Web hosting basics: What differentiates the bad from the best web hosting services? | Best Web Hosting

Differences Between Bad and Best Hosts

Differences Between Bad and Best HostsFinding a reliable and cheap web host can be a daunting task in a market that is overcrowded with offers. The “cheap” part is easy, but finding a best web hosting service that you can rely on can often take a while. I know, because I have tried a lot of different web hosting companies up through the years, even run one myself. To give you a better understanding of what sets a web host that offers best web hosting apart from others I will give you a “backstage” view.

A web hosting company really only consists of two services (from the customer’s point of view):

  • web hosting
  • support

Everything else usually goes on behind the scene. Your credit card gets charged each month, the techies at the company stop a network attack, you really don’t care as long as your web site is up and running, and that your questions are answered or problem resolved when you contact their support department.

From the web hosting companies’ perspective, these are obviously the most expensive services to provide to the customer also.

Web hosting

Differences Between Bad and Best HostsThe most common form of web hosting today is referred to as “shared” web hosting. Basically, all web pages that exist on the internet are stored on a hard drive, on some computer with network access. A web hosting company usually has they’re own storage facility (data center) where these computers are connected to the Internet.

These computers or “servers” as they are called, can host anywhere from 1 to several hundreds of web sites, depending on how powerful the servers are. Generally speaking, if the server hardware/software is cheap (old) and/or poorly set up, few sites can be hosted. If the server hardware/software is expensive (new) and/or efficiently set up, more sites can be hosted. But of course, the most crucial factors in being able to host few/many web sites are the traffic to the web sites, and what kind of content/services it is offering. High traffic and/or resource intense content (for example streamed video) and services can quickly place a strain on the server. High-quality web servers can be got from some of the best web hosting providers. Just as their tag implies these web hosts offer the best web hosting experience for their clients. When a web host takes all possible measures to keep a client comfortable, that web host is regarded as a best web host.

Where the web hosting company might cut on quality

Differences Between Bad and Best HostsNow, based on the above information about how a web site is hosted, you can see that it is in the interest of the web hosting company to place as many web sites on a computer/server as possible, so that the expense for hardware, software and man-hours is kept low. This gives us two ends of the spectrum with regards to quality:

Bad host

  • Places too many web sites (customers) on the same server. In other words, the server is overloaded. This can result in down time due to the server not being able to serve your web site to your visitors when the server is most busy. It can also result in down time because the server needs to be rebooted often.
  • Does not handle instances well when there are specific web sites on a server that are utilizing most of the resources and creating problems for the other customer. This can happen even if the web hosting company has a policy to not place too many web sites on the same server. They need to actively monitor and take action when needed.

Good host

  • Only places an amount of web sites that the server can truly handle. The best web host has a nice buffer between what the server can handle and the number of web sites; so that they have time to handle growing web sites that need to be moved (see next point).
  • Once they see a trend that a web site on a server might jeopardize the server performance through increased resource utilization, the web hosting company will ask the customer to upgrade/move to a server that can handle the traffic. They monitor, and take action when need be, all the while helping the customer that needs to move so that the effort is minimal.

There are of course other factors that can degrade the quality of the web hosting service, like network problems and outages, small network connections to “internet providers”, the servers burning up, etc. However, it is my opinion that most of the problems customers with a “bad” web hosting company experiences are due to “overcrowded server. That and bad support, which I will discuss in part 2 of Web hosting basics: From the web hosting companies’ perspective.

Stay tuned!

A typical Web hosting geek. Nothing else!

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