Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

How to Find the Right Web Host

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

How to Find the Right Web Host

Article excerpt

If you're in business and online, it's likely that at some point as your business changes, you'll want to switch Web hosting companies or consider using one if you don't already.

The greatest benefit to using a "Web hoster" is the greater assurance that it will keep your site up. With redundant connections, backup power and security safeguards, Web hosts specialize in keeping you online, letting you focus on your core business.

Finding a Web host is easy, but finding a quality host that's right for you can be less so.

Jupitermedia's List of Web Hosts, at , lets you search for hosts according to the type of host you need and the services it provides, though it offers no quality ratings or opinions. (At the same site, Jupitermedia also provides useful background information about Web hosting.), at , provides reviews and ratings for a small number of Web hosts.

Netcratt, at , offers monthly rankings of Web hosts in terms of reliability, as well as rankings for longer periods of time (search for "reliable"), but doesn't indicate what type of host each company is.

The most important consideration in selecting the right hoster for you is knowing which type will best serve your needs and budget, says Dev Chanchani, president of INetU, a Web hosting company in Allentown, Pa., and on the Web at that has consistently ranked highly in Netcraft's reliability rankings.

You have four main choices in types of Web hosts.

* With shared hosting, sometimes called virtual hosting, you share one machine with other clients of the hosting company. The hosting company manages the server (the machine), while you manage your site. This is an economical option, but it can limit your use of special software programs and is better for lower-traffic sites.

* Collocated hosting involves buying the server and supplying it to the host and is appropriate for do-it-yourselfers. The host takes care of the network connection, including providing redundant power systems, and you take care of the machine. For an extra fee, some collocated hosts will provide server support.

* With unmanaged dedicated hosting, you lease a server from a host, which typically supplies limited Web-based support. Umnanaged dedicated hosts can be appropriate for gaming and hobbyist servers.

* Managed dedicated hosting, like unmanaged dedicated hosting, means leasing a server from a host company. …

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