Choosing a Quality Web Host
If you are anything like me, you'd probably like to have a website on the Internet but you just have no idea how to go about it. All this talk of web hosting, bandwidth, disc space, and other jargon can cause one to say, "This is too complicated and technical, I just wanted to have a place to put all of my favorite skateboarding photos, cool information on ramp designs, and the best places to skate!" To get a website on the Web you have to go through a web host. The question is how do you find the web host for you? If you type 'web host' into your search engine like Google you will get thousands of sites. Hit on one of these and like any product on the market you will see all sorts of persuasive propaganda to incite you to use their company; that is if you can decipher any of the technical jargon that only computer-heads can comprehend. Some web hosts offer free business cards with an account; some probably offer free watches?like all consumer industries you the buyer must beware. I'm a writer so I'll use the analogy of a writer's journal. The journal I like must not be too big or small in book size. It also must have a good amount of space allocated to each day, again not a whole page but not just a few lines. Of course I also want it to be cheap but of a good quality that won't fall apart while I'm using it, and I hope it would last for posterity. I just want the diary, some nice pictures in it are O.K. but unnecessary especially if it adds to the price. It's the same with a web host and web site scenario. You want to get the right deal for you, enough space and enough access to the public that you wish to associate with. As a novice who doesn't understand all the jargon this can pose a problem. Are you an individual, small business, blog, or a big time corporation? What do you need and how do you get it? As far as I can tell the web hosting business is a lot like the fast food business. The big corporations have strict guidelines, will offer you special deals, and have monthly 'cheeseburger specials'. But, I've always been more interested in the 'Mom and Pop' small time diners who have that real caring human approach. You know you are a customer and a person, not just a number on a sales receipt. I believe the hosting companies are the same. A smaller hosting company will probably treat its users with more honest integrity as well as having more flexibility in dealing with your individual situation. They can often tailor web site packages to accommodate exactly what you are looking for as well as the ability to update them quickly when your needs change. My advice is to contact a few of the smaller companies. Look for ones with good reputations or just arbitrarily email them and compare results from different places. Which one do you feel most comfortable with? Go for it; ask as many questions as you can, see how the different hosts differ in their answers. Try one; if it doesn't work out try another, it's really easy to move around. Don't be afraid, you've got nothing to lose except the fear itself!
Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a novice in the computer world hoping to inform others like him that the Internet is nothing to fear.
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Getting The Best Web Hosting For Your Business
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Dedicated Server Price Check
The price of dedicated hosting services has really come down in the past couple of years. In fact, prices have dropped so much for the "budget dedicated server" market. While competitive conditions in both the hosting industry and the computer hardware industry have contributed to the reduction in dedicated hosting costs, don't think that prices were that inflated in the first place. Budget servers are fantastic but it takes more than a competitive market to offer services at such great prices. Much thanks to the great overbuilds of networks, data centers and computer hardware in the dot-com days, companies with a bit of buying power can acquire the hard-resources it takes to provide a good quality un-managed dedicated server for a great price. Finding a dedicated server for $199 a month or less these days is not that difficult. When shopping for your dedicated server, consider more than just price. Managed Services Before just lining up the amount of ram, the processor speed, the data transfer and the price ask yourself - what else can this company do for me that I need now, or may need down the road. While there are plenty that do it, a 1 person effort to maintain a mission critical or high traffic server is no easy task. It helps to have others helping look out for your interests as well. Check to see if your host provides managed services such as backups, monitoring, firewalls and intrusion detection. Sometime they may be included in the plan but nearly always can be negotiated in at a reasonable price and can be well worth the investment. Technical Support The level of support received with your dedicated services is important as well. Some dedicated hosts offer email only support in order to keep costs down while others flat out charge a fee for a support ticket. Your preferred method of receiving support plus the level and frequency in which you will need it should certainly be considered. The Quality of Your Network Most dedicated hosting providers these days have pretty substantial internet connectivity. Nonetheless, it is something you should be aware of. Look for a host that has redundant connectivity via multiple providers insuring as much connectivity uptime as possible. Some of the major connectivity providers these days are Sprint, UUNet, Savvis, AT&T, Qwest and Cogent. Summary A very cheap server deal does not simply mean you are dealing with an overly generous hosting company or that another provider is ripping you off at a higher rate. While some hosts do price more competitively than others, there are associates costs that must be covered. When shopping for your next dedicated server just keeps in mind you may not always be comparing apples to apples. Please refer following web sites for useful resources related to web site hosting: http://www.vipwh.com http://www.thehostingguide.com
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The Perfect Support
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Managed Vs. Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
"Unmanaged dedicated servers" - this is a pretty uninviting term to many, especially the non-gurus, but in most cases is not as "non-servicing" as it seems. In fact, I think someone one day soon, ( who knows maybe me ) will coin a new phrase to replace the term "unmanaged" - similar to how "used cars" is now "pre-owned" or how "apartment complexes" are now "rental communities". The truth is that unless you just picked a lousy provider or have unreasonable expectations, unmanaged hosting offers more service and support than most think. The Difference While exact definitions vary among providers, generally speaking managed hosting means your provider takes complete or near complete care of your server. This can include anything from basic system maintenance and patches to applications maintenance, security, monitoring, etc. Someone that needs dedicated hosting and wants to rely on their host for pretty much anything and everything regarding their server needs to strike a relationship with a managed service provider. Full blown managed services involve lots of skilled people hours. Not only that, since every managed customer is unique, it's hard for a managed provider to be overly systematic. For this - expect to pay a great deal more than today's budget server provider but if your needs demand it, and you choose a solid provider it should be money well spent. Unmanaged dedicated hosting obviously refers to dedicated servers with less, little or none of the skilled people support you'd expect to find in managed. You signup, you pay, and in a few minutes to a few hours you get a welcome email with IP address, login, FAQ's, etc. - Beyond that you are pretty much on your own. Relax - you are not really as own your own as it seems. First off, most unmanaged providers do in fact offer technical support, and most that we've seen is very good. If you choose unmanaged dedicated service you do need to have someone on your team that knows the technical side a good bit, but they don't necessarily have to be experts. While you may have to wait 12 - 24 hours or you may even have to pay extra for it, nearly all the unmanaged providers I know do have high level techs available to handle serious issues. In addition most providers give some sort of immediate reboot service. Unless you've been tinkering with some critical config files or have a hardware failure, a reboot can help with a range of issues. Lastly, unmanaged providers may not support you or whatever you put on your server after you move in, but they do stand by the hardware and software they sell you. If a hard drive crashes they are going to replace it for you (although you had better be doing your backups) and if your system crashes most will fix it for you. Summary The bottom line is if you've got mission critical needs and don't have the in-house staff to efficiently keep your servers performing the way they should, then you are going to need managed services. Even still it's a more cost effective route that hiring your own staff and most likely you will receive a higher, more consistent level of service. If your needs are more basic, and or you or your staff has the time and know-how to perform 75% - 80% of your server's maintenance then an affordable unmanaged service should do you just fine. Please refer following web sites for useful resources related to web site hosting: http://www.vipwh.com http://www.thehostingguide.com
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