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What is Web Hosting?

A web host is a company that has computers that are hooked up to the internet 24/7. These computers are called servers and they are assigned IP numbers in order that they may be found by other computers hooked up to the internet. It is on these servers that all your web files are stored, be they HTML files (web pages), graphic files, CSS files, Javascripts or whatever.

Basically what happens is when you type a web address into the address bar of your browser and then hit Go, your browser sends out a request to 'get' that web page. The request travels across the internet to the appropriate web server and attempts to locate the web page on that server. If the request is successful (web page exists) then that web page will load (or download) into your web browser.

These web hosting servers that store and serve up web pages to the internet cost money to set up, configure and maintain and thus web hosting providers that own these servers typically charge you a monthly or yearly fee to, at the very least:

  • Allow you to save your web files to their web server (called uploading)
  • Perpetually be ready to serve them up to the internet (make available for downloading)

Web hosting has become a very competitive business and, in order to entice more customers to sign up with them, web hosts now offer all kinds of bells and whistles to the deals or web hosting packages they make available.

How to choose a web host?

Choosing a web host is the first step you should consider when starting a website project. In order to have your website available in the World Wide Web, you need a place where to host it. This place is provided by the web hosting provider. The web hosting as a service incorporates the space where your website files are stored, the traffic to your website, and lots of extra services such as firewall protection, technical assistance, email services, FTP access, domain name registration, website building tools and more.

In order to choose a web host for your website you have to consider a few important issues:

Price: Can you go with a free web host?

Many webmasters search for free web hosting providers, at least for their first web site. That is understandable - you do not know how to compare hosting services and you check their prices. Well, once you start a web site, you will see that there are several other things that also count, appart from the price. For example, free or very cheap hosts publish ads on your web pages and provide you with no technical assistance. Below we have listed some of the most important factors when choosing where to host your online project

Customer Feedback

When you compare a couple of hosting providers that meet your budget and tech requirements, go and check for customer feedback. There is plenty of information in Google, Yahoo or specialized hosting directories. You will surely see if the provider is reliable, if answers to tech issues quickly, if meets the uptime numbers promised on the index and if customers like it. So, go and check for hosting reviews about your preferred host.

Technical support

Technical assistance is always needed from your web host, at least from time to time. When you start working over your web site questions will arise: How to get started; How to upload files; How to create an email account, etc. Sometimes you will need those questions answered as soon as possible, or even immediately. That is why your web host must provide 24x7 tech support assistance. Your technical questions should be answered within 1-2 hours max. Besides the speed of responses, check if the support is technically competent. And do not go searching for phone support - the phone support lines are always busy when you need them. The most efficient companies use ticketing systems, where you deliver all technical details needed to have your question answered within an hour or less.

Hosting features: web space, bandwidth, CPU, PHP limits, etc.

The features of web hosting plans are constantly growing. In 2003, the max disk space quota per shared hosting plan was 5MB. In 2008 few providers offer less than 100 GB web space. Just remember - do not let be tempted with "unlimited" features - where there is an unlimited feature, there is always a fine print, telling you about the price you will pay if you exceed the "quota".

Does the hosting provider support: Email, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, Autoresponders, Email forwarders.

If you have your own site you would probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, for example: info@mydomain.com. You can check for POP3, SMTP (and IMAP) in order to have web mail capabilities. Check our if you can set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a present message (Autoresponder). See if you you forward a message from one email to another for example: all the emails coming to sales@mydomain.com to be forwaded to salesmanager@mydomain.com

PHP, MySQL, Cron Jobs:

The PHP/MySQL capabilities are becoming more and more important for having a dynamic website. Cron jobs may be needed for programs that you need to be run periodically (e.g. once a day).

Website tools - Blogs, CMS, galleries, forums:

Your host can provide you with free tools to create your website, such as blogs, CMS, galleries, forums. These tools will extensively faciliate your work on your website and you will save lots of money on web designers and developers.

E-commerce option - Shopping cart, SSL (Secure Socket Layer):

If you are planning to run an e-commerce website, you might be needing SSL certifice and Shopping cart. These facilities normally involve a higher price package or additional charges. You will definitely need an SSL certificate if you plan to collect credit card information on your site.

Control Panel:

This feature is especially important if you want to maintain your site or have someone else to maintain it. From the control panel you will make changes to your site, upload files, change passwords for your account, add/delete an email account, manage databases, etc.

