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What do you look for when choosing a web host?

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Posted

I've been looking for a new host recently, and to be honest I'm at a loss. It seems to me that pretty much every host I look at has 99.9% uptime, all the same features (Cpanel, mysql, bla bla), and with shared hosting the upload/download speeds are largely the same if we ignore the huge websites like bluehost, hostgator, etc. and the costs for hosting small websites is ridiculously cheap everywhere.

So what I was wondering was how do you go about determining which web host to choose? Do you go by hosting review sites, or personal recommendations from friends? The only discernible feature I can think of is customer service, which I would probably say is the biggest thing influencing me right now, but with so many companies out there you would think some of them would be able to differentiate themselves. Or perhaps I'm just missing something obvious.

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Posted

Media Temple is definitely for developers, you would love them if you'd want mad control on a dedicated server. The servers use Plesk instead of Cpanel though.

Although you said that you'd ignore em. Host Gator has good features for dedicated servers and are usually meant for those who don't know much about all the hosting, thus using customer support to get what you need.

But to be really honest about what I really want. I'd want one of my Mac's being used as a server at home so I can have complete control of everything at home. Of course it's more expensive, but in the coming time, hopefully what I host will provide the revenue to cover it all.

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Posted

Media Temple is definitely for developers, you would love them if you'd want mad control on a dedicated server. The servers use Plesk instead of Cpanel though.

Although you said that you'd ignore em. Host Gator has good features for dedicated servers and are usually meant for those who don't know much about all the hosting, thus using customer support to get what you need.

But to be really honest about what I really want. I'd want one of my Mac's being used as a server at home so I can have complete control of everything at home. Of course it's more expensive, but in the coming time, hopefully what I host will provide the revenue to cover it all.

Yeah media temple is the best I've known but too expensive in my opinion :p

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Posted

I usually go for cost, I'm using free hosting justnow for a test website but usually I use a VPS for more control.

However, most hosts are pretty good nowadays, there isn't the big differences like their used to be.

price and root access is what I look for

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Posted

shared hosting isn't really differentiated between different hosts.

a few pointers:

- stay as far away from GoDaddy & affiliates as possible

- read reviews, get recommendations, synthesize as much as you can find on a host

- review their actual restrictions, everybody claims stuff like unlimited storage/bandwidth but you'll never get anywhere near either before you hit CPU, RAM, or database restrictions.

- research how the company treats customers and how easy it is to leave

- some niche features may vary between hosts: SFTP access, FastCGI, different versions of PHP/MySQL, php.ini override

- the best hosts tend to be smaller ones, they are much better than the big names, but a lot more small hosts just popped out of nowhere. avoid ones where you can't find any information about. the big names are kinda a safe starting point if you don't want to worry too much.

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Posted

If you're looking for free hosting with a custom domain, I'd recommend 000webhost.com.

If you're willing to pay a bit, I'd go with the shared or reserved Windows Azure for Websites plans because they're easy to scale and have great support, IME.

currently I'm using the free Windows Azure web hosting with a custom, cURL-based proxy running on 000webhost to handle custom domains.

I generally look for websites that are running on those hosts, and then browse through their forums (or send them a help request) to see how often they general respond to help requests. Also look through the forums for any indications of recurring problems (consistent downtime, unsupported features, etc.).

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Posted

For just starting out I am really loving windows azure... it's a bit different then normal hosting tho...

the UI is fantastic and very easy to set up anything.... I got my vm setup within minutes. I got custom domains on mine.

For enterprise I recommend inetu becuase it's fully managed they take care of literally everything... and they've had no downtime and you never hear anything bad about them... that's why I partnered with them! :D

inetu hosts pokemon.com, bmw, and sony music's sites as well as segway and CREDO mobile to give you a few names...

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Posted

There in the same country as me, and hopefully as local as possible. Saying that though my current hosting company is a few hundread miles away but been plased with them.

Also, oddly enough, I don't look for the cheapest, I usually look for the more high-end prices

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Posted

Media Temple is definitely for developers, you would love them if you'd want mad control on a dedicated server. The servers use Plesk instead of Cpanel though.

Although you said that you'd ignore em. Host Gator has good features for dedicated servers and are usually meant for those who don't know much about all the hosting, thus using customer support to get what you need.

But to be really honest about what I really want. I'd want one of my Mac's being used as a server at home so I can have complete control of everything at home. Of course it's more expensive, but in the coming time, hopefully what I host will provide the revenue to cover it all.

Hey there! Just wanted to say thank you for the kind words about (mt) Media Temple. :)

If you ever need any help from us or have any questions about our products, Twitter is a great way to get in touch: @MediaTemple

DrewJ

(mt) Media Temple

@MediaTemple

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Posted

Hey there! Just wanted to say thank you for the kind words about (mt) Media Temple. :)

If you ever need any help from us or have any questions about our products, Twitter is a great way to get in touch: @MediaTemple

DrewJ

(mt) Media Temple

@MediaTemple

No doubt :)

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