The decrease in the prices of hosting and the penetration of broadband internet connections to small towns and villages has made it possible for people located there to purchase goods from online stores. However, an increase in the number of online stores, most of them offering similar services and goods, has led to an increase in competition as well. Owners of online stores have no other alternatives apart from cutting down their profit margin. They also have to host their store on a reliable server, which has a minimum uptime of 99.99%.
Avoid unreliable web hosts
People nowadays hardly spend less than a couple of seconds while browsing through a website. If they see a 404 error (the website is not accessible), they search for a different website offering the same products and services. Hosting your website on an unreliable server can lead to loss for your online business. In such a scenario, you need to find a reliable web hosting company and entrust them with the task of hosting your website.
How to find the hosts of your competitors
Use the leading search engine for searching words and phrases related to the services and products that you offer. Select the top few sites that appear in the search results and try to find out the company that is hosting their website. Those who plan to launch websites for the first time do not know how to find out who is hosting a website. This is quite a simple task. Search for the term `whois’ on any search engine. Visit one of the sites that appear on the search results. Select the `whois’ option on that site and type the url of the sites you found out in the previous step.
Whois — your man Friday
You can find out details about the web host hosting company hosting that website. Note down this detail on a piece of paper. Conduct the whois search for a couple of other urls and note down the details about their web host. Thos whois search engines provide you with the best way for a website host lookup. Those familiar with the command line prompt can also perform this task through the command line interface, if the operating system of their PC supports this command.
Using the command prompt
Click on the `start’ button and then click on the `run’ option. To gain access to the dos prompt screen, type cmd and press the `enter’ button. You will see a black screen containing white text. You will see this command prompt: C:\xxxxx (where xxxx is the username assigned to that computer). Now type whois followed by a space and then the url of the website whose host you are searching for. Repeat this step for other urls, noting down the name of the webhost. You can now search for these web hosting companies and check out their rates along with the offers they provide.
Massive link of hard drives
You might be wondering where is a website hosted. Websites are hosted on servers, which are powerful computers having massive amount of RAM and storage space. These computers contain hundreds of hard disk drives connected with each other. When you opt for the services of a web hosting company, the administrators of that company create a specific partition that only you can access. The company also provides you with a control panel, which helps you to configure your website, set up specific scripts such as WordPress etc, setup permissions like blocking requests from specific IPs to gain access to your website, and much more.
It is best to select a web hosting company whose servers are located in your city. This decreases the number of hops that the guest (your client’s ISP) has to go through before reaching your website. This provides fast access for the client to the host, especially those located in your city. You can also use the `whois’ command mentioned above to find where is website hosted. Most people believe that reputable and reliable web hosting companies charge a huge amount. This is a misconception. In fact, you can get a good deal if you book the web host for three years or more.
Check for freebies
You should also lookout for other freebies provided. Many web hosts provide free templates that you can use for designing your website. Quite a few hosts also offer search engine optimization services as part of their package. If you cannot afford dedicated hosting (the host allocates a special partition only for you), go for shared hosting. In this case, different websites are hosted on the same partition of the server, yet are isolated from each other, decreasing the chances of your website being hacