7 Webhost Features That Simply Rock!
Okay here’s the thing. There are plenty of good webhosting companies out there but far fewer ones that can be called excellent.
So what differentiates a great webhosting company from one that is merely good? Well let’s go ahead and answer that but first a very brief refresher course on webhosting.
Webhosting is little more than a place where you can store the various files that make up your website or blog. The main difference between webhost storage and that of your computer is that the files on your computer are locally stored whereas those on a webhosting server (fancy term for a storage computer) are located remotely and are readily accessible to the internet.
Thus whenever anybody wants to see your blog or website, a request for a particular file (webpage) is sent to the webhost server, which retrieves the file and directs it to their internet browser thereby enabling them to see it.
And that really is all that webhosting is. When you pay a webhost you are basically renting space for your blog or website. That said, it cannot be denied that web hosting has certainly come a long way and these days with so much web hosting competition out there it is difficult for companies to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
However some web hosting companies undoubtedly stand head and shoulders above the rest, which so happens to be the focus of this article; comparing the merely good webhosting companies from the great! Many features of webhosting that used to mandate a premium fee are now standard on most webhosts so we are going to focus our attention on those features that distinguish the excellent webhost from the merely good!
Features Of A Good Webhost
1. Uptime: This parameter reflects the amount of time your webhosting server is up and running. Put simply when your webhost’s server is up and running your blog or website is accessible to anybody who wants to check it out. When the webhosting server is down your blog is down too and inaccessible.
Any decent webhost should be able to guarantee a server uptime of at least 97%. The best web hosting services can typically guarantee 99% server uptime.
2. Support: Ever heard that saying that a webhost is only as good as its support? Well it’s true. Plenty of web hosting companies proudly boast 24/7 technical support but far too often this is rarely the case. 24/7 webhost support is really important especially since problems tend to arise at the most inconvenient of times.
A good web hosting company should have nothing less than 24/7 support. Trust me when that fateful day skids round the horizon when you desperately need technical support (at the most inconvenient of times of course) you’ll be grateful you had the presence of mind to choose a webhost that actually does have genuine 24/7 support!
3. Storage: The amount of storage you need will be determined by the type of blog or website you are hosting. Obviously if you are running a commerce oriented site you’ll need more storage than say a personal site. The good news these days is that most decent web hosting services provide more than enough storage requirements for even the most basic of plans!
4. Bandwidth: this parameter is the measure of the amount of data allowed to flow across your site. Once again the amount of dataflow will be determined by the type of site you are hosting. However with the rise of social media a huge spike of dataflow can happen to even the smallest of blogs. When that happens unless your webhosting plan provides for ample bandwidth then your blog will simply crash from all that traffic congestion!
Once again a good number of webhosting companies boast “unlimited bandwidth” but there are very few that actually deliver on such a claim without adding on some jacked-up fee!
5. Cost: There’s not much to say here except that these days good web hosting shouldn’t and generally doesn’t cost an-arm-and-a-leg! In fact for less than /month there’s no reason why you cannot get excellent webhosting.
6. Email: Yeah, yawn! Everybody these days offers hundreds (if not thousands of POP3 addresses) but let’s be honest how many of us will ever get to use that number. However it’s better to have the option than not, but never let it be the deciding factor for choosing one webhost over the next.
Any and every half-decent webhost will provide you with more than enough email addresses than you could possibly ever need!
Okay that pretty much covers the basic features you can expect from a good webhost, now let’s look at those indispensible features characteristic of excellent webhosting companies.
Features of Excellent Webhosting Companies
It is worth noting that the following listed features are found not only in premium webhost plans but also in the most basic of plans typically offered by excellent webhosting services!
1. Free Domain Name: You no longer need to register your new domain name with a domain register service and incur an extra expense. Why? Because the best webhosts actually give you a permanent free domain name with their basic hosting plan!
2. Domain Privacy: So what is domain privacy? Well once you register a domain name unless it is registered as private anybody and their pet hamster can find out that site belongs to you. Such a situation leaves your site open to spam and other ill-intentioned activities of miscreants. Registering your domain with privacy keeps if off the public radar, the only catch being that domain name register services usually slap you with an added fee for it!
These days though the best webhosts not only allow you to register a domain name for free with even their most basic webhosting plans but they also throw in domain privacy free-of-charge into the package! Cool huh?
3. Storage: A great webhost won’t skimp on storage and will offer you unlimited storage even with their basic webhosting plans.
4. Hosting Unlimited Domains: This to me is perhaps the most exciting and appealing feature characteristic of any grade A webhost. So what exactly is hosting of unlimited domains?
Well has there ever been a time that you wished to host an entirely different domain but in the end you didn’t because of financial constrictions (you couldn’t afford paying for another webhosting package). Well, those days are gone! Now with unlimited domain webhosting you can actually host as many domains as you wish for the same single price that you are paying for one domain!
And believe me there will come that time when you wish to have a separate new domain (this is especially true if your domains are business or commerce related!)
5. Dedicated Server Upgrade: The very best web hosting services make it simple and inexpensive to upgrade from a shared server (all basic webhost plans are on shared servers) to a dedicated server. The question then is why and when would you ever need a dedicated server?
Well let’s assume that you sell stuff on your website, over time it gets more well-known and popular until lo and behold comes that glorious day when you’re getting a flood of traffic. Now on a shared server only a portion of that web traffic is going to get through because of bandwidth constrictions (as mentioned earlier). If the traffic volume gets too great then your website is going to crash and thus be inaccessible.
Also remember that on a shared server you are sharing your webhosting with thousands of other webmasters who are also doing their very best to drive as much traffic to their own websites and blogs. What that means is that all that web traffic on a shared server is going to get bottlenecked and slow down the response time of your site.
What is the response time? The time it takes for someone to type the URL of your blog into their browser to that moment when it loads and they can see it. The worst case scenario caused by web traffic congestion on a shared webhosting server is when it takes ages for your domain to show in a websurfer’s browser (commonly known as “hanging” in the industry) and they simply leave!
Still think that you might not need a dedicated server somewhere down the line? Now your typical average webhost will use dedicated-server web hosting as an excuse to plunder and pillage your wallet under the false pretense they are offering so-called premium business web hosting! (This kind of webhosting typically sets you back 0 and upwards a month).
The very best web hosting companies however will allow you to seamlessly upgrade to dedicated-server hosting for as little as /year (yes I did say 30 dollars per year not per month)!
6. 0 Advertising Credit Coupons: Webhosting competition is so fierce these days that many webhosts typically offer you up to 0 credit worth of free PPC (pay per click advertising such as Google Adwords) at signup! Isn’t competition just great?
7. One-click Hassle Free Installment of WordPress: I’m sure you have probably heard of WordPress and if you haven’t let me just say it is the best blogging platform out there. WordPress has enabled millions of non-techies to become webmasters in their own right!
How does WordPress do that?
Well put simply with the use of themes WordPress has made the web designer and their exorbitant fees redundant, and since all one has to do on a blog is type in text, there is no need for web language and coding, so the days of requiring a webmaster to manage your site are long gone too!
The one downside to