The best web hosting server providers combine advanced IT management with comprehensive analytics. Entrusting your hard work and creativity to any other than a top web host is an unwise decision.
There's simply no amount of monetary savings that can justify risking sensitive data or intellectual property.
So it's imperative that your chosen web hosting server adheres to strict policies in a few key areas.
First off, a prospective subscriber should look into how rigorously the web hosting server applies security protocols are, in addition to how often its data backup programs are run.
This latter topic is just as important as the former, given the higher frequency with which hard drives either fail or become corrupted.
(The newer technology solid-state drives have proven to be more reliable, though not every web hosting server utilizes this improved hardware.)
What's more is that, while most of the leading data centers are indeed revamping their hardware, this process takes time and should not be assumed that your designated server will have SSD technology.)
However, it's not a fatal for a well-run web hosting server to still use hard drive storage devices. But what is crucial is how redundant their backup systems are, and whether they send copied data into the cloud or (re)store it locally.
If stored locally, it's always better if solid-state drives are used, though a more adequate setup is a combination of onsite + off-site facilities.
Managed and dedicated hosting providers have pioneered in backup processes, so a company which offers both dedicated and shared web hosting generally operates its entire network similarly.
Thus, a buyer needing cheap web hosting services for a website is apt to receive the same level of management expertise/attention as a larger (more expensive) plan.
We can't stress how important strong management is, due to how catastrophic the damages from security breaches or data losses are. And even if your files are ultimately recovered, it can be a prolonged (unnerving) process to suffer through.
Outside data-recovery specialists may have to be commissioned, in addition to various engineers to determine the nature and cause of the failure.
Moreover, in the case of cyber attacks/data theft, government officials and law enforcement agents may further lengthen the process with their inquiries.
The affected server may have to be quarantined and analyzed, with detailed interviews conducted with any user(s) of the compromised system.
Cyber-security professionals may want to speak to the host server members to determine whether anyone was involved in any dangerous, compromising, or illegal dealings which might have led to their being maliciously targeted by an adversary.
And the best-case scenario after all of this is you'll eventually recover your info, at which time it may no longer be relevant or useful.
The overall size of dedicated, shared, or comprehensive web hosting provider does not always translate into greater value.
So the question of whether a particular company is in fact superior must be assessed from various perspectives. Although, as mentioned above, the fundamentals of adequate security and data protection are non-negotiable.
The bottom line of these two issues is that, if a service (large or small) shows any weakness or has lax policies in either area, then it should be disqualified from consideration. Period.
These issues, along with myriad other concerns, is why it's generally not recommended to select free web hosting servers for anything other than pure hobby sites/blogs.
Any sort of website monetization aspirations you may have should definitely not based on a free internet host.
There are just too many affordable web host companies which have unmatched capabilities compared to free hosting providers.
Thus, now that we've eliminated free services for most purposes, the underlying message regarding the superiority of one web hosting server over the next is that sheer size is by no means an indicator of either quality or value.
At times, very large companies have external pressures (think shareholder returns) which compel them to scale back on various services to consumers.
Smaller, cheap web hosts may, in turn, offer more personalized plans and options which appeal to specific types of users.
So the selection process for your next web hosting provider should not be made in haste, as the consequences of going with an unproven brand can last an eternity.
1and1 Internet is one of those corporate anomalies which combines nimbleness with great size.
As one of the largest, most well-known brands in website hosting, 1&1 offers a broad range of services, including web domain registration, dedicated hosting plans, and VPS (virtual private server) solutions.
Priced affordably, 1and1 Internet is a proven leader in the web hosting server industry.
Furthermore, a few other formidable players are Host Gator, Liquid Web, Blue Host, and Dream Host.
Host Gator is both a commercial and consumer favorite, thanks to their innovative marketing and promotional outreach. Everything from virtual web hosting to video stream hosting packages is available at competitive rates.
Warm customer service and dedicated account representatives make doing business with Host Gator a pleasure, and the company is undoubtedly a top web host able to handle most any demands imaginable.
Liquid Web, Blue Host, and Dream Host serve their target groups well, with each having similar credentials as the other best web hosting companies of today.
Liquid Web, however, is probably most hailed as a business web hosting server, as their plans are well-tailored to the many needs of commercial entities.
Last but not least, GoDaddy spans the entire range of options. Managed cloud hosting, DNS web hosting, shared servers, and much more are offered from this highly-respected web host.
What's more is that GoDaddy is the largest website domain registrar in the world, which makes it an excellent choice for this purpose as well.
Quality, affordability, and reliability are hallmarks of GoDaddy's brand, as they're perennial leaders in annual web hosting reviews.
Not to mention that e-commerce and business email are priced competitively, so there's not much lacking in this hosting giant.
To this point, we've discussed exclusively the various types of 'pure' web hosting servers that provide the all that's needed to design and construct a website.
And given that purpose, the companies we've outlined are undoubtedly fine choices to go with.
Having said that, however, creating a website — no matter how grand or attractive it may be — by means translates into online success.
To better illustrate this point, let's use a typical offline business as an example...
In the physical retailing space, the most highly-valued locations are those that receive the greatest volumes of traffic.
Traffic counts are, depending on the type of establishment, measured in either foot (pedestrian) or vehicular.
Densely-populated urban locations – e.g., New York City – place a premium on commercial sites (restaurants, retail stores, and service businesses) which receive large numbers of organic foot traffic on a daily basis.
The commercial space in these instances commands a substantially higher cost per square foot than others, due to the free patronage afforded prime locations.
Business owners interested in these spots are more than willing to pay elevated rental fees, in result of the drastically decreased – if not totally eliminated – advertising expenses incurred to drum up an adequate amount of business to survive.
This give-and-take holds true for other sites as well, especially those that receive lots of vehicular traffic on a daily basis.
Now, given these revelations, it's easy to see why the timeless real estate adage of 'location, location, location' rings true.
So that explains (in the simplest of terms) the nature of urban land economics and pricing structure.
What's more is that, with physical property, there's a long history of data that supports the classic notion of 'if you build it, they will come,'
But what about the digital commerce (real estate) markets? Is it also true that, if we simply put aesthetically-pleasing, well-designed website that visitors will automatically find us?
Unfortunately, the answer to that is a resounding no!
There's simply no such thing as inherently prime property online. Each website starts off in the proverbial remote location on a web hosting server.
There are no advantages granted a company based on where it decides to set up shop. Traffic must either be won organically from the search engines or paid for on a variety of platforms.
And unless you own an already (very) successful business with a 6-figure+ advertising budget, it's the former means by which your online business can grow.
As noted in the previous section, the majority of online business owners are ill-equipped to compete with larger companies' ad budgets.
But unlike the conventional realm of commerce, the internet – serving as the 'great equalizer' – helps level the playing field for the masses.
Creating a website in hopes of earning a living online is both a dream and a goal for people the world over, but there's much more that goes into being successful than a building a site.
Leading web hosting server brands have experienced impressive growth by marketing to average people with aspirations of making money online.
The constant hype about how quick and easy it is to put up a website is touted ad nauseum, with zero mention of how income will ultimately be generated.
Because without sufficient volumes of targeted traffic (the lifeblood of a profitable website), the only thing that will be earning any dough is the web hosting server to which you pay your monthly service fee.
So the bottom line to making a living online — regardless of which website host one selects — is that you must, daily, get an ample number of people to visit and engage with your site.
And simple as it may sound, the process is far more complex in practice.
The challenging nature of succeeding online is partly due to the fundamental nature of competition and business, while much of it stems from a plethora of bad information and deceit.
Website architecture, search engine optimization, and digital marketing best practices are but a few areas in which you'll need to become proficient in order to have the best chance of winning online.
And with so much to not only learn, but also do, one can quickly become overwhelmed (discouraged) by the formidable task of beating the odds.
Similar to many other digital services and providers, the number and quality of options available from leading web hosting servers varies considerably.
What's more is that even while there may be similarities between one firm to the next, more often than not, only a few of these companies will have the most essential plans (functionality) you seek in a provider.
And while price is the natural 'shiny object' which attracts the greatest amount of attention, delving into the nitty-gritty of service offerings has proven to be most valuable for most businesses looking for a standout web hosting server.
Well-written and emotionally-stimulating sales copy is an effective means for hosting providers to secure the bulk of their new subscribers, though detailed technical literature holds far greater weight with more sophisticated shoppers.
For example, business email web hosting users are likely to discount corporate-generated highlights and features outlined on the firm's website, in addition to glowing customer reviews written by unverifiable sources.
This is not to say that a broad perspective of attributes and experiences are deemed worthless by enterprise technology personnel, but that a granular analysis of the backend operations better assist decision makers in these positions.
Thus, in order to paint a comprehensive picture of what all a particular web hosting server company can offer your firm, it's wise to observe sales copy and consumer reviews skeptically.
That being said, reading as much as possible about users' experiences with the host is a great first step in gaining insight into what you can expect from the hosting brand in question.
The key to this front-end breakdown is to remember that it's only an initial exercise in determining which company would best serve your unique interests.
Then, once you've established a solid short-list of potential providers, an in-depth review of the technical capabilities offered by the company is highly advisable.
Perusing available information — including technical brochures and operations white papers — is by no means easy reading, though it's necessary to make the best selection for your firm.
