Posted in Hosting by DB
The following are the best web hosting companies out there sorted by rank according to value for money, hosting plan options, performance, support and stability for the current year 2011.
|3||$3.88||FREE||1500 GB||15000 GB||30 Days||Review|
|4||$4.99||FREE||1000 GB||Unlimited||30 Days|
|5||$7.30||FREE||1500 GB||15000 GB||30 Days|
|6||$6.95||FREE||500 GB||5000 GB||30 Days|
Choosing a web hosting company is often a stressful exercise. By listing various web hosts from my direct experience should hopefully have made the job of choosing a web host a simpler exercise. I would love to hear more about your experiences in web hosting and who you think is the best web hosting company out there.
Posted in Hosting by DB
Amazon today announced that they were further slashing their popular storage platform, Amazon S3 prices for both Standard and Reduced Redundancy Storage in all regions. This change of pricing went into effect on the 1st of November.
Amazon also lowered the threshold for their volume based discounts from 50 terabytes to 1 terabyte and extended their volume pricing discounts to more customers.
Here’s a summary of the changes:
- First 1TB : Old Price – $0.150 New Price – $0.140
- Next 49TB: Old Price – $0.150 New Price – $0.125
- Next 50TB : Old Price - $0.140 New Price – $0.110
- Next 400TB: Old Price – $0.130 New Price – $ $0.110
- Next 500TB: Old Price – $0.105 New Price – $ $0.095
- Next 4000TB: No change in Price
- Over 5000TB: No change in Price
The prices announced by Amazon applies to the following regions.
- AP-East regions
This comes as good news for start ups and established companies that have made Amazon their preferred cloud service vendor.
Powweb.com unlimited and free in the best places
Powweb.com best features are not their business services or their extensive tools set and customer service expertise at in my last review. Powweb is however, at number 3 on my list of top ten web hosting companies, yet another example of a web hosting service doing what they do best and leaving the rest.
Starting at under four bucks for a hosting account with unlimited bandwidth and disk space, Powweb.com is the king of cheap web host providers. Not only does Powweb.com offer a free domain with every account, but it does not limit you to one of the less desirable domains by doing so. You favorite .com, .net, or.org address is free for the tking as well as the commonly given .info ,.biz, and .us domains.
Not only do you get access to use some of the most popular editing tools such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver, but the e-commerce solutions included in your hosting package not only includes the software needed to successfully run a business, but also gives you $75 in Goodle Adwords and Yahoo Ad credits. How’s that for a $70 thank you?
Powweb is great at giving you all of what you want the most, at no additional charge. You can not only host your free domain, but as many domains as you wish. You get affordable web hosting features such as MySQL, PHP,CGI, and a point and click site builder, but at cheap prices.
On top of the already great packages that they offer, at the unheard of low price of under $4, Powweb.com offers a 30 day money back guarantee on all of their products and services.
You can get a website, domain, several unlimited features and over 25 software scripts to install on demand for less than it costs to drive across town. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a home for your content management and blog driven site or a simple frontpage extension, with so much for so little, there’s little that anyone could ever complain about.
When there is something to complain about, Powweb has a pretty good history of response. I say pretty good, because, like most other cheap hosting providers that reply on volume for profit, customer service issues can sometimes become overwhelming, especially if several sites are affected by a service issue at the same time, as is more likely to happen in a shared hosting situation.
While this is not particular to Powweb.com, and is a general consideration when choosing between shared server hosting or another option, it is still the main reason that this cheap, shared web hosting company did not measure higher in the ranks.
While I have not personally experienced any customer service issues myself with Powweb.com, there are several valid discussions on the Internet that relate to general service issues associated with shared hosting, that have plagued Powweb.com, as well as their competitors. Powweb.com has had the usual complaints of slow customer service and unresponsive support during times of need stated about it in a few forums, but the reports are still far less frequent than with comparable web hosting services of their size, age, and traffic volume.
There is really not too much that can be done to make your web hosting service set itself apart without cutting corners somewhere, and customer service response times are naturally worse due to technical issues on a shared hosting service of any price.
