Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.162.172.144

Forum Moderators: mack

Message Too Old, No Replies

How do you judge a hosting company?

Perhaps a few red flags to watch for.

     
3:59 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 29, 2005
posts:20
votes: 0


I know we can't discuss specific web host companies here, but I was hoping to get some pointers on being able to judge the reliability of the information I am finding on the web.
4:40 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 24, 2002
posts:894
votes: 0


Good old intuition, follow your gut feeling and if it's too good to be true, it usually is ;o)
7:01 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 19, 2003
posts:3173
votes: 2


Watch for cheap hosts, they generally have hidden charges like repointing of domain names email accounts may be limited in number etc.

I have one that I use and consider to be good so far, so if you want the URl sticky me.

7:21 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 18, 2003
posts:1925
votes: 0


Look for hosts that charge ~ over $10/month for an average hosting package.
10:33 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 8, 2005
posts:833
votes: 0


Get recommendations from real, live people you trust.
3:44 am on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jab_creations is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 26, 2004
posts:3151
votes: 12


In my personal experience it's what you want, need, and will eventually want and need in the future that should determine who you host with.

To get an effective answer you need to state an effective question. What basic components do you wish to have working on your site? Do you know what languages you will need/want to use? Not all servers will support everything off the bat even when a host is dependable and reputable.

A good suggestion is to go with a company that will allow a 30 day full money back guarantee.

I suggest calling any hosts toll free tech support several times during the day to see how good they are at answering their phones. 24-7-365 phone-tech support is another must have and it's a good idea to see if you can land a reasonably short call at say 1 or 5am. Waiting over half an hour multiple times is a sign that the tech has the phone glued to his head or out to lunch!

4:33 am on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 4, 2002
posts:1687
votes: 0


Once you've decided on a hosting company, run a server monitor on your computer for the first while to see if their uptime is what they claim. There are simple little programs that check the header on a URL every so many minutes to see if it's live. (Sticky me, if you want, for info on a freeware version that works well for me).

Give it a month, and if you've have seen regular outages/downtime, try another company. It's no big deal moving a website.

2:00 pm on Nov 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 29, 2005
posts:20
votes: 0


I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice. I am so glad I found this forum!
4:33 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2003
posts:5069
votes: 12


Along the same lines, how does one test bandwidth/transfer? We're looking to host a forum site that regularly has 500+ users online and its looking like at peak times we could see 1000-2000+ extremely active users(like all of them posting and refreshing constantly for an afternoon, all at the same time).

The traffic has caused problems before. I can make a pretty good guess at the hardware needed to handle the site, but how do I make sure that the hosting company can handle that type of load? are there any tests one can run to stress test a site/server?

5:15 am on Nov 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:June 25, 2002
posts:40
votes: 0


Wheel,

The problem you're describing isn't just a bandwidth issue. With heavy forum usage, you need to be sure that there are adequate database and server resources available.

A number of shared hosting companies run a load-balanced architecture wherein your forum would be served from a number of machines at once. I'd look into that in preference to a typical standalone server, and you should be able to find something at around the $10 pm price point mentioned above.

7:26 am on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 19, 2003
posts:3173
votes: 2


Another pointer I use is how quick is teh tech dept at getting back onceyouve a problem.
4:23 pm on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2005
posts:515
votes: 0


"1000-2000+ extremely active users(like all of them posting and refreshing constantly for an afternoon, all at the same time). "

Sorry to say, but this kind of traffic is going to need something a LOT more substantial than a shared server.

You're looking at (at least) a dedicated box with dual processor and 2GB Ram, and preferably fast SCSI disks in RAID.

4:26 pm on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2005
posts:515
votes: 0


Sorry ,I see that wasn't from the original poster. Ignore me - I haven't had my morning coffee yet...
4:41 pm on Nov 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2003
posts:5069
votes: 12


We're currently on a dedicated server where I've turned off all non-essential processes. So yes, it'll be a dedicated box. And I'll be recommending all the horsepower we can get hardware-wise. Hardware's basically cheap and more is better, I'm OK there.

What I'm concerned about is that I believe on busy days the site can actually start to fill a 5-10mbit connection, sustained for the a good part of the day. I know everyone claims gigabit transfer all over the place and huge connections, but I'm looking to find a way to test this type of traffic on a data center. Hate to find out too late that the server's fine but the hosting company's firewall or router's can't keep up (I've seen this before).