Before coming directly to characteristics of good and cheap web host first it’s better to have review of the fundamentals.
Defining Web Host.
A web host is a service provider that places websites of its customers on a server, which is connected to Internet.
For proving this facility a web hosting provider is generally having high-speed Internet connection as they have to host thousand of web sites on many servers depending upon requirement. Essentially the host providers rent out space where a user can get his website made available to whole world through www i.e. World Wide Web.
The best part of web hosting facility is that now its easy to manage the website even for a layman as all the technical aspects like maintenance of complicated server technology, technical maintenance etc us now the work of these providers. Now one can easily focus on his own Internet business for rest there is host provider.
Now coming to the point following are the features offered.
The followings are the features available in most web hosting plans:
? Control Panel
A control panel is an interface by which access of website on web server is made possible, it helps in setting up and constantly updating as well as customizing the website. Some host providers customize their own control panel so as to enable them to upgrade and expand it when and where required.
? Disk space
Most of the sites that have less data or graphics or video clips or big downloadable files can use 50MB of disk space easily. This helps in further growth for reseller as he can use that space of host providers for other purpose.
It is the amount of data sends or received through a unit of time. When a visitor downloads files from website on his own computer then that time it is the bandwidth which is making that possible.
? Email Account
With the use of POP3 email accounts one can check email from Outlook, Netscape Mail, Eudora or any other Email software.
? Scripting language
As now the latest technology is based on Unix and Linux platform only host that support latest versions languages like php, perl and CGI must be selected as that can only provide the optimum utilization of money one is paying.
For displaying big amount of data like user accounts, stock prices, maps, Interactive news, message boards and forum etc that should be accessible also there is a need for an account that offers a database. For this MySQL, most popular and powerful built on Linux operating system is used. Besides language, many other features are also there like ability to handle millions of entries all at once, flexibility and speed allowing storage of logs and big pictures, ability to scale well under heavy traffic conditions that all together makes MySQL ideal for database-intensive or e-commerce-enabled Web sites.
Customer support is also an important criterion while selecting a good web host service and it is equally important both for an expert as well as a layman.
Following are the essentials for a good support system:
? size of the database.
Size of the database is an important feature as it helps in providing quick search for any answer and thus helps in getting solution of any problem without even bothering customer support staff. If the database is large its easy to search for information from it. Some web host providers even provide video tutorial guide, which helps in step-by-step setting up of account even for a layman.
? efficient customer staff
In order to get fast and good response quick customer support is a must. The following are few forms of customer support:
a. Email support
b. Phone support: Generally for sales and technique aspect it is used. A well-equipped and knowledgeable staff knows and problems and provide with immediate and relevant remedy without wastage of time.
Clove Chat support: Some web host companies like Lunar pages and Globat even have live chat support for their customers, but irrespective of how many support channels a company is offering its more important that the available staff is responsive to the need.
Price calculation on basis of ratio of Disk space to Bandwidth ratio What is the amount that one must pay depends upon the disk space and bandwidth that is available with the host plan. Thus price must be ascertained keeping in mind the above two factors.
Besides all of the above features it’s all in vain if web host is not offering an effective marketing plan. It is so because if a web host provider is not having good customers or members as well as steady growth of them, then it’s not possible for them to survive in this competitive world.
The popularity of a particular web-hosting provider can be judged by the number of awards won as well as the reviews of other websites and also from the ranking in Alexa traffic.
All the hosting providers listed on our Top 10 Cheap Web Hosting Directory are among the top 40,000 most visited websites in the world.
Trustworthiness, Speed and Uptime Guarantee
For any company if its website is not available or accessible, then it tends to not only loosing of customer but also it hampers credibility therefore its important to check if web host provider is guaranteeing at least 99% uptime. However to ensure maximum uptime, installation of redundant back-up systems is quite important “Redundant means having an alternative Internet connection on the verge of interruption of main Internet connection. It tends to minimize downtime and is a part of host provider’s management system For a matter of speed, how fast a site is depends upon the types of network connections. Other matters like routing, web server set up and local area networks also play an important part but still they are after the factor of Internet connection.
Many hosting providers still connect to the Internet through T1, or T3 connections. However the best one would be one using OC (Optical Carrier) lines.
A T1 line offers data transfer rate of 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second), while a T3 line supplies data transfer rates of 43Mbps. OC-1 refers to a circuit that transmits 51.85Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed. Ultra-High Speed OC3 and OC12 lines offer 155Mbps and 622Mbps respectively. Some hosting providers have connections to major Internet backbones at the speed of OC48 (2488Mbps) and OC96 (4976Mbps).