What is Cloud Hosting?

You may have heard about it before but without really understanding what it is. Cloud hosting is a hot thing right now, so you are probably wondering if it can help you and your online business. The “cloud” is a new IT definition ignored most of the time by the general public. Confusing and somehow cryptic, cloud hosting is basically a technology that facilitates access to powerful computers and servers from across the world without any extended IT knowledge.

The big names use it

Today’s most known online companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook use cloud technology. Whenever you read your e-mail, work with Google docs, or just relax on Facebook, you are using a cloud based service. Once only available for large companies, cloud hosting is becoming more viable small business, both in terms of affordability and reliability.

A new technology

Cloud web hosting defines a service that provides hosting to customers using a huge number of physical networks and servers. Similar with the power lines that facilitate access to energy without any restriction, a cloud web hosting enables the customer to use as much as needed from the huge cloud network without having to install and run any additional servers and systems.

The difference

Usually web hosting uses single servers for each hosting plan. If the customer wants more computing power or storage they must pay for additional servers, even though they will only need it for a small period of time. Additional, a customer may need less hosting power than it is offered and they must pay for the full server even if using just a fraction of it.

A cloud hosting service can deliver almost unlimited hosting power, either as CPU, bandwidth or hosting space. All this power is scalable, meaning that it can be increased or decreased to suit your online business needs.

Important advantages

Imagine that you know for a fact that during the holiday season your online business will need a lot of bandwidth to accommodate the huge number of customers that will want to purchase your products. With cloud hosting you can increase the bandwidth and the hosting CPU during that period without changing the hosting plan for the entire year. This way you will not lose customers and still pay a great price for your web hosting.

Another great feature of cloud web hosting is its reliability. Most often on traditional hosting services one or more servers overload and shut down during peak hours or because of malicious denial-of-service attacks. When this happens all the websites hosted on those servers will go down as well. Even if the hosting service solves the problem and restarts the servers, those online businesses lose valuable customers during offline times.

A cloud hosting service can shut down one or more servers from the cloud without affecting the entire cloud. The other servers will take over the load and the entire system will function without a glitch providing constant hosting to all its customers.

This reliability together with scalability makes cloud web hosting service invaluable for any competitive online business that aims to get the edge over its online competitors.

Things to Avoid When Choosing Web Hosting

Purchasing web hosting for your business site can be a bit tricky if you do not know what to look for. It is equally important to avoid certain things. Some companies will try to take your money without offering anything in return. The following list can help you narrow down your search for good quality web hosting.

Lack of a professional website

This may seem like a no brainer, but many business owners let themselves fooled by attractive prices and go for web hosting companies that are more than just a little shady. Whenever you want to purchase web hosting, take a good look at the company’s website. Does it look professional? Is customer support available, via e-mail, phone number, and even online? Is there a list of FAQs easy to access in case you want to check some information quickly? If the company does not seem to care to invest in a customer friendly website, stay away from them; most likely, they are only after your money.

No references

Reputation is a fickle thing on the Internet. It is difficult to build, and easy to lose; only the best companies out there enjoy good constant feedback from their customers. If a web hosting company is treating customers badly or offers dubious claims that are never honored, you can learn from reviews written by other customers. Never think about purchasing a hosting plan without checking some online reviews about the web host from independent sources. A lot of information is available online, and you only need to access it, in order to choose better.

Constant pressure to upgrade your plan

It is alright for your web hosting company to send you a newsletter once in a while to let you know of their latest deals, improvements, upgrades to their servers and so on. But if you are dealing with a company that constantly pressures you into upgrading, via e-mail or otherwise, you may have not chosen too wisely. Even when you are running a business website, it does not mean that you need certain features. Always evaluate your needs and politely refuse. If they continue with their aggressive selling tactics, it is the right time to search for a new web host.

The old bait and switch tactic

Another thing you should avoid in a web hosting company is the old bait and switch tactic. When choosing web hosting, things must be clear right from the get go. If there are any limitations, you should know about them. If you have to pay extra for some features, the company has to be upfront and tell you everything you need.

Whenever you feel like you are pushed to sign for something while the fine print says something else, you need to put the foot down and refuse. There is nothing worse than paying for something you do not need, or confront with limitations all the time, because you were tricked into paying for a plan that is not exactly what you thought it to be.

So you want to be a web host?

Web hosting is becoming more popular for entrepreneurs these days. However, it should not be ignored that many companies in this field go bust early, as they do not grow quickly enough to cover their costs and start generating profit. Here are a few things you should know about starting a web hosting business.

What people are best for running a web hosting business?
While virtually anyone can start a business, when it comes to web hosting, certain knowledge is required. For instance, technology knowledge is a must, as you cannot run such a business without knowing about Internet servers, cPanel technologies, some scripting and HTML. Of course, if you hire someone else to know all these things, all may be well, but it is best to know at least some things about your business before starting to pump money into it.

What choices do you have?
The easiest way to start a web hosting business is to become a reseller for a bigger player. This option has its ups and downs. The best advantage is that you can start with a very small investment. Another benefit is that you do not have to be very knowledgeable about technical details; all you do is to sell server space owned by others to people looking for web hosting plans, in exchange of a commission.

The main problem with this option is that you are not in control. In case clients have technical issues, you will have to send them to the original web hosting company, as there is absolutely nothing you can do.

The next step when you notice that you are doing quite well, with dozens of clients wanting to buy web hosting plans for you, is to purchase an entire web hosting business. To make sure you are not making a wrong move, run some research first to learn more about the company you intend to purchase. A web hosting business can double the money invested in it, but its success depends on many factors, like server stability, an already good stream of customers, the quality of customer support and so on.

Last, but not least, you can start from scratch and purchase servers on your own, from which you can start selling disk space. Of course, this setup is advised only for those who really know what they are doing. You can always start as a reseller and learn the ropes from there to gradually advance towards a full fledged business that can bring you a lot of money.

Ensuring technical support
The most successful web hosting companies on the market right now are those who manage to offer clients great pricing, combined with good quality service, and stellar customer support. You will need to hire specialized personnel to handle all the requests coming from customers. If you cannot keep them happy, you will soon discover that most businesses in this field go bust because their clients simply ditch them for companies that care more about the well being of their websites and about offering top notch assistance.

Web hosting reviews, are they reliable?

This may seem like a strange post coming from a web hosting reviews website, but the truth is many review sites aren’t telling you the whole truth. There are many web hosting review sites out there that write fake reviews so they can make money. How can you tell if the reviews you are reading are fake? Here are some hints.

Web hosting reviews that have no data

Many review sites don’t include any data whatsoever. This is because they haven’t even tested the server that they are reviewing. The review isn’t written on facts at all, but purely to try and get you to sign up for the host so that the reviewer makes money. If you see no data like uptime statistics, support hold times, etc. then chances are the review is fake.

Web hosting reviews that only include EIG

EIG, or endurance international group, is a company that owns over 50 different hosting brands. Many of these brands are posing as their own companies. Review websites only include these brands when EIG pays them a lot of money to be the only company reviewed. This ensures that you sign up with an EIG brand so that your money goes to the same company no matter what.

Web hosting reviews that only cover features

Many review sites only write about the features that a company offers. This isn’t a reflection of the services you will get. Anybody can read a features page on a website and write about them. This isn’t a review of the service, but merely repeating what the company offers.

“Anonymous” user reviews

There are plenty of websites that incorporate user reviews. Generally, user reviews are a great thing. They can tell you from a customer standpoint what to expect. However, when anonymous reviews are allowed that means anybody can write anything about the company without any checks involved. This means that the hosting company itself can write hundreds of positive reviews for itself to make them look better.

While these don’t always mean a review website is fake, chances are if you catch one of these things on a web hosting review site you are reading then the reviews aren’t real. Understand that no one web hosting company is right for every website, and any review site telling you otherwise is lying.

The importance of cheap web hosting

Cheap web hosting holds a strong place in the industry, and for good reason. A cheap web host gives customers the ability to get a website up and running without having to invest a lot of money right off the bat. It is a great way to learn how to create and run a website for very little money.

Cheap web hosting is especially important for small businesses that are in need of a web presence. Having a successful website is an extremely valuable way of keeping in touch with customers, getting your company more well known, and having a place to show off your products or services. It is, in essence, a 24/7 virtual storefront.

Finding a good cheap web host will give you a basic understanding of the web hosting world. It is a great way to start a website and an even better way of learning how a website can, and will, benefit your business.

Use Google Analytics to Track Website Success

Google Analytics is an integral free tool to help you gauge how successful your website is. Not only that, it can give you valuable insight as to what parts of your website are most successful, and perhaps more importantly, where your website is falling short.

When added to your website, Google Analytics will show you things like how much traffic your website is getting, how much of that traffic is new vs how much of the traffic is returning, and shows the flow of traffic from within your website. This information can be used to see what pages your visitors are going to most so that you can turn those pages into profitable ones.