Powweb.com has done a lot better job than other companies in reducing the backlash in customer service complaints that often spell doom for many cheap hosting providers. While not perfect, considering the technology behind what you are paying for, there is little room improvement in what Powweb offers.
After reading the few reports of unsatisfied customers in various forums, it is easy to see why some of them are upset. It is just their nature. Most of the dissatisfaction came from customers that don’t seem to understand why CPA offers are spam, or why a hosting provider might shut down a site that has been infested with automated database requests at an obscene level. It usually came down to a matter of unrealistic expectations or simply a bad attitude.
Shared hosting services are not for everyone looking to set up a business on line, but are in fact, a lot more robust than people give them credit for. If 100 % uptime, security, and emergency backup and response are more important to you than reseller space and cost savings, then a dedicated or co-hosted solution might be better for your needs.
If you are looking to host several small domains, are familiar with the drawbacks, benefits, specific requirements and realistic expectations for using shared hosting in a business environment, then Powweb.com is probably the best solution for your needs.
There are many complaints out there on the Internet about shared hosting plans, and for good reason. If you ever found yourself in a web master’s forum, you would have heard by now the eternal clickity clack of shared hosting lamentations on website downtime, bandwidth leeches, or even complete data loss caused by a server downed by someone else’s spam or trojan infested file site.
While there are problems with several shared hosting services that are currently being offered on the INTERNET, it is not due to the concept of shared server space. The technology that is used to divide servers up into smaller blocks of data storage, so that you can take advantage of all of your server space through multiple client usage is a very stable, robust and reliable. These benefits can save both the client and the hosting company both resources and thus money. This makes for a great partnership between both parties. The problem lies in how most web hosting companies view the value of shared hosting to begin with. For a lot of companies out there it is not a partnership at all, it is more of pure economics or simply put just a profit center.
While the idea of utilizing all of your server space is nice in theory, simply throwing as many websites on a single server for quick cash without any thought to security and stability is a disaster waiting to happen, and that is what usually happens with just for pennies, shared web hosting companies.
One the other end of the spectrum, It always baffled me as to why a web hosting company known for quality hosting would even bother to invest all of the extra effort it takes to run a successful shared hosting service, risking their record of stability, but IMHosted has let me in on their secret. Security based metrics. Plan on being a shared hosting master from the very beginning and make sure that your shared hosting is the most secure and stable business blocks that can be put in racks, then everything else will take care of itself. Lowering your technical support costs and PR/customer service woes can then allow you to run a quality hosting service at affordable, even cheap web hosting prices. Every one else seemed to try to do it the other way around, and that is why they fail, and why IMhosted is a winner.
With other shared hosting services, you know that your performance is going to take a hit, and uptime might be compromised. That is the main reason that most of us that use our web space for more than sharing our Sunday afternoon poetry, aren’t willing to take that risk. Not so with IMHosted. I have run a fully scripted WordPress mega site amidst over 600 other websites of every sort and fashion without ever so much as a blip of trouble, for two years.
I did have to call into customer service one time, due to a domain redirection issue, and they were very patient with me, spending over an hour to get me to the point where I could isolate the problem. I was just starting off with website creation, and without knowing much I was hard to guide. After several question and answer session (them asking me), it was discovered that it was all my own fault, as I had messed up my own htaccess file not knowing what the hell I was doing as of yet.
I was not one of their high and mighty dedicated hosting clients or a person with hundreds of websites at the time. I was just another yahoo with a stupid question and a nasty attitude due to my own frustration. But they were patient, and in fact encouraging, in helping me not only to isolate the problem to prove it wasn’t them, but to walk me through fixing the problem humbly and tipped me off as to how I could avoid it in the future (with an htaccessold file being created as a backup before editing). What can I say, we were all newbies once, and the “know it all” on the other end of the phone line at some website farms can really make you feel bewildered, with no real solution to the problem you may have.
I have to say that these three features, security, a successfully executed shared hosting technology model, and impeccable customer service together under one roof serve as the basis for an almost overwhelmingly positive review of IMHosted web hosting.
