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Hosting accounts are now more popular than they ever have been. It seems that everybody and their dog (literally!) has a hosting account nowadays, whether it is to run a business, a personal blog or something completely different. Of course, there are thousands of web hosts out there, some better than others. I have therefore put together this pretty handy guide that you can use to ensure that you won’t get burned when searching for the host of your dreams!

It is important to choose a company that has a solid reputation, preferably one of the larger ones. Yes, it is all well and good supporting the small companies, but this is very important. Imagine choosing a smaller company (who may just be using a reseller account) and one day they decide to pack everything up and stop hosting, perhaps they forgot to pay their bill or they want to engage in other ventures. You are going to lose ALL of your work. Which means you will lose money, so it is best to steer clear! Checking out a couple of reviews online should tell you whether the company is ‘small’ or not (look at the amount of reviews they have) if they have a particularly amateurish website then it could also be a fairly good indicator. By all means if you do your research into a smaller company you can go with them, but bear in mind things could go wrong.

If you are not used to hosting, or need a little guiding hand from time to time then you will want to opt for a host which offers 24/7 support. That way you can be sure that there is always going to be somebody there whenever you need a little bit of help! It is generally only the larger companies that offer support like this for you.

In addition to this, you will want to pay attention to what you actually get for your money. You should remember that ‘unlimited’ does really mean what it says. Instead it is subject to a fair usage policy (read the terms and conditions of your host), which means they may ask you nicely to upgrade or limit your usage. In cases of unlimited it is really a case of the host trying to put as many sites on the same server as possible, which is going to cause slowdown. Therefore you will want to aim for the larger companies here who have money to invest in larger and better servers!

Finally, don’t let price be the guiding factor. Yes, there are cheap hosts out there who are reliable, Hostgator being one of them. However, you should always check to see they have the features that you want, but perhaps more importantly, how reliable the host is. You should be able to get everything you need in this regard from web reviews.

If you bear the tips above in mind, then you honestly will find it far easier to find a web host that you are able to work with and who can fulfil all of your requirements. Remember, always opt for the reputable companies, that way they won’t disappear over night! I also suggest checking out a number of reviews from these companies before you actually make your purchase, that way you know whether you are getting a good deal nowadays.

As you may already aware, there are two type of hosting offered by hosting providers. windows hosting and Linux hosting, with sub categories like VPS, dedicated, shared etc… Linux is the most used operating system in 90% of the servers used for hosting websites. the reason is its flexibility, affordability and being compatible with PHP and MySQL. PHP is the most used programming language and MySQL is the most common database management system which used for popular CMS (content management system) like WordPress, Zen Cart, phpBB etc. Windows servers are mainly used for hosting websites created with windows specific technologies including ASP, .NET, MS Access, MSSQL and others.

Which type of hosting should you choose ?

it depends on the websites you are hosting and which programming language it uses. as mentioned above, you need to choose according with your website’s database management system and programming language. as an example, for WordPress you need Linux hosting.

Which one is cheaper ?

generally it’s Linux. because Linux is an open source operating system and service providers are not required to pay. on the other hand, windows server operating system is not free and every server has to have a valid license purchased from Microsoft. that cost adds to your hosting bill along with other facilities.

Which is better ?

both are the same in ways of security, reliability and in performance. if you are renting a server for your website, first see which language is your website being created with and select the compatible operating system or servers. good luck!

Are you running not so legal kinda websites ? like warez and such ? then you might be wondering why use offshore hosting, can we just use regular hosting and hide the real IP using cloudflare or any other IP masking service ?

the simple answer is a big NO. you are still doing something wrong and even when hiding behind cloudflare, you can be traced back.

How you may ask?

so assume you are hosting unauthorized content on your website and using cloudflare to hind your real location of the server. when the real owners or legal athorities wants to take your content, they simply use couldflare’s Abuse form.

https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/form

You didn’t think of this did you ? it’s alright, now you know at lease before getting in to trouble.

if your website contains unauthorized content and the real owners or authorities wants to take them down, first thing they would do is complain to cloudflare using above form. then floudflare will forward this abuse report to your websites real hosting providers so they will have to comply if there are in under the law of US. most of the time they will ask you to take an action and after taking the content, page or whole website down (depends on the situation) the problem will go away. but if the authorities or real owners of the content wants more than that they will take a court order and your hosting company will have to reveal your identity and you will face court time. but this is very rare but can happen if you host or running very illegal websites which do more than hosting warez.

so simple advice is don’t use cloudflare for your not so legal websites.