How To Select A Webhost That Fits Your Needs
By Marc Goldman
Whether you're considering starting a website or you have one and want to
possibly move it, this article can help you decide what the best webhost means
To begin, every website is hosted on only 3 platforms: Unix, Windows NT,
Very few sites are hosted on a MAC server, so the majority of webhosts use Unix
or NT. For these reasons we will focus on only those 2 platforms.
Unix and NT both offer various options and have different abilities. Your choice
of which platform to use depends on what applications you want your site to run
and the amount of control you want to have over your site.
Unix is the oldest and one of the most widely used operating systems. It is the
basis of the internet and most webservers originally ran on a version of Unix.
Unix is know as a multitasking operating system which means that it can run many
applications at the same time without them affecting each other. This is very
important when you consider that hundreds of websites, running thousands of CGI
scripts, all receiving thousands of hits could be running on one webserver.
Why Use It?:
It's reliable Ability to host many websites on the same machine. Almost all CGI
scripts run better on Unix. Programming flexibility. Much more administrative
With Unix, webmasters can really tweak their websites (assuming they know what
they are doing) to run at optimal levels. Developers can run CGI scripts and
create applications specific to their needs.
Is case sensitive. It is not an easy operating system to learn. Must use telnet
or Ftp to make changes.
NT is a relative newcomer to the webhosting game but it is fast gaining a large
share of the business. NT was built to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft's web
authoring tool, Frontpage. As such, it is often the perfect solution for
newcomers who do not want to learn HTML or CGI programming or deal with the day
to day hassles of administering a webserver.
Can use Microsoft Frontpage to publish your website as opposed to using Ftp or
telnet. Can use Cold Fusion. Somewhat easier to administer (especially for the
average webmaster). Is not case sensitive.
If you do not plan on learning the in's and out's of the web and administering
your site, NT is probably your tool of choice.
Provides poorer security than Unix. Because of the security issues, the hosting
provider will usually institute tighter security measures. Cannot run all CGI
scripts although this is changing.
Your needs as the webmaster and your visitors needs will determine the type of
webhost and the platform you need.
Once you have done some more research into what platform you need, stop by an
independent website like: http://www.tophosts.com and choose one of the top 25
hosts to fulfill your needs.
Some issues to consider while pondering which host to choose:
1.Uptime: This is probably the most critical piece of information you need to
know to make an informed decision. How often a server goes down means lost
business and lost sales and no one needs that. Our webhost is up 99.9% of the
time as compared to the first one we had which was more like 25% of the time.|
2.Bandwidth Usage: Some hosts actually charge you for the amount of traffic you
get once you pass a certain percentage. Why on earth would you want to be
charged for that? Our webhost offers us unmetered traffic at no extra cost (this
is what you should look for).
3.Server Space: Look for hosts that give 50-500 mg of space. As the technology
changes sites will take up more space. You should try to get as much as you can
right now even if you don't use it all.
4.CGI Access: This is critical. You need the ability to use CGI and especially
custom CGI. If a host doesn't offer it, run screaming!
5.MSQL; Real Audio; Real Video; Cold Fusion: This is the future of the web and
in particular web marketing. Make sure a host offers support for these
applications even if you don't presently have a use for them.
You will be glad that you spent your time doing this research before you jump in
and choose a host or switch to a host that provides you with nothing but
problems. You deserve the best, go for it.
About the author:
Marc Goldman, Goldbar Enterprises subscribe to The
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