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    Jan 2013

    How to choose a web host

    Posted by / in Marketing / Link

    This is an update from my post last year on choosing web hosts.

    I often say “Google is your friend” but in this case, no way! I would not recommend using any search engine to find or choose a web host.  Go with people you trust instead. Unfortunately, if you ask 10 people which webhost they would recommend, you would probably get about 15 recommendations!

    The first thing you should do is figure out is what you plan on doing with your site and whether you have the necessary skills to manage a website.

    • Do you plan on sharing a lot of high res images and videos?  If so, you need to look at bandwidth, speed and of course storage. Storage is really cheap nowadays.
    • As your business grows, do you foresee a need to scale your website?
    • Will you be collecting credit card payments? You want to look at site security.
    • Is uptime critical? If so, look at the uptime guarantees offered by the web host.
    • Will you need help installing applications and securing your site? Some web hosts pre-install popular applications or will help you with installation and setup.

    Think about your needs and then find the service provider(s) that can fulfill that need. If it makes you feel better, now you can search for reviews.

    Some hosting providers that I have used or have heard good things about include Bluehost, 1and1, DreamHost, HostGator and MediaTemple.

    Stay away from telcos offering webhosting – especially if they call it “small business something…” that is the first indication that you are probably going to be paying way more than you need to.

    Tiger Shark

    In my experience, telcos (and banks) are more expensive than third-party providers and less flexible.  BTW, you know you’re getting scammed when a host charges for emails or only offers 10 free email with hosting. WTH?

    If you want to play around with websites first before committing, you can try Google Sites.  All you need is a Google account! Google also allows you to host your website on Google Drive!

    Types of Hosting

    Shared web hosting

    • most popular – you have access to a small portion of a web server that is also used by other customers
    • cheapest
    • $7-$15/month

    Virtual Private Server (VPS) web hosting

    • for businesses with multiple sites or high traffic
    • provides access to multiple web servers and resources
    • unmanaged (you are responsible for managing the server and any issues that arise) or managed (costs more)
    • MediaTemple offers a (dv) dedicated virtual plan
    • $20-$1500/month

    Dedicated Server Hosting

    • you lease a server that is exclusively for your use (not shared)  – can do more things simultaneously – more power
    • can be managed or unmanaged (you need to be comfortable with server tech or know where you can acquire assistance if you need it)
    • $60/month – $2500+/month

    Follow these web hosts and see how they interact on Twitter. Do they respond right away? Do you see the same complaint or issue being tweeted?


    Let me know if you find any others that are worthy of consideration! @ethnicomm

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