How to Choose a Good and Reliable Web Hosting Company?

With millions of web hosting providers aggressively competing to get more signups, it is hard for some people to differentiate between those that provide quality services and those whose services embody mediocrity.

In this article I will give you some pointers on what to look for, in order to choose a reliable web host that will surely serve your needs. The following tips will help you to make a wise decision while looking for a good web hosting provider.

1. Linux or Windows Server: First of all, you have to decide which server platform you prefer. The most popular two are Linux and Windows OS. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Linux uses Apache web server and MySQL database, and has a larger following because of its open source policy and availability of support everywhere on the web. On the other hand, Windows OS uses IIS web server and MS SQL database. People who intend to host enterprise web applications prefer to use Windows-based hosts. Your choice will depend on the type of files you want to be hosted. Just bear in mind that ASP files can only be hosted on Windows platform.

2. Available Features: The web host you choose will depend on if its packaged features meet your requirements and needs. A shared web hosting plan must allow clients to use FTP programs to upload and update their files. Features should include ability to create databases, such as MySQL, Postgres and MS SQL. Naturally every CMS (content management system) needs a database in order to function.

3. Cost of Hosting: The amount of money per month a host charges plays an important role in decision making. But price alone must not lure you into signing up with a company that provides unreliable service. Compare the hosting cost of all the top providers against each other.

4. Monthly Bandwidth Transfer: Check very well to ascertain the amount of monthly bandwidth a hosting account is permitted to use. A lot of shared web hosting companies offer unlimited bandwidth transfer just to attract prospective customers, but in reality they place hidden limits on bandwidth usage. If you think your website will be getting a large number of daily visits, try to sign up with a shared host that offers a larger bandwidth or even a VPS, if you can afford it.

5. Administrative Panel: Every good web host company has a video of its control panel readily available on its site. Test-drive the demo CP to see if it’s easy to use. A user-friendly control panel interface makes it easier for users to navigate and effectively manage their accounts. The best web hosting control panels are cPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin.

6. Technical Support: A company that provides good support will like be a fine choice, if other aspects are positive as well. How good is the technical support of the company you’re about to choose? Are their knowledge base and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) descriptive or not? Do they have video tutorials to aid your understanding visually? Online live chat is a must have for any provider you decide to go with. A live chat helps a client to communicate with his/her web hosts in real-time when a serious website issue arises. Having a dedicated support forum is a big plus.

7. Server Uptime Ratio: The verified ratio of hosted websites’ availability on the World Wide Web must be considered before you choose a web host. You can find this out through what their clients say about their uptime service. Never rely on the mostly misleading promotional 99.9% uptime statement written on their site.

8. What Real Clients Say About Them: The best way to find out the reliability level of a company’s service is to read the remarks made by its past and present clients in independent web hosting and webmaster forums.

9. Support for VPS and Dedicated Server: Another important thing to consider is to make sure the shared hosting company you’re about to choose supports dedicated server and/or VPS, so you can easily upgrade when the need arises.

You can easily find all these important web hosting guides on

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