Before we talk about what it takes to be a cheap and good quality web host, let's get to the fundamental first.
What is a Web Host?
A web host is a service provider that places your web site on a computer which is connected to the internet. The term for this 'computer' is called a server.
A web hosting provider will typically have a fast connection to the Internet and they may host thousands of web sites on many servers. The web host essentially rents out space to you so that you can get your website up on the world wide web.
With a well-managed web host, you can free yourself from worrying the up-keep of complicated server technology and proper technical maintenance. That's the whole purpose of the web hosting companies. You should leave the technical work to web hosting professional while you focus on your own internet business.
The features that web hosting companies are offering are getting quite standard nowadays.
The followings are some of the common features you'll see in most web hosting plans:
Price to Disk Space / Price to Bandwidth Ratio
Are you paying too much for your Web Hosting Plan?
Having done the research on hundreds of web hosting companies, in general, we've come to this conclusion: the more disk space and bandwidth you are getting, the more expensive is the monthly price.
To help you understand which price is competitive enough for you to take up the offer, we have categorized 5 different price range. For each price range, a score of maximum of 10 is assigned. To understand the concept behind this, please refer to the details here.
A web host might have the best feature offered, unbeatable customer support and reliability in place but without an effective marketing plan, it will go bust too. Let's face it. If a web hosting provider does not have sufficient members and steady growth of new members, it's very difficult to survive in this highly competitive industry.
We judge the popularity of a particular web hosting provider by looking at the number of awards won, the reviews of other websites and the Alexa traffic ranking.
All the hosting providers listed on our Top 10 Cheap Web Hosting Directory are among the top 40,000 most visited websites in the world.
Reliability, Speed and Uptime Guarantee
Nothing can hurt you more than this: your visitors come to your web site only to find that it's not accessible. You lose credibility and possibly even a sale. If your web host does not guarantee at least a 99% uptime, leave the web host now!
To ensure maximum uptime, installation of redundant back-up systems is essential. Each web host has their own management systems to minimize downtime. "Redundant" means that if any of the Internet connections get interrupted, the alternate Internet connection will take over.
We use Alertra software to monitor the uptime of each of our top 10 web hosts.
As for speed, even though routing, web server set up and local area networks play a part in determining the speed of a site, the main concern of how fast your site is depends very much on the types of network connections.
Many hosting providers still connect to the Internet through T1, or T3 connections. This is not the case for our top 10 hosts- they are using OC (Optical Carrier) lines.
A T1 line will offer data transfer rate of 1.5 Mbps (megabits per second), while a T3 line can supply data transfer rates of 43Mbps. OC-1 refers to a circuit that transmits 51.85Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed. Ultra-High Speed OC3 and OC12 lines offers 155Mbps and 622Mbps respectively. Some hosting providers have connections to major internet backbones at the speed of OC48 (2488Mbps) and OC96 (4976Mbps).
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