There also another advantage to IMHosted that should go without saying but is too important not to discuss, reselling. When you find a shared hosting company with this many high quality benefits and features to set it apart from the competition in its field, then grab a reseller package at their incredibly low rate knowing that you can resell this quality product with complete confidence, that’s value. However I must say as far as reselleing goes, value is a big part of the decision making process but stability and resources also play a big part and here Hostgator’s reselling package scores slightly better.
Back to shared hosting and IMHosted, this is one shared hosting service that you can definitely do that with. If I had to rate IMHosted with a rating of 1-10, out of the 10 web hosts I am deeply familiar with and reviewing, I would rank IMHosted right at the top. While I am very impressed with Hostgator and Hostgator has been brilliant for many of my hosting needs, IMHosted comes pretty close. I only do this once, so take it seriously and check them out. They are the one if you are in the market for a quality host without having do get your own dedicated server to do it, or wish to resell based on quality without a worry in the world!
In one sentence, HostGator Business services – quality premium web hosting services, at affordable, if not cheap, web hosting rates.
It is hard not to be impressed with HostGator. While many people are familiar with HostGator reseller or virtual server packages due to their very effective affiliate program, the reason for making HostGator my number two pick has nothing to do with their superior promotion or their server slice technology.
HostGator has grown leaps and bounds, now handling the registration and hosting over one million domains worldwide. The reason HostGator is one of the best web hosting companies to be found on line is that even though they have grown to one of the top web hosting companies, they do not fail to innovate. One major example of this is HostGator’s business services offerings.
While unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and domain availability are becoming more common place in the crowded affordable web hosting arena, HostGator sets itself apart with the offering of a 1-800 telephone number bundled with their already impeccable business account services package.
A very respectable Houston-based voice-over-IP provider, VOIPo. VOIPo also offers other telcom services such as SIP trunking and residential connectivity. The relationship between the two companies is a perfect match, as a former HostGator executive founded the company in 2006.
With such a wide range of services and the usual array of bells and whistles all thrown into one package for under $13, you would think that the company would have to cut corners in the customer service department to pull it off. Luckily for you, that isn’t so.
HostGator has more than a few hundred employees working for you night and day, providing customer support that you can usually only get at mom and pop, premium dedicated hosting programs.
Building a business with HostGator is a great idea, because not only is HostGator affordable hosting at its best, but the special treatment and web design and business building tools that come with your standard business account are of such high quality that you often forget that HostGator is not a three client exclusive host.
HostGator goes the extra mile
HostGator is cheap hosting, but that doesn’t mean limited. HostGator even offers up their own freelancing talents to get your web business project off of the ground, ASAP, even if you have no design or web design experience.
There are now several ways for a merchant to take on line payments, and most of them are compatible with HostGator’s business services. With so many payment processing solutions out there, you may not even know where to begin, or simply need a little nudge in the right direction. HostGator support is more than happy to hold you by the hand and make sure that your website is up and taking payments in no time flat.
While domain costs which start at $15 might not seem much of a bargain from a glance, the domain services offered by HostGator more than provide benefit comparable to the cost. We won’t mention any names, but there are competing companies out there that have been known to play games with people’s domains. Sometimes, a $4 domain is just a 6 month domain at a prorated yearly rate. f you decide to transfer (I wouldn’t know why), there is no attempt to hijack our domain, or limit your access to future redirects or reregistration.
When you consider all that relies on your domain registration, inviting disaster in order to save a few dollars is simply not worth it.
With all of the security features that you have come to know as additional services, such as secured hosting, CGI scripting and sales cart support, and of course HostGator’s toll free number service, make the standard business package one that would catch the eye of even the most prudent feature loving website project creator.
There is no lack of avenues for the lazy web master at HostGator either. If you need a script installed, and don’t know how, or just don’t feel like it, for the price of a cheap T-bone, you can have it professionally installed in minutes.
