes to multiple domain names and hosting.

If you look you can find companies that offer unlimited domain hosting.  We use Hostmonster hosting services, and for the same price as their middle package, you can have unlimited domain hosting, email addresses, storage space, and more.

Resource Storage

Be careful here.  Some hosting companies limit the number of visitors per day that can visit your site.  The number will seem huge, like 5000 to 10,000 per day.  The problem again is this, future growth.  You have to look at the long term not the short term.  There are plenty of plans that offer unlimited user engagements if you look hard enough.

 

Domains & Sub Domains

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