Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Selecting Your Web Host: Part 1

A few tips for selecting a good hosting company...

PART 1: AVAILABILITY

What is the most important criteria for selecting your hosting service? Is it the price, the disk space, or is it the bandwidth? Probably neither. What matters in hosting is the availability of a website throughout the day.

A popular measure of availability is the uptime guarantee, such as a "three nines", i.e. 99.9% uptime guarantee. How good is it? "Three nines" translates into about 10 minutes of downtime per week or about 43 minutes of dowtime per month. Obviously it´s not good enough for many professional websites.

What is the next best? Well, it´s "four nines", i.e. 99.99%, which translates into 1 minute of downtime per week or just over 4 minutes per month. Even better to is to have a "five nines" guarantee, i.e. 99.999% of uptime. This would translate into a virtually uninterupted service with only 6 seconds of dowtime per week or less than half a minute of downtime per month.

When reviewing an uptime guarantee, check whether maintenance is included. Most often it´s excluded from a guarantee, which means that all planned downtime would not count as an outage.

In most cases, you might have to learn about the reliability of your hosting provider the hard way - i.e. by experiencing the downtime. Are there any tools to help you monitor the situation? Yes. I recommend MONTASTIC. It´s a free tool and very easy to use. Whenever your site is down, it will send you a message. After a short while, you will have a good idea about the actual availability of your website.

I am pasting below the Green Page from Montastic. It provides a large degree of psychological comfort for those monitoring a few websites at a time.


Another tip is to avoid long-term contracts with hosting providers. The ideal option is to have a monthly (or a quarterly) billing cycle. If you decide to switch, at least your financial costs will be limited.

1 comment:

sanjith said...

Nice tips about how to choose a best hosting provider to host their website online....From my point of view a good hosting provider is the one which satisfies the following features .They are good Customer service and support ,company legitimacy ,company existence,security ,review about that company in forum and blogs. The above said features are satisfied by TheWebpole.com so i have hosted my website with them for past one year ..