A Forum Admin's Guide to Web Hosting

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cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

A Forum Admin's Guide to Web Hosting

As anyone who's searched for a new web hosting company probably knows, guides to the hosting world are an extremely common sight online. Just look at all those results!

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Above: Although isn't Siteground's article a bit unethical? They're a web hosting company, they're gonna recommend themselves!

So why am I writing this one? Why do we need yet another guide to the world of web hosting when so many exist out there online?

Because there's one major problem with almost all those other articles.

They're garbage. And this is because the hosting world is dominated by affiliate schemes. No one wants to write a critical, interesting web hosting review, cause it doesn't pay. It pays to send people to low quality, crappy, EIG brands and rake in the dollars made off referrals. Hence just about every hosting article you'll read elsewhere was thought up by a snake oil merchant in some sad attempt to conning people into picking terrible hosts and giving the writer an easy paycheck.

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Above: Even WordPress.org lists crappy hosts as 'recommendations' in order to rake in the affiliate dollars.

But this article is different. I'm independent, I don't make any money at all from affiliate referrals and I'm only listing hosts I've had some experience of in the past. So if you want the first genuine, unbiased guide to web hosting, read on!

So what type of host should I use?

Shared Hosting

The obvious advantage of shared hosting, is the price. Because you're only paying for a small percentage of a server, the monthly costs are extremely low, being between 2 and 15 dollars a month. This means its affordable for everyone, ranging from young kids to college students to retirees to people on the bottom of the career ladder.

It's also pretty user friendly too. You just get a control panel (like CPanel) and can edit things like databases, FTP accounts, email, etc in just a few clicks. This is pretty good if you're new to hosting websites and just want to get your brand new site or forum up and running, since you only need the bare amount of knowledge to do so via a shared hosting.

The drawback with shared hosting however, is a lack of control. Because with hundreds of customers all relying on the same server, the host really can't afford to let clients go messing around with server software and resource intensive scripts. Otherwise everyone's services will be equally affected,...

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Mar 19, 2015
Difference: 500 dollars, or 100 dollars per year. Plus the added benefit of being in full control over your hardware, placement and having full physical access to the data center whenever you want. That's just using these (generous) examples. Prices will fluctuate a lot (both up and down) depending on where you look.

I concur and agree in the most part :)

But to anyone who is on the edge of being tempted, you need to factor in failure of parts and the replacement times. So check your onsite SLA, storage and replacement part stock holding. Once you do begin to 'worry', you're into dual PSU, multiple hot swap and or a second failover replica. I have spec'd whole racks, multi dc failover for clients and have my own relics here on the shelf.

I've not been happier since the day I got rid of my own purchased tin from my production stack. If I was doing it again, I'd not rely on just one of my own boxes, at worst next day on site = 12hrs downtime.

Rented tin or vps, it's not the cheapest, but the differential isn't worth the headache when it fails, and it will. You can relax when you have HA in place. Even then, a digger cuts your fibre, an errant fire destroys a key junction or your dc runs out of fuel in a flood... But you can easily overspend for a once in a blue moon situation.