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The Ultimate Shared Hosting Checklist
th13rteen
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22

by th13rteen th13rteen is offline 12 Jul 2008

Originally written for www.WebRampage.com by me (th13rteen).

I was looking for a decent webhost and I forgot a few things that I was supposed to check for. So I thought why not make a list of things that we should all look into before choosing a webhost. Lets call it the ultimate shared hosting checklist.
Well we all know the basics. See how much space and monthly bandwidth you will get. Don't forget email accounts and databases. You know the usual stuff. So lets move on to the more important ones.

Are they overselling?


Oh please don't go with a overselling webhost. Chances are you'll be hosted on a oversold piece of shit if you go with them. So how to tell if they're overselling or not? Well is it too good too be true? Are they giving you 500GB or 1500GB of space and 100TB bandwidth for just $5? That's overselling my friend.
And you won't even need more than 2-10 gigs of space. Trust me. And for bandwidth I would go with like 50-200 gigs (just so it can handle traffic spikes).

Are they a reseller?


Most resellers are fly-by-night hosts. They take your money and they go poof! Say goodbye to your money and files. You don't want that to happen. And even if they are a reseller check how long they have been in business.
The database size limit

This is very important if you plan to host a forum or a database-based site. I've looked around and most big webhosts have about 100MB limit in a shared environment. 100MB should be good enough for a while. Like if your site grows you'll probably move to a VPS or a dedicated server.

Number of concurrent users on a database


Oh yeah this is 100% geeky thing. Its the number of database connections being made at the same time. This is really, really important if you have a forum (especially if its running on vBulletin). Now the limit ranges from 10-250 depending on the webhost.
Just call the support people and ask them about it. Most hosts don't have info on it on their site. You might also wanna check their AUP (acceptable usage policy).

Reviews! Good or bad?


I would do a quick Google search and check for some reviews. Now don't fully make your decision based on the reviews. Some might be fake (like written by a competitor). More important is word of mouth.

Type of support available


Most hosts do have a support number on their site and offer 24/7 email and/or live chat support. But how long do you have to wait till you get help? Here's the mini checklist for support.
  1. Call support and see how long you have to wait till you talk with someone. You might get a host that puts you on the line until you hang up or just take messages.
  2. Email support with a few questions. Like concurrent users, database limits, etc. See when you get replied.
  3. Yep you got it! Use the handy live chat. See how long do you have to wait till a rep. gets on the chat professional they are.

Big fish or small fish??


I don't care if some new host is giving an awesome deal, I would always go with a big host with a good reputation. Wondering why? Well you'll be hosting your files and databases there. How do you know if they follow the privacy policy? How can you be sure that they won't download your files and databases and make a clone or sell it somewhere? The list can go on and on. But you get my point, right?
Using a big host always makes me feel safe. I'm not saying that something like this is never going to happen on hosts like GoDaddy, MediaTemple, DreamHost, etc. If it happens there you can at least sue their ass. They won't just go poof unlike the small fishes.
I think that's it. If I'm missing anything then please let me know. Thanks for reading guys!


Source: www.WebRampage.com
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  #2  
Old 18 Jul 2008, 00:28
Riceman's Avatar
Riceman Riceman is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Real name: Christopher Vella
I beg to differ on your opinion about "small-fish".
Using a reseller is often the cheapest option to go for when starting up your community, they often dont have limits on database sizes and will provide adequate storage space. My last host was a reseller, and I'm upset I had to switch hosts after HIS "BIG-FISH" crashed their server and lost all the data (and the small-fish even kept a backup for us).

Also, in my experience dealing with my previous reseller, I was able to talk to him on IRC with any problem I had (this wasn't the official means of communication) and he (or his worker) responded within 5 minutes of making a ticket.

I know one person who has gone with a reseller and been scammed, however I know even more people who have had a successful hosting experience with them.

Other then that, I really liked the article. Its a great thing for people who arent too technical or are just starting out as a webmaster.
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  #3  
Old 18 Jul 2008, 21:23
theforumist theforumist is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
I would like to agree/disagree with your opinion of big fish/small fish. One of my best investments (awhile back) was hosting on a host that I had never heard of (that had 30 websites/forums). It lasted for quite awhile, until one day their server got fried by an electrical storm. But one of the good things they did was make automated backups 2 times a day. The company has long since passed away.

My newest investment has been with one of the best hosting companies out there 1&1 Hosting. They've won loads and loads of awards, offer many different types of services and have great prices. 1&1 has been out there for years and is considered the #1 host in the world, I don't know about that.

One thing that I agree on is that big hosts make you feel safe. Look at 1&1 Hosting. Look at the size of their facility, all the awards they have won, etc. With that in mind, that shows that they have been out there for awhile and they know what they are doing. Now, thats not to say that a small host isn't good but a large host can handle pretty much anything thats thrown at them and can pick up the pieces if something happens.
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  #4  
Old 18 Jul 2008, 22:18
cheat-master30's Avatar
cheat-master30 cheat-master30 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Information Classified
Real name: cheat-master30
Originally Posted by th13rteen View Post
Originally written for www.WebRampage.com by me (th13rteen).