HostGator is famous for its shared hosting and reselling accounts, and I would tend to agree that in this area, they are one of the best web host companies in the business. But if I were not to toot their horn by bragging about the dedicated IP, SSL integration, and exciting ability to have your own toll free number, not as an add on, but by default with the HostGator business account, then I would be helping you miss one of the few opportunities in the commodity industry of website hosting that provides the customer with a true value added services offering. You can get more details of all the Hostgator web hosting plans here.
HostGator continues to build its base of clientele as well as its feature offerings. Their ability to handle such tremendous growth with not only a defensive strategy to keep from shrinking or even failing, but their positive push into profitable ventures, such as 800 services, without reducing their attention to customer service has me giving them a virtual two thumbs up.
Something that might make you laugh from the HostGator about page;
HostGator employees actually earn their daily bread…
Employees who work for HostGator have a perk that few in customer service could even dream of, their own personal company chef. But it comes with a catch. If you are not excited enough about providing HostGator customers with the service they deserve by making your call quota for the day, you are let go. If you care enough to provide only the very best customer service in the industry, then the meal is on them.
Now that’s fair….
Summer is nearly over and Lunarpages has come out with a really great web hosting offer. You can now purchase the 12 month or 24 month basic web hosting plan from Lunarpages for as low as 4.95/month. The 12 month prepaid plans will set you back by as low as $59.40/year, now that is a great deal.
From what I understand, because of this offer, Lunarpages is disabling all web hosting coupons that are for the 12 month or the 24 month hosting plan.
If you are a serious internet marketer or a novice starting out, this offer from Lunarpages will definitely interest you. For the novice, this is a good way to sign up for a cheap web hosting plan from one of the frontline web hosting companies and for the seasoned internet professional, this is another opportunity to spread his website empire across even more class C IP addresses.
Google has started to roll out it’s suggest feature as the default search box behavior. I noticed this yesterday while doing a search on the generic Google.com Interestingly this feature is only set to suggest keywords and key phrases only on the home page. Once a result is displayed then it is the normal keyword search with no suggest enabled.
So what do I think of this development? Well for one, as an SEO it means a whole lot of work on my sites and my client sites. Why? Google suggest is going to list a set of keywords that a lazy user will simply select and if your site is optimized for a bunch of keywords that do not appear in the suggest box then you have work to do. Expect to lose quite a bit of traffic over the next month or so as Google rolls this feature out to all its data centers.
As of today, the suggest feature is enabled only on the generic .com version. But Google has made it clear that hey will be rolling this out across all its data centers over time. For those users that don’t like the feature, they can disable it by going into their search preference page.
It is interesting to note that Google has made this feature the default and not an opt in. I guess this is the first time that Google has taken the lead of Yahoo in the field of search. Finally Yahoo can be proud of something from their search stable.
Well folks, it’s time to get in touch with your SEO Consultant and make sure your search traffic is not going to drop. Well it will drop for sure, but depending on how good your SEO firm or consultant is you can either remain confident of getting it back or now is the time to change firms. Good luck !!
Finally, persistent storage for your Amazon EC2 instance. Amazon has released EBS, Amazon Elastic Block Store, which fixes the only stumbling block to using Amazon EC2.
For a while now Amazon has been defending their computing cloud web services but the voices complaining against the lack of persistent storage has been growing louder and louder each day. Until now there was no way to save and retrieve data if your EC2 instance was unexpectedly shutdown. Well, with EBS, this issue is a thing of the past.
You can now create your own Elastic Block Store for your instance and can use it to persist your data in any form you choose including maintaining your databases. Amazon has released a full set of API’s that allow you to create, retrieve, attach and remove an elastic block store (EBS) and keep your application data safe and secure.
You can create Amazon Elastic Block volume from anywhere between 1GB to 1TB. You can even create multiple EBS volumes and link it all to one instance. Creating a data snapshot and maintaining it in Amazon S3 is the best way to utilize all that Amazon has to offer.
Amazon Elastic Block Store is now in beta and is available to the public. I’m sure there will be a few issues/bugs to be ironed out but as before Amazon seems to be working hard to keep their web services framework the preferred destination for all application developers. The EBS feature only highlights that point even more.
