What is Reliable Web Hosting?

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[Editor's Note:This guest post is written by Kirsten Ramsburg of WebHostingSearch, enjoy]

When a business decides to start a new website, they tend to not be particularly concerned with the type of hosting they will use. Instead, they are focused on getting their site online quickly and generating new sales through information dissemination or e-commerce. However, it is important for anyone planning on creating a website to consider the available options of web hosting and how they might affect their site.

There are many companies that offer cheap web hosting services for small sites. Almost all of them use either Windows or Linux as a hosting platform (there are a few alternatives like Unix or Mac hosting, but these are exceedingly rare). Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to use a Windows hosting package if you run Windows on your desktop computer. The hosting server is completely separate from your desktop and is typically accessed through third-party software, so you can use a Linux server even if your desktop is running Windows, OSX, or even Solaris.

Regardless of the type of hosting, the most important concern for any site is to find a reliable web hosting solution. For example, it is vital that the company you select has a guaranteed uptime of 98% percent or higher. This means that the server will be offline for less than fourteen hours a month for maintenance, or other reasons. Most web companies today guarantee 99% uptime and if they fail in delivering this you won't have to pay for that month. Be wary of any company that does not guarantee this minimum amount of uptime.

Another important thing to consider is the possibility of infiltration by a malicious third-party. Though both types of servers continue to improve their security systems, Windows is slightly more prone to hacker attacks because it is built on the Windows framework. Since the majority of viruses and other malicious software is designed specifically to attack Windows, servers based on Windows are a little more vulnerable. However, both types of servers depend primarily on the administrator to maintain security. In other words, it's better to have a competent administrator running a Windows server than a careless administrator running a Linux server.

The third important thing to consider when selecting a reliable web hosting companies is the age of the hosting company. Many newer services offer amazingly inexpensive rates, but the services and support are not always as consistent as with established hosts. There are even instances of companies selling hosting packages only to close down and disappear with their clients' money. Generally speaking, a company younger than two years is risky.

Finding reliable web hosting is a challenge that most new companies and many private individuals will have to face at some point. However, keeping these three points in mind will greatly improve the odds of finding a hosting company that will allow you to focus on actually running your business instead of worrying about your site.

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About the Author

Paul is a technologist and all around nice guy for technology oriented organizations and parties. Besides maintaining this blog and website you can follow Paul's particular pontifications on the Life Universe and Everything on Twitter.


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