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  1. #1

    Lightbulb How to choose a Host. A few simple steps, feel free to add to it.

    Here are some simple steps in choosing a host.

    1. Do your research here and on the internet to find a host that works for you.

    2. Every host has had some problems, but that doesn't make them bad.

    3. If you find a host that's too good to be true, it probably is. Just remember this, you get what you pay for.

    4. There's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth and storage space, so don't waste your time with hosts that offer this.

    5. Once you find a host ask questions to see if they fit your needs, and see how long it takes for them to respond.

    6. Go with a host that has a 30 day money back gaurantee.

    7. I have nothing agains't one year hosting payments up front, but if you're starting out it's better to pay monthly.

    This how-to was inspired by watchdog's post, with contributions from idologic_dh, eliquid, Techark, Dennis, and others.
    Last edited by DomainFinder; 03-10-2004 at 06:47 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    A work in progress I've moved it here for more visibility. Please try to keep this thread as clean as possible
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  3. #3
    Uptime Guarantees: Hosting uptime guarantees can be viewed as worthless. If a host really wants to show its stuff they will post their uptime history.

    Backups: If you are running a forum, a news site, or any other kind of web site with daily information, be sure you choose a host with some sort automated backup option. Also be sure that this backup is not stored on the same hard drive as your web site.

    Referral: The absolutely best way to choose a web host is through a trusted friend/associate. If they have had a lot of good experience with a host, that is probably the best shot for you getting a great web host. If you don't have any friends...well, you can always read through the WHT forums .

    My friends were always asking me for advice on choosing a web host, so I wrote a little Web Host Guide for them. It just a good resource for someone who doesn't have a great deal of experience in choosing a host or knowledge of all the options a host can provide. Maybe you guys will find it useful too.
    A Collection of Web Hosts
    Small biographies on hosts, uptime reports and some reviews
    Feel free to add your review or add a host that isn't on the list.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Greenville, SC
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    Price is not everything. There is other and more important things to look for in a host then the price. For instance, if they provide the best quality support, and uptime. If they are freindly and have good reviews on WHT .
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago
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    I like a host that has a forum where customers can post how they like the service (or vice versa).
    9/11 Memorial, do you have a story to tell?
    United Web Site Award Givers, do you believe your site is worthy of an award?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Sofia
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    Panta rei, things change. A bad host may improve. A good host may turn into hell. One thing yet remains constant - your responsibility for the clients.

    Take Uptime guarantee as a promiss, not as thing in itself - it is an ideal never achieved.

    Instead, ask for third-party monitoring stats.

    Not everything that is cheap is necessarily bad.

    Do you really need THAT server now?... You may miss the tomorrow's offer.
    :: :: :: :: :: ::
    :: VDSP.Net :: Directory of virtual and dedi serv providers by location and price
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  7. #7
    ping it first!
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  8. #8

    HELP FOR A NEWBIE

    Question: when a company asks for $Xs and says it will submit your site to 1000s of browsers, what exactly are they doing?

    This is probably in the wrong place but the sign said I can't begin a new topic.
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  9. #9
    * Try to find sites that are placed on the server you want to buy place at. This will give you good idea of how fast (or slow) the server is.

    * Prefer host that have support via phone line. It sometimes cost more, but it shows how serious the host it.

    Hope that help, I will add more if something pops into my mind...

    Scheiner
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  10. #10
    Support, support, support. You WILL need it sooner or later. Does it take a week for your email to get answers, or hours?
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  11. #11
    Join Date
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    HK
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    Smile

    Go with a host that has been operating for a while (maybe 2 years or more), so that you know they are stable and have the ability to pay for expense

    Is this important?
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Europe
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    Originally posted by YUPAPA
    Go with a host that has been operating for a while (maybe 2 years or more), so that you know they are stable and have the ability to pay for expense

    Is this important?
    This is TOO important.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    HK
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    Smile

    ooooohio~ I am so smart baby
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  14. #14
    This how to is picking up steam, great tips!
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  15. Totally agree with schmeg007 comments.

    Uptime is a useless guage and is more of a marketing gimick for most. unless they spend 200K+ on equipment and contracts they will not get close to 99.9% uptime. Besides, unless you are a bank, you don't need or can afford 99.9 uptime.

    Make sure you call/test the tech support line late at night and during the day time to see if a human actually responds within 5 minutes. There will always be problems and live support the is only way to resolve most of the problems in time.
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  16. #16
    I know all of the above, but this How To is great for newbies!
    Last edited by TheArtist; 04-07-2004 at 06:08 PM.
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  17. #17
    Nice tips.
    add: try to search for extra things some hosts offer like more panels and support.
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  18. #18
    my m8 doesnt like to buy from resellers for some reason - he runs a whois on the host till he finds the origin he says.
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    3,854
    Well tell your friend its likely that he is missing out on great offers and opportunities. A reseller doesn't need to worry about server management etc. they just concentrate on getting the sale and answering a few support questions. If your friend decides to go with a host that is not a reseller then he could find that responses to his question are less personalised. Obviously their are advantages to being with a host that is not a reseller because communication if a problem arises can be faster. The reseller may not know straight away the solution to any problems.
    But for you friend to say he doesn't like going with resellers PERIOD is a naive and ignorant comment to make. I know a lot of good resellers out their

    [note: this is assuming the provider to the reseller is reputable and reliable]

    Rameen
    InnoHosting, Performance Web Hosting || US: 1-888-522-INNO UK: 0800 612 8075
    Web Hosting - Virtual Servers - Managed Servers - Application Hosting
    Reseller Hosting with WHMCS & Preloaded KB | SSL | activGuard | End User Support
    LiteSpeed / CloudLinux / Idera Backups / True 24x7 Support / 10+ Years in Business
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  20. #20

    *

    Originally posted by pifua
    ping it first!
    And ping it second!
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  21. #21
    Here's a major annoyance. The host says 24/7 tech support but only responds within the same 6 hour timeframe and not on the weekends. Make sure there is a money back guarantee and test the support within that first 30 days. 24/7 support means two-way communication 24 hours a day, seven days a week, not I can just send a ticket 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they'll get around to it when and if they can.