Omitting this crucial step in this 2-part process has been the culprit of operational inefficiency, and has even led to the precipitous downfall of once stalwart organizations.
The lesson here is that the temptation to select your next web hosting server based solely on price- or 5-star ratings alone is a recipe for disaster; akin to buying a used car without first conducting a thorough mechanical assessment prior to purchase.
The exterior may, in fact, be in exemplary condition, while the internal engine components are in total disrepair. Ideally, one seeks to find that which offers an acceptable state for both, and this holds true for web service companies too.
So don't feel rushed, pressured, or overwhelmed when evaluating your next prospective web host. Keep in mind that subscription price alone is a poor indicator of the overall value received from your plan.
Customer reviews and detailed features lists provided by the company are helpful, to be sure, though they only constitute one half of the equation.
Take some time to study the technical aspects of the web hosting server as well, and you'll be well positioned to weed out brands which would ill-serve your enterprise's operations.
In the present days of digital commerce and marketing, the importance of contracting with a strong web hosting server cannot be overstated.
Doing business online has continued to be a central focus for some of the largest, most revered companies in the world, as billions of prospective customers have yet to become 'plugged in.'
What's more is that this seemingly endless pool of consumers is not exclusive to emerging markets and developing nations; the astounding prospects of acquiring new shoppers in economic superpowers is compelling as well.
And while the undisputed king of commerce was, in time past, the physical shopping center/marketplace, the contemporary medium of choice is now the internet.
The most substantial marketing potential now lies within the millions of websites worldwide, with innumerable opportunities to both advertise through and sell goods on these digital properties.
So given the prominent role that commercial websites now play in businesses of all stripes, it's no stretch to say the web hosting server of these firms can cause serious harm if not managed wisely.
Take for instance the recent hiccup on the world-renowned NY Times website, where a reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue may have been lost per an internal site maintenance mistake.
With only a few mis-keyed pieces of code to a critical Ads.txt file, an extraordinary amount of advertising revenue was effectively forfeited as users were not served the customary suite of ads on the site.
Granted, this example speaks to an error made on The Time's end and not one caused by its dedicated web hosting server, but is a prime illustration of how exceedingly complex – and consequential – website/web server maintenance is.
Literally, thousands of these actions are taken in data centers each day, with the key to success being little-to-no errors in the process.
Web hosting server administration is decidedly more involved than standard webmastering, as the level of sophistication to oversee the former is much greater.
The potential loss of business (revenue) associated with faulty web hosting management far exceeds the pitfalls of poor website maintenance.
Because when an individual site change either restricts or diminishes traffic, the root cause can be ascertained relatively quickly.
On the other hand, however, server-side interruptions occurring at any number of data centers can render a digital property owner both powerless and distraught.
Frantic calls to the hosting provider's technical lines are invariably met with long waiting times and less-than-competent associates, who, in all fairness, are just as powerless themselves.
So in light the commercial risks involved with the various missteps that can derail your business, it's imperative that you limit your exposure to the most common perils.
For one, limiting the number of people who have access to your web hosting control panel (C-panel) is perhaps the safest method to reduce mistakes on the client side.
And for the more catastrophic and prolonged damage that can be caused by data center tumult, selecting a reputable web hosting server with an exemplary record of uptime and service is the best thing you can do to avoid extensive harm to your online business.
The complex and winding nature of web hosting server management is something that should not be taken lightly.
The more you can learn about the principles by which various companies operate, the more confidence you can have in choosing one for your business.
Choosing an affordable web host with a strong financial track record is something that any wise consumer would appreciate, along with the many other topics we've covered in this article.
Because similar to any service firm with which you do business, it's always considerably more difficult to move your account (assets) to a new provider in result of the financial insolvency of your current selection.
And per the slew of nerve-racking reasons outlined above, suffering through the shortcomings of a web hosting server on which your business relies can wreak havoc on both your income and your health.
Thus, it's imperative that you invest sufficient time and research in finding the best-suited web hosting server for your needs.
Creating a checklist of the absolute 'must haves' for your intended purpose(s) will help you navigate the many brands, features, and pricing packages available from the top internet services firms.
Furthermore, once your master checklist of required services has been created, building an equally-useful 'hosting company matrix' will complement your checklist and expedite the evaluation process of specific brands.
Either of these tools can be designed with various levels of inputs and measurements, with the objective of minimizing the duplication of work – in addition to the winnowing out of unacceptable web hosting servers.
And while the granular-level, technical details by which various hosts operate are beneficial to know for those so inclined, there are more essential points of interest for general users to investigate.
State-of-the-art security and data handling are foremost on the list of requirements, as any dedicated, managed, or shared web hosting server which fails in this category should be avoided like the plague!
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