How to choose a hosting provider

Target audience: serious beginning web developers who value security, uptime, and ease of administration over pointless things like cheapest cost.

How can you choose a good hosting provider? Here are a few pointers.


Stay away from godaddy.

Don't try to save money in the wrong place. You want cheap hosting, but then half a year later the website will go down, break, or get hacked, and you will get no help from the hosting people.

It's hard to distinguish between them. How can you? Having SSH will indicate they are not going to cheap. Also call tech support, see how fast they answer, and ask them a technical question. See what they say.

SSH required to be enabled by default.

24/7 phone support required. You must be able to speak to someone in 2 minutes.

Forget about caring how my storage you have, you will never use that much, but you might want to watch for transfer limits

Do not ever rely on their backup policy, be aware that you CANNOT count on their backup. Their "backup" is for instances if their server or data center goes down. They do not store several backups. The backup is of the current website only. So if your website gets hacked, and you call them a week later, the backup they will have is of the yesterday's infected website state.

Bigger hosting providers such as 1and1 may be more expensive, but you can expect less of cutting corners and overselling or their resources. Five dollars or less per month of hosting is not cheap, it is lying.

They must be able to inspect server logs and tell you why your site was attacked.

Watch for fees (dynonames ridiculous over storage limit).

You must have at least 10 databases (1and1 UK and some others only give you one or a few databases included with the plan). Good hosting providers will not set the costs very low with the basic plan, but try to push people towards more expensive packages by severely limiting the number of databases (I have seen one, three, five, ten database limits).


At a minimum, hosting must be:

Linux (why? because most people use this. Don't expect support with IIS)

SSH option (you will need it)

GUI or SSH way of extracting and making archives (You will really need this)

PHP version 5.2+ (I have seen some ancient hosts)


I have separately reviewed the following hosting providers:



˅˅˅ Additional valuable information is available at one of the links below: ˅˅˅


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Page last modified 12-Apr-12 22:21:00 EDT
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