There are many criteria how to pick a web hosting provider but user feedback, monthly bandwidth, disk storage, price and the rich assortment of services a web hosting provider does (or does not) offer are critical. These criteria apply for choosing both a shared and a dedicated web hosting provider, only the figures are different.
Shared or Dedicated Web Hosting?
Shared hosting is the more popular option and it means that many sites are hosted on one server. Dedicated hosting is when only 1 site is hosted on a server. For example, for a large site with a lot of traffic, shared hosting might not be an option, so the only option left are dedicated hosts. In this case monthly bandwidth of over 100GB might be the minimal requirement and prices of under $100 could be a real bargain. For a small site, 5GB a month could be more than the site can use and $2-3 is a fair price.
Criteria for Selecting a Web Hosting Provider
So, here are the criteria for picking a Web hosting provider:
– User feedback. User feedback is a very subjective measure but if a search on the Net reveals many users who are complaining of constant downtime, rude/incompetent support, etc., this web hosting provider, no matter how lucrative their offer is, is not the one to pick.
– Bandwidth. Bandwidth is related to the amount of traffic a site can have. Today many web hosts offer 20-30GB or more a month, so good offers are abundant. However, if the actual traffic exceeds the prepaid bandwidth, then the site will be taken down till a new payment is made.
– Disk storage. Similarly to bandwidth, more and more web hosting providers are very generous in their offer. 10GB of disk space are not rare and unless the site will store tons of videos, this should be more than enough for a small to mid-size web site.
– Price. Prices of web hosting deals are falling and now there are good deals for about $2-5 a month. However, picking a cheap Web hosting provider could be an expensive mistake because cheap hosts tend to be less reliable. Unfortunately, even expensive hosts can be amateurs and that’s why the first recommendation was to search for user feedback.
– Additional services. It has become the defacto standard for web hosting providers to offer various services for free. These services often include free email server for clients’ domains, various free scripts and applications, additional domains clients can add free of charge, SEO and promotion tools, etc. So, the more additional serviced a Web hosting provider offers, the better.
These are some of the basic VPS hosting selection criteria one should know when looking for a web hosting provider. Very often clients have special requirements – i.e. the operating system (UNIX or Windows) the Web hosting provider uses, the security measures they apply, etc. – but in the general case these criteria are more or less enough to filter the good providers from the bad ones.