Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Need Web hosting? Don’t think again…just read this…

Planning to host a website for your company or for your self? Confused, must be!! Well, in this world of hosting jargons and hosting companies with each having series of plans on offer, any geek would be!! Let me make it easy for you to decide the way you should go about eventually selecting a hosting plan that suits your needs both technically and financially!!

First of all, one should know what is what they want to host and what is the target audience of their website? If we are able to answer these 2 simple questions, we should know that we have made a good start!! Yes, answering the second one can be a little tough, what in their era of web, anyone can access the website, so I am silly in even thinking of this question? Actually not, because knowing the target audience and hence the location of the audience would help us evaluate the benefits that accrue from hosting our website from vendors from different locations. Lets say, we are a small enterprise in India and most of our customers are located in India and hence our website will have maximum hits from India.

Then comes the technical aspects of the game, like the hosting space, bandwidth, IO performance, processing speed and support for different web technologies. Actually all these parameters will eventually determine the performance of the website. So, once we know the expected usage of the website, then we can know what technical requirements are needed. Generally, all the web hosts will stand equal on most of these, as they offer different plans at different rates, having all necessary combinations that run in the market!! So, the prerogative is on the client to know what he wants for himself and what he wants to pay for them!!

Generally, in India, most of the hosting is done from web hosts from the US or Europe. Or from a big few in India. For companies with maximum hits locally from India, hosting from the US or Europe doesn’t make sense because of two important reasons, viz; very high latency up to 300ms or more and exorbitant prices. Add to this trans-Atlantic cable cuts which have become so popular off late!

So what about the Indian biggies? I think, they are good, but only if you are yourself a biggie with time and resources to spare dealing with their long sales cycle, waiting in queues for critical support and what not!! But, if you are a small company or a company which values time and other relevant resources (which, I think every organization should, because every penny saved is penny earned!! And this adds to your bottom line), one should make a judicious choice of its web host.

Choosing a web host should be given its due importance and time. Effort should be spent in doing some kind of market research and competitor analysis in terms of what is being offered vis-à-vis what is being charged!!

In my opinion, having a generous dataflow limits, excellent network performance, generous bandwidth (which can be increased as one goes), large disk space, low to minimum redundancy and quality of storage disk space (like RAID) and other factors like ready availability of RAM processes, guaranteed CPU share and overall complete independence to deal with our hosting space is very-very important. And if one can get a host which provides low latency to the tune of say 100ms or less then one can think of opting for him. Offcourse, price should be a major criterion eventually.

But do you think, in India, there would be web hosts, who would provide any such hosting facility at cheap prices say USD 50 / month? I think, it is possible in India, with the hardware prices coming down drastically over the last few years. For example, have a look at this company and try and compare their prices with anything else available in India http://e2enetworks.com/vps-servers/– I think they should overall score high!!
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