All right, you’ve decided to redesign your website and you’ve found the perfect designer or design company to do so. Excellent, a site redesign is sometimes a necessary step as your business grows but what you should be careful of is to not lose the goodwill that you have built up with the search engines.
The following is a checklist that I would ensure my website design team understands and will take care of in the new design.
- Existing url’s – A very important factor in maintaining your site rankings. I would try and ensure that I stick to the same url’s going forward as much as I can. This assumes ofcourse that your website url’s were optimized in the first place.
If for some reason you have to change your url’s then ensure you do the next point.
- 301 Redirect – Setup 301 redirects for all those url’s on your website you plan to change. The best way to go about doing this is to spread them evenly on all important pages on your new site. So don’t redirect them all to the home page but evenly distribute them to the top 10 sub pages or categories.
- Watch out for duplicate content – Quite often I see webmasters have both the new version and the old version running together and while the design has changed, most of the content remains the same. You are better off avoiding having duplicate content within the same domain, it does cause a dilemma for the search engines. Which page is the most relevant one? Why make the search engines guess. Avoid this completely.
- Create a new sitemap – You will be surprised how many webmasters forget this step. Create or update your XML and your HTML sitemaps to reflect your new website design. This will ensure that the search engines find and index all of the new pages quickly.
- Changing Hosting companies – Often, site owners change their hosting provider when they go in for a redesign. Usually the new web designer ends up referring a new hosting company or the webmaster finds a web hosting package that will meet his or her site’s growing needs. The key point to keep in mind while doing this is to keep your downtime to a minimum. If you can move your website hosting company without any downtime then nothing like it.
It is always wise to involve your SEO firm or consultant in the redesign process from the very start. Optimizing your website design is a crucial factor for attaining that ranking. A site redesign is an opportunity to do this.
As always, keep coming back for more tips on search engine optimization, web hosting and website maintenance tips tricks and tutorials. Do also stop by my SEO Challenge page and let me know what you think.
As an SEO, I often get requests to geo target a site for specific keywords. There are many many ways to let Google know that your site is specific to a particular area/region. The following are a few of my preferred options that I use when I go about geo targeting a website.
- Google Webmaster tools – Google webmaster tools has an option that lets you tell Google that you would like your site to appear only in results for a particular geographic location. By far the easiest option and quite effective. Not many people know this but you can have different geographic targets for a sub domain or even a domain sub folder.
- Domain whois address – Yes, Google does look at your domain whois address details and determines that your website is specific to a particular country. Even if you have set your webmaster option to say otherwise. This will lead to Google giving your website a preference in the country of registration.
Let me give you an example. I am currently participating in an SEO Contest from Busby when I am trying to rank a page on this site for the key phrase “Busby SEO Challenge”. In the official datacenter results which I believe is the Australian datacenter, I am currently ranked Number 7 on the first page. However if you check here, which is the Indian datacenter results you will see this site on the number 1 position. Yes, that’s right Number 1. So why the difference, well my site whois address is my address in India.
- Web Hosting – Ensure your site is hosted in a data center of the country you are targeting. For example, if you are targeting the United Kingdom, find a web hosting plan from a hosting provider that is based in the United Kingdom or rather who has a data center in the United Kingdom.
- Logically partition your site for regions – Google is smart enough to catch on if you logically partition your website according to geographic region. So if you are targeting more than one country, have sub domains for each country or sub folders for each geographic region and name the sub folders and sub domain appropriately.
- Incoming Links – Yes, incoming links also are a factor. If the majority of your links are from say Australian sites, then Google tends to think your site is an Australian site too
- Address Information – Another simple but effective way is to have a valid address on your website. You can have it on all the pages or on your contact or about page.
- Register at Local Sites – Sign up and register your business and website on Google maps, Yahoo local, Yellow pages, local community websites and portals.
These are some of the tactics that I apply when I do SEO for my websites and clients. Follow these tips and you should start seeing some results soon enough. Keep coming back for more tips and tricks on Search Engine options and website hosting.