I was looking for a decent webhost and I forgot a few things that I was supposed to check for. So I thought why not make a list of things that we should all look into before choosing a webhost. Lets call it the ultimate shared hosting checklist.
Well we all know the basics. See how much space and monthly bandwidth you will get. Don't forget email accounts and databases. You know the usual stuff. So lets move on to the more important ones.

Are they overselling?


Oh please don't go with a overselling webhost. Chances are you'll be hosted on a oversold piece of shit if you go with them. So how to tell if they're overselling or not? Well is it too good too be true? Are they giving you 500GB or 1500GB of space and 100TB bandwidth for just $5? That's overselling my friend.
And you won't even need more than 2-10 gigs of space. Trust me. And for bandwidth I would go with like 50-200 gigs (just so it can handle traffic spikes).
But the big hosts you give examples of do oversell, and saying you don't need more than assumes everyone's site is the same size and activity. Pick the host for how much space and bandwidth you actually need based on the size of site, and yes... you should be cautious of overselling.
Are they a reseller?

Most resellers are fly-by-night hosts. They take your money and they go poof! Say goodbye to your money and files. You don't want that to happen. And even if they are a reseller check how long they have been in business.
The database size limit

This is very important if you plan to host a forum or a database-based site. I've looked around and most big webhosts have about 100MB limit in a shared environment. 100MB should be good enough for a while. Like if your site grows you'll probably move to a VPS or a dedicated server.
True, good to think about before buying. Oh, and don't just assume that 'resellers = bad'
Number of concurrent users on a database

Oh yeah this is 100% geeky thing. Its the number of database connections being made at the same time. This is really, really important if you have a forum (especially if its running on vBulletin). Now the limit ranges from 10-250 depending on the webhost.
Just call the support people and ask them about it. Most hosts don't have info on it on their site. You might also wanna check their AUP (acceptable usage policy).
Good advice.


Reviews! Good or bad?


I would do a quick Google search and check for some reviews. Now don't fully make your decision based on the reviews. Some might be fake (like written by a competitor). More important is word of mouth.
Be careful, a lot of big host reviewers are owned and controlled either by hosts or are kinda led by affiliate payments. This is why your advice here is pretty good.

Big fish or small fish??


I don't care if some new host is giving an awesome deal, I would always go with a big host with a good reputation. Wondering why? Well you'll be hosting your files and databases there. How do you know if they follow the privacy policy? How can you be sure that they won't download your files and databases and make a clone or sell it somewhere? The list can go on and on. But you get my point, right?
Using a big host always makes me feel safe. I'm not saying that something like this is never going to happen on hosts like GoDaddy, MediaTemple, DreamHost, etc. If it happens there you can at least sue their ass. They won't just go poof unlike the small fishes.
I think that's it. If I'm missing anything then please let me know. Thanks for reading guys!


Source: www.WebRampage.com
But you've contradicted yourself. Pretty much all big hosts are overselling, which you say to avoid. Just pointing it out.
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  #5  
Old 21 Jul 2008, 05:31
th13rteen th13rteen is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Originally Posted by Riceman View Post
I beg to differ on your opinion about "small-fish".
Using a reseller is often the cheapest option to go for when starting up your community, they often dont have limits on database sizes and will provide adequate storage space. My last host was a reseller, and I'm upset I had to switch hosts after HIS "BIG-FISH" crashed their server and lost all the data (and the small-fish even kept a backup for us).

Also, in my experience dealing with my previous reseller, I was able to talk to him on IRC with any problem I had (this wasn't the official means of communication) and he (or his worker) responded within 5 minutes of making a ticket.

I know one person who has gone with a reseller and been scammed, however I know even more people who have had a successful hosting experience with them.

Other then that, I really liked the article. Its a great thing for people who arent too technical or are just starting out as a webmaster.
Well I'm not saying that *ALL* resellers are bad (and fly-by-night) webhosts. I'm saying most of them are. Its because now a days its so cheap to get your hands on a reseller account. You could get one for about $10/month on average.

I will agree. There are (of course) a few good reselling hosts out there. They want to actually move to their own servers and everything. But still you should check.
There are 2 sides to a coin.

Originally Posted by cheat-master30 View Post
But the big hosts you give examples of do oversell, and saying you don't need more than assumes everyone's site is the same size and activity. Pick the host for how much space and bandwidth you actually need based on the size of site, and yes... you should be cautious of overselling.

But you've contradicted yourself. Pretty much all big hosts are overselling, which you say to avoid. Just pointing it out.
I will agree with you that a lot "big fishes" are into the overselling and even unlimited concept. But there are still a few good (not overselling) hosts out there. I'll be making a list of those hosts this week and I'll post it on my blog.
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  #6  
Old 24 Mar 2013, 18:09
matrex722's Avatar
matrex722 matrex722 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
thank you
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