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Finding Affordable Web Hosting Services

Many people spend a lot of time trying to find the cheapest web hosting services available. However the cheapest web host is not always the best. You may be much better off finding a host that can offer a balance between features, services and cost.

The Costs of Cheap Web Hosts
As with many things in life when you are looking at web hosting services you do get what you pay for. The cheaper the service is in general the less features and support will be available. The cheapest web hosting services can often impose strict limitations on bandwidth and disk space. Although this may not be a problem if you are a planning a small, personal website if you want to run a business online then this could be very restrictive. Reliability can also be a problem with very cheap web hosting services. This is a key issue as it could mean that your website is unavailable when you most need it.

How to Find Affordable Web Hosts
There are web hosting services that can offer some very competitive prices and still provide an excellent service. With so many plans available it can be difficult finding one that can offer the features you need at the right cost. To help you find the right web host at affordable prices here are some basic tips.
• Reliability – look for hosts that can offer guaranteed ‘uptime’. This is the percentage of time that your website will be online and available for customers/visitors. You can usually get an uptime guarantee of around 99.8% with some of the more affordable packages. This should be ideal for most website needs.
• Storage Space – this is the amount of space you will have available on the web host server to store your website files. The space you need will depend on the type of website you are planning. If you want to run a business online then you need to choose adequate space for starting up and also the flexibility from your web hosting services to upgrade in the future if required.
• Bandwidth – this is an important factor which can affect the functionality of your website for visitors. Limited bandwidth can make high traffic websites very slow which can put off your visitors. It is important to make sure you get the bandwidth you need to run your website efficiently.
• Features – check that web hosting services can offer you the features you want to run your website. Online businesses may need secure payment facilities (shopping cart and e-commerce), online catalogues and private customer accounts. You may also want to run interactive features such as message boards and forums. Check each of the web hosting services available in your price range to see which can offer you the features you need at the best prices.

Customer Reviews
When you are looking at web hosting services it is also important to check customer and industry reviews. These can help you judge whether or not the service can deliver on its promises. There are plenty of review sites available online and these will give you a good overview of the web hosting services available. Remember though that when it comes to personal reviews many people only leave comments if they were very happy or unhappy with the service. Balance these against the industry reviews to get a more realistic perspective.

When you are looking for affordable web hosting services the cheapest plan may not always be the best one for you. Take the time to research the options available and compare services before you decide.

February 8th, 2011

Definitions

Free Hosting

…Some ISPs offer free web hosting.

Free web hosting is best suited for small sites with low traffic, like personal sites. It is not recommended for high traffic or for real business. Technical support is often limited, and technical options are few.

Very often you cannot use your own domain name at a free site. You have to use a name provided by your host like http://www.freesite.com/users/~yoursite.htm. This is hard to type, hard to remember, and not very professional…

Collocated Hosting

Collocation means “co-location”. Collocated hosting lets you place your own web server on the premises (locations) of a service provider.

This is pretty much the same as running your own server in your own office, only that it is located at a place better designed for it.

Most likely an ISP will have dedicated resources like high-security against fire and vandalism, regulated backup power, dedicated Internet connections and more.

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