    Another thing is that they offer a decent control panel for emails, etc. cPanel is my favorite and they better have a demo for me to see that I will have it or no thanks from me...

    Watch out for insane amounts of bandwidth. First off, an average site will use 250MB not 50 Gigs of bandwidth in a month. If you actually use that crazy bandwidth they offer, say bye-bye to your account.
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  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Philadelphia
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    cool thats sounds great
    Charles R. Wieland
    Chief Technical Officer
    Phima Group, LLC
    http://www.phimagroup.com
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  23. #23

    litigation

    Check for outstanding litigation. It's always good to know about outstanding litigation about any company.
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  24. And never ever pre-pay in advance. Even if it's more expensive, go on a monthly deal. Never be forced into a corner.
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Mountain View, CA
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    226
    Find out:

    1. how long they have been in business.
    2. if they have a 30 day money back guarantee
    3. If they offer technical support.
    4. if they respond their email quickly
    5. if they have a refund policy in place
    DreamLogic Cult Film and Music Reviews
    STOPware - Visitor Management solutoins
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  26. #26
    Check to seee how many sites they are hosting. Do they host enough sites to be a viable business?

    Check the forums and support system to determine the size of the staff. Is there enough staff to actually provide 24/7 support 365 days a year.

    Become familiar with the host's forum. What is the tone of they staff? Is the host deleting unfavorable comments?

    What documentation is available on the hosts site? Does it adequately explain how to use the control panel, set up cron jobs, emails, redirects, etc?

    One of the big things, IMHO, that separates the lower end from the top end hosts is service announcements. Does the host email or post on the website their service/upgrade schedule? When there is a problem, does the host explain the problem and what was done to resolve it?

    These service announcements are probably the best and quickest way to separate the good hosts from the rest. Repairs, upgrades and malfunctions are a fact of life. A host that is up front and keeps you informed is a keeper.
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  27. #27
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    3
    to choose a good hosting keep the followign factor in mind

    What type of site u r hosting ?( if its just a simple homepage or small bussines site then useless to spend a lot of money low cost hostings also works)

    thanks
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  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    NC
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    Thanks all of these are good ideas. I have eliminated a few dedicated server hosts in the past simply because their tech support was slow to respond.
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  29. #29
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
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    See if you can preview a sample of their webstats features. I am a big fan of tracking, so this is important to me when looking for a web hosting company.
    Last edited by boulder; 05-28-2004 at 11:34 PM.
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  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Miami, FL
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    nicely put...
    Biznesshosting, Inc. DBA VOLICO - Intelligent Hosting Solutions
    East Coast Enterprise Dedicated Servers and Miami Colocation.
    managed and unmanaged dedicated servers. High bandwidth colocation. Managed clusters.
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  31. #31
    I recently have to migrate to another private server provider, that is 10 times better.
    They dont help me in nothing with my process, even retain information that belongs to me.
    and ask me in the form which is the other company that I am moving to.

    I find the last request hilarious

    Any hints?
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  32. #32
    Be honest in features.
    Some of them list features that are not fully implemented or buggy.
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  33. #33
    schmeg007 is so right!
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  34. #34
    Hi ppl,

    I think these are some of the things I would look for while choosing a web host:

    Uptime
    A web server should have a uptime of atleast 99.5% or more.

    Data Transfer
    There is no such thing as 'unlimited' bandwidth, you can only have a certain amount of bandwidth alocated to you, if you go over that limit then you will definitely have to pay for it.

    Technical Support

    Only go for those hosts that offer prompt 24/7 all year round technical support.

    Security
    IF you are planning to perform business related activities on your web site, then security is a big issue, you should make sure that your host has got all the latest patches, and uses the latest security techniques & softwares.

    Pricing
    You get what you pay for, generally you should not chose a host on the consideration of the price alone, remember the cheapest or the most expensive does not mean the best.

    Cheers
    Last edited by ashish-m6.net; 06-30-2004 at 01:37 AM.
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  35. #35
    When choosing host if your looking for reliability and server uptime, usually cost does not madder.

    Check for:
    -Good customer support (hours of operation, live chat, phone..)
    -Server uptime
    -Tech Support is a for sure thing you need to make sure you can talk to incase of anything.
    -No false advertising

    And make sure you READ TOS/TAC/SERVICE AGREEMENT FIRST! Sure its long and boring and hard to read but its for the protection of you the client and safety/legal terms of the webhost thats why its there.
    There could be little things you never knew you weren't allowed or could have or or or.... Peoples worst mistake is not reading that which then leads them to blame the web host for anything that happens!

    So pretty much the points that were covered by ashish but remember to read the TOS/TAC is my only addition.
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  36. #36
    ashish-m6.net,

    I think you have provided a great guide to selecting a web host. It is very helpful.
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  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4
    angel fire worked well for me
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  38. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    4
    Yes this is very helpful for selecting a web host, good job!
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  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    35
    yeah i think customer service is the number 1. like <B>Host Emergency</b> said Read the TOC/AUP/SLA.
    Then make sure you can get someone 24/7 if your server is down/needed to be fixed.
    Like <B>ashish-m6.net</b> said that cheapest or most expensive doesnt mean the best
    ....do research background it may take a while but worthwhile doing it, basically, you wont regret it
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  40. #40
    these tips are great. id like to add that you should find whatever fits your budget.
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