Sunday, May 9, 2010

10:36 PM
2

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a web hosting company. But one thing for sure is that price is no longer important. Web hosting is a very competitive field so the price just keeps getting lower and lower. It is so easy to find cheap web hosting for PHP and MySQL.


The important things to consider when choosing PHP and MySQL web hosting are :

  1. PHP and MySQL versions
    If a web hosting company say that they support PHP 4 make sure it's the latest version not the 4.0.1 version. Same thing for MySQL but with an extra precaution. Some webhosting companty only support MyISAM tables, so if you need InnoDB make sure you ask if it's available.
  2. Specific setting / feature
    For example, you want to create a PHP script which change a file's permission using 
    chmod(). Guess what, if PHP is run as the server your code won't work and there is nothing you can do about it. This exact thing happen to me with this website. I didn't foresee that i would make such application. Anyway just try imagining what you want to do with your web site and if you are uncertain whether a web host will support a feature, just ask.
  3. Connection speed
    All web hosting company claim that they have fast connection speed, but you have to test it to believe it. Use 
    NetMechanic's free service to test the web host company's homepage. If the result is good then the claim is most likely true.
  4. Data transfer
    When you just started a website it doesn't matter much. But as your website grows you have to make sure you have enough bandwidth. One or two gigabytes (Gb) per month is more than enough for most web sites
  5. Access to raw log file and online statistics (log file analyzer)
    If you are serious in building a website, for commercial purposes for example, this is very critical. You can discover a lot of information from log files like the keywords used to find your website, most visited pages, peak times etc.
  6. Storage space
    Measure your own website, start small but leave room for expansion. For a small website 15 megabytes is plenty.
  7. Customer support
    They have to be there when you need them, period. Try asking some questions before you decide to go with a hosting company. If it takes more than 24 hours for them to reply then find another host.

For those of you who just want to experiment you can use MySQL PHP free hosting. There are probably hundreds of them out there, you just need to pick one. They usually place banners or other kinds of advertising on you web page and most are slow. Anyway you can't expect much from free services.

Actually even if you just experimenting with PHP and MySQL it's better to have you own web site. Free hosting usually have lots of restriction so you really can't do much experiment like opening a socket connection and stuff like that.

There's this one website that rank ten PHP MySQL website hosting company based on price, quality, performance and features. If you need a second opinion you can go there.

A bit off topic here. If you intend to build an e-business (for yourself or for a client) instead of just a website you should consider about Site Build It. It's an all-in-one site-building, site-hosting, and site-marketing service. It even outperformed Microsoft's bCentral and Yahoo Web Hosting Pro. 

The only drawback is that the HTML templates provided look a bit lame. But since now you can upload your own template i guess it's not a big deal anymore.

2 comments:

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