There are many web hosts available and they are not all equal. Some are very good at handling the basics while others are better at e-commerce or high-tech solutions. Some are free (typically limited in what you can do) and some are not. You will need to check into their contract to see what they provide, what they don’t provide, what they allow you to do and what they don’t.
- Can they handle your current needs?
- Can they handle your anticipated traffic (be realistic as the top 100 websites get approximately 80% of all the traffic)?
- Will they overlay your site with another window or put your site into a frame or add HTML that advertises their site and interferes with your site presentation?
- What about your future needs?
- What is their customer service like?
- Are their customers happy?
Just because a firm has few customers does not mean they are not qualified to host your site. Some hosts will be a little pickier than others in who they will host for. Others, although they will host just about anyone may have a reputation that does not fit with what you are developing a site for.
Many web developers also provide hosting services. Many of these will only host the clients they do work for.
Make sure your host provides you with copies of the web traffic log or will do traffic log analysis for you.
Web Server Hardware and Software
There is a difference although the term webserver generally refers to both at the same time.
Some hosting companies only host certain technologies such as Apache/PHP/MySQL or Microsoft IIS. Others host on both and some use other software and hardware such as Apache running on Apple’s X-Serve and Mac OSX.
- Apache server software can run on just about any machine. It is by far the most used server software.
- PHP and MySQL (a web programming language and a database) can be hosted on Linux, Unix, Windows (not well but it does) and even Apple’s X-Serve.
- Microsoft IIS will only run on a windows server.
Be advised that not all hosting software is equal. Some are better or faster or more secure than others.
Do your research and make your plan.
More on SEO & Web Marketing: