If the web host has a slow connection to the internet or a poor uptime percentage, then a web surfer would experience a boringly long delay waiting for the pages to load. In the worst case, they may simply get an Error 404 page not found! Nevertheless, there are a few steps that can be taken to find that great host and to help avoid web hosting lemons.
Before you even begin to consider locking in and purchasing a web host, be sure to visit a number of random web hosts. This will allow you to get a feel for pricing standards and understand what features go with what price. Be sure to pay attention to the following:
- Price per GB of bandwidth
- Price per GB of storage
- Number of databases
- Number of domains and sub-domains allowed per account
- Standard features - FTP access, Email features, hot link protection, etc.
After getting an idea for the standards pricing for these key items move on to quality research.
Now that you understand what features and prices are offered by certain hosts, how do you decide if these particular hosts are of exceptional quality? Ideally, you would have several recommendations from friends and associates that you could pick from.
However, if this is not the case, then you will have to research yourself. This step is extremely difficult because many web sites earn a huge commission by offering excellent reviews for certain hosts.
However, there are a collection of web host review sites that may be of use. Tizag.com is currently working on an impartial list of hosting providers and if you think that is a good deal, please tell us! Write to us on our Contact Form and let us know that you would be interested in our recommendations.
Hosts may advertise "lightning fast speeds" and "99.999%" uptime, but you can check for yourself how fast their servers are by doing a simple "ping" against their server. A ping sends a small packet of data and calculates the time it takes to get a response from the server. Ideally, you would ping a web site that you know is hosted by the company, to test the host's actual performance. To ping a web host on Windows XP just follow these instructions:
- Click Start
- Select Run
- Type "cmd" (without the quotes) and click OK
- In the command prompt type: ping www.sitenamehere.com
- You may also ping the IP address, for example: ping 127.0.0.1
The ping will then be executed four times (default value) and a small report of average, minimum, and maximum respone times will be displayed. Note: if you are constantly getting a "time out" message, even though you can access the web site via a web browser, the server may have pinging disabled.
We hope you found this guide useful and will tell others about it. Take care and watch out for those hosting lemons!