Analytics will also give you information on what pages cause your visitors to leave the most. This is important to know because the page could be causing you to lose visitors and customers. It is important to look at these pages to figure out what is causing your visitors to leave and what needs to be done in order to fix them.

Google Analytics is truly a fantastic tool. It should be added by everyone who relies on their website to turn a profit.

How to choose the right web host for you

Web hosting, like many other services, is not a one size fits all type of purchase. There are thousands of web hosting companies, many of which will specialize in different things. The host you want to choose will line up as best as it can with what your needs are for your website.

The first thing you will want to take into consideration is the size of your website. This, first and foremost, will determine whether you need shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting. Despite what shared hosts advertise, there is no such thing as unlimited disk space. There will always be caveats to this which can be seen in the terms.

The next thing you will want to consider is how much traffic your website will be getting. Much like above, unlimited bandwidth is a myth. There will always be caps set by the hosting companies, so the more traffic you expect the more you will have to pay.

Is your website going to be for personal use or for your business? Many web hosting companies have packages that specialize in business and e-commerce hosting which will benefit those of you looking to generate revenue from your website.

Another thing to consider is your website’s growth. Do you plan on having your content and/or visitors increase over time? This should have an influence on which web host you choose, especially if you want to minimize the hassle of upgrading to a more robust package if your website has growth potential.

These are just some of the important factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company. There is a lot of thought that goes into it, and choosing the right one for your website’s success is crucial.

What to do when you’ve outgrown your shared web host

Most shared web hosting companies offer “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth. As great as this sounds, it simply isn’t possible for the companies to offer you unlimited anything. There will always be caveats in the terms of service that restrict your account usage. These unlimited features are nothing more than a marketing strategy, making it sound like you can host anything you’d like at any time.

So what happens if one day you go to visit your website only to find it suspended for using too many server resources? I’m sure the first thing that will pop into your head is “I thought I got unlimited hosting? Why am I suspended?” The hosting company will then point you to their terms of service that will state something along the lines of “unlimited hosting is intended for website files only. Videos, music, and image files, email, backup, etc. can not be stored and used as disk space.”

What you will have to do in this case is upgrade your account to a virtual private server. This will give you more (and a finite amount) disk space, a set amount of bandwidth, and allow you to essentially control your own server. While this may be overwhelming at first, it will pay off for you in the long run. Your website will be more stable, more reliable, and you won’t be shut down randomly for whatever the host feels like.

How to choose a good business web host

Business web hosting can make or break your business. A good business host can become a partner and make your website profitable. A bad business hosting company can run your business into the ground. There are certain things you should be looking for in a business web host to get the most out of your website.

The first thing you should be looking for in a great business web hosting company is reliability. If your web host is not reliable and your website is down frequently then that is going to cost you money. If prospective customers can’t get to your website then there are hundreds, even thousands of other companies that offer the same thing you do, and they aren’t difficult to find.

Along with reliability, another important aspect is website speed. Countless studies have been done regarding the frequency of a visitor leaving a site depending on how long it takes to load, and some 90% of people leave if it takes more than 2 seconds. If you choose a web host that packs its servers full of customers then your business is going to suffer.

Another thing that you should look for is a web host that offers great technical support. Let’s be honest, no system ever runs perfectly. Things are bound to happen with your website. In times like this you will have to rely on technical support to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. A bad support team will leave you and your business stranded.

One thing that should not concern you is price. While you can get a good, reliable host for relatively cheap, you should not buy the cheapest hosting plan possible and expect it to be able to serve your every need. If you value your business then you should spend a few extra dollars a month to ensure your website will run properly.

Why choose cheap web hosting?

Cheap web hosting gives you an opportunity to learn web hosting without a big hit to your bank account. A cheap host will give you an inexpensive way to get a website started, whether it be personal or professional. There are many situations when cheap web hosting will be the best option for you, it all just depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your website.

If you are going to have a small, personal website then choosing a cheap hosting company is a perfect option. You won’t need to be spending a lot of money to get all of the professional tools that a business class host has to offer. An inexpensive, reliable host is all you will need.

Any small business or informational website would be best served on a shared host, at least to start. While your expectations should be high for your business, you should also be realistic. Websites take time to grow and get traffic, and there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on dedicated servers right off the bat. Hopefully you will be successful enough to grow your website into such a status later on, but for the time being a shared host will be a great start.

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