DreamWeaver, GoLive, Flash:

You may want to create your web site using a web site building software such as GoLive or DreamWeaver. It is good to check if your web hosting provider supports these tools.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you will have a reliable, efficient and satisfying hosting service that will contribute to the success of your business for many years to come.

There are tons of paid hosting sites on the net, but sorting through all of them can be a very tedious process. Instead, we suggest that you start checking out those listed below, which we consider to be the best hosting directories online.

 


Sponsors

Best Paid Hosting

Tool Description Type
SiteGround SiteGround.com offers secure web hosting services and have one of the best technical supports in the industry. We have given them the top rank because of the excellent features they provide and the excellent customer reviews they got. The BEST CMS hosting services by the No.1 CMS Host! Free installation of Mambo, Joomla, PHPNuke, PostNuke, Drupal.

Price: $5.95/mo
Web space: 750,000 MB
Traffic: 7500 GB/mo
Domain: Free

LunarPages Lunarpages are one of the best and oldest hosting companies and most people are very happy with the services they provide. They offer excellent features at a very good price. The package, presented here, does not include e-commerce functionalities. LunarPages is a well known host which has been operating out of Los Angeles, CA since 2000. After building a solid reputation for reliability and support in the shared hosting market, LunarPages has branched out to Dedicated, Reseller and VPS hosting.


Price: $4.95/mo Web space: Unlimited MB
Traffic: Unlimited GB/mo
Domain: Free

BlueHost BlueHost has been providing hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Their internet hosting package helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost.

Price: $6.95/mo
Web space: Unlimited MB
Traffic: Unlimited GB/mo
Domain: Free

Host Gator Host Gator provides Shared, Reseller and Dedicated web hosting solutions. Our services are designed for both beginners and professionals. All of their shared plans include a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 support and a 45-day money back guarantee.

Price: $5.95/mo
Web space: 350,000 MB
Traffic: 3000 GB/mo
Domain: $15.00

Fortunecity Web hosting, domain names, web design, free web site and email address providers . We offer affordable hosting, dedicated ad-free web hosting, domain name etc.

Price: $9.95/mo
Web space: 1,000 MB
Traffic: 40 GB/mo
Domain: $8.95

Globat Globat offers the superior, reliable and affordable Web Hosting to individual and small ecommerce businesses. Founded in 2001, Globat, LLC has quickly grown to become the world-leader in Performance Web Hosting®. As the most established Web site hosting company in the United States, Globat.com offers quality and affordable Web Hosting solutions to nearly 100,000 hosting customers worldwide. Globat is the Web hosting provider that provides cheap Web hosting solution with free domain web hosting. Globat offers cheap Linux Web hosting packages for your Web site hosting, image hosting, PHP & MySQL hosting or your ecommerce web hosting.

Price: $6.95/mo
Web space: 1,000,000 MB Traffic: 1000 GB/mo
Domain: Free

HostWay Hostway is a multinational web hosting company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States, founded in 1998. Hostway offers a wide range of webhosting solutions Coldfusion, Windows 2003 and Linux web hosting solutions from - No Setup fee and 24/7 support.

Price: $13.95/mo
Web space: 12,000 MB
Traffic: 250 GB/mo
Domain: $6.95

InMotion hosting InMotion hosting has been providing businesses with web hosting since 2001 from their offices in Los Angeles, CA and Virginia Beach, VA. Their datacenter is located in downtown L.A. while their tech support is based in Virginia Beach.

Price: $6.95/mo
Web space: unlimited
Traffic: unlimited
Domain: Free

NetworkSolutions Find domain names, web hosting and online marketing for your website -- all in one place. Network Solutions helps businesses get online and grow online.

Price: $9.96/mo
Web space: 7,000 MB
Traffic: 150 GB/mo
Domain: Free

Ipowerweb IPOWERWEB is the web hosting leader. Providing cheap hosting with frontpage, php , stats, ecommerce and domain names support. Affordable web hosting. The fifth largest Website Hosting Company worldwide. They offers Domain Registration, Web Site Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Servers, etc.

Price: $7.95/mo
Web space: 200,000 MB
Traffic: 2000 GB/mo
Domain: Free

aplus Web hosting services for small business hosting needs. Including dedicated & shared web hosting, email hosting, web design, and domain registration.

Price: $5.95/mo
Web space: 190 MB
Traffic: 2500 GB/mo
Domain: Free

Yahoo! Hosting Yahoo! is committed to making your online business a success. If you're not completely happy with your service within 30 days of ordering Yahoo! WebHosting, they'll refund your hosting fee.

Price: $8.96/mo
Web space: unlimited
Traffic: unlimited
Domain: $9.95

HostMonster HostMonster has been providing hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Our internet hosting package helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost.

Price: $6.95/mo
Web space: unlimited
Traffic: unlimited
Domain: Free


Other Paid Hosting

Tool Description Type
$0 Hosting Plan If you're creating a website for the first time and would like to host a business brochure site or personal website or would simply like to have the professional image of a personalized email address...

Commercial
100% Dell Servers The platform is designed in such a way that if any server fails, another server automatically takes over that server's workload, without delay. For example, if one of the mail servers breaks down another server

Commercial
150m.com is a free service. We can offer our services for free because 150m.com is advertiser sponsored. This means that a banner advertisement will be placed on 150m.com web pages.

Commercial
2Macs aims to delight you by offering both free and low cost, professional website design services, superior hosting and exceptional customer support via next generation tools and technologies.

Commercial
3WSecure offers complete Web Hosting and Email services for companies and individuals interested in establishing a successful presence. The merchant package includes database integration

Commercial
60Host.com We give our customers great discount on account renewal. We want 60 Host customers to pay less for web hosting when stay with us. So we give 20% discount on web hosting account renewal.

Commercial
724 Internet Solutions provides professional business services for small, medium and large businesses. Compare notes, share schedules and work together on virtually any type of file.

Commercial
A&T Hosting We know your company's web site is critical to the success of your business, so our commitment to you is to provide high-quality products, reliable services, and top-notch customer support to all our hosting

Commercial
Aabox Web Hosting Fully redundant network architecture with no single points of failure. Industry-leading network bandwidth capacity: 130+ gigabits/second. Multiple layers of network security. Centralized network monitoring in the network operations

Commercial
Aacs Direct Solutions We focus on reliability and customer support. Our web hosting service offers Linux servers that have Dual Xeon 2.4ghz processors. You can combine the reliability, security and performance of the Linux

Commercial
Abacus Hosting.ca is a professional Canadian WebHosting Company. Based in Toronto, but in terms of WebHositng, Abacus covers other cities and towns, including Mississauga, Ottawa, Etobicoke, Oakville...

Commercial
AbleTeam We create special directories on our high-speed computers (web servers) where you put the files that make up your website. As soon as your domain name is properly pointing to us, anyone using the Internet

Commercial
Abs - IT Support Whether you require a simple one page personal website or a database driven ecommerce storefront, we can help. We offer Windows-based hosting plans on high-performance servers located in a secure,

Commercial
AbsoluteHosting We not only provide a service which you can count on, but we also have a dedicated top quality support team who will give you fast and friendly advice when you need it. We believe that the support you receive is just

Commercial
Ac Host We believe that running a web site should be a simple task. We don't believe you need to spend time worrying about if whether your site is down. Whether your web site is your company's primary

Commercial
AccessHosts.com We offer windows web hosting at an affordable price. All web hosting plans support the ASP.NET hosting platform and Active Server Pages. If you have any web hosting articles that you would like to include on our

Commercial
Acclain Technology Training aims to provide the best in technology training for the dollar. For years, military and businesses alike have used AIT Technology Training for their training needs.

Commercial
Accu Web Hosting Our most popular plan for those that have a personal website. The affordable Windows Starter Plan offers easy to use tools, tons of free features, and 24 hour support. The space, bandwidth...

Commercial
Accuport Webhosting can effectively host your web site on a reliable, high performance, Windows 2000® web server with the most advanced Active Server Pages (ASP) database technology with MS Access or MS SQL Server

Commercial
Ace Webhosting Is to provide a quality webhosting service for your website with fast reliable access, whether you have a small private site, a small business site or an e-commerce site. All at value for money prices.

Commercial
Ace-Host To achieve lightning fast speeds and superior reliability, All servers are connected via dedicated 100mbps lines and the datacenter utilizes gig pipes of high quality providers. The data center is currently connected

Commercial
AceHost Tired of searching for quality web hosting services?, well look no further! We offer you pre-installed cgi scripts with all hosting plans - These scripts can be installed with a click of your mouse button.

Commercial
Acelogic We provide Internet domain name registration, fast website and email hosting, and web design services to businesses and individuals. We offer broadband through our

Commercial
Acenet provides nearly 50 scripts that can be installed with a click of a button. It's really that simple too! Just login to your control panel and select the script you would like to install.

Commercial
Acme Internet offers affordable, high performance Windows 2000-based Web hosting, database hosting and e-commerce solutions. When you need Web hosting that works with your existing Microsoft-based software on your

Commercial
Acme Services We guarantee that our servers will be up a minimum of 99% of the time. If we fail in any given month, you receive one full free month of hosting service

Commercial
AcomHosting.com We provide leading edge Windows web hosting services to individuals, professionals, non-profit organizations, and businesses at unbeatable prices. Unlike the majority of our competitors, we own and operate

Commercial
ACPost Webhosting We offer Unix and Windows accounts based on virtual hosting as well as e-commerce, providing small business and home based business with a complete solution to their webhosting needs. From simple family

Commercial
Action Web Host With over seven years in the web hosting business, Action Web Host has taken the uncertainty out of web hosting - while putting service, performance and value back in. No matter which hosting type or plan

Commercial
Action Web Hosting Our hosting plans are ideal for most individuals and small businesses. We're the affordable, reliable place to host your site, offering features like a 99.9% network uptime commitment, 24/7 support, and free

Commercial
Action Webs offer fast, reliable and economic web hosting with personalized back-up and customer service. A full range of scalable hosting plans that grow with the success of your business.

Commercial
Active Domain We are providing you a bundle of free services worth more than 5 times the cost of your Internet domain name registration fee. No setup fee, ICANN fee, sales tax.

Commercial
Active Web Hosting Free domain name, Unlimited web space, email, and ftp accounts. No setup fees. We own and operate our own equipment to provide you affordable full-featured web hosting

Commercial
Active Webhost Your web site is professionally hosted by our team of expert technicians and top notch server equipment. We continually strive to keep our service and support top notch to help you succeed.

Commercial
Active-Venture provides one of the most feature-packed and low cost web hosting services on the web. We offer an extensive range of Unix virtual hosting plans to meet the needs of any webmaster for personal

Commercial
Adaptive - Dedicated Hosting We are dedicated to delivering powerful and affordable web hosting solutions to accomodate all of your hosting needs. We offer a large selection of web hosting options

Commercial
Adaptive Hosting You get professional, high quality and reliable Windows web hosting supporting ASP, ASP.NET, FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Access, mySQL, SQL 2000 and much more featuring 24/7 outstanding and

Commercial
Adari - Internet Hosting Framework Our idea of hosting services is different than what is conventionally known! Our objective of hosting services is to Host and Service . While we host your site, we also provide you necessary application services

Commercial
Addto Mission of this site is to help small business owners to find out the most suitable e-Commerce and Internet marketing solutions. we collect hundreds of solution providers and resources in our human edited directory

Commercial
AdeyHost Our hosting plans have been selected to give you an outstanding range of features for use with your web site and have many features normally found in much more expensive accounts.

Commercial
Advanced E Media is a full-service ecommerce company. Our job is to work with you every step of the way to help you not only successfully launch your website project, but also to ensure that it is focused on your specific

Commercial
Advanced Hyper-V Technology The next generation of Dynamic Dedicated Servers, RackForce's DDS-V, combines best-of-breed virtualization technologies, SAN based storage and powerful IBM x3950 hardware nodes to create a robust "cloud computing"

Commercial
Advanced Internet Technologies With an exploding global membership, the Internet has become the business medium of the new millennium. Customer satisfaction is still the name of the game.

Commercial
Advanced Web Site Most HTML pages use between 1 and 20 kilobytes, while images usually range between 2 and 50 kilobytes, depending on their dimensions, format and compression used. Accordingly, if your average web page

Commercial
AF Hosting If you have been looking for reliable web hosting, consider the benefits of AFHosting.com. Our company provides a great and faster web hosting solution for your ecommerce and business web hosting needs

Commercial
Affinity Internet a leading provider of web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Affinity's next-generation hosting infrastructure and core systems deliver the industry's most reliable solutions, backed...

Commercial
Affordable web hosting Host Station aim to provide its customers with high quality web hosting at a low affordable price. We specialize in hosting for both personal and small business web sites...

Commercial
Affordable Web Hosting Founded on a belief of making Internet web space and domain names available to customers at competitive rates, and backed by reliable and robust technology, Centrica Hosting has now become a market leading

Commercial
Affordable Webworks We provide all of our clients with cutting-edge hardware, software and technology. All servers are custom-built with the most reliable equipment for higher performance. We have a comprehensive set of

Commercial
Affordable Windows Web Hosting offers a number of services ranging from Affordable windows web hosting plans that come with the Plesk control panel, reseller plans on the Linux platform with cPanel/WHM, managed dedicated servers.

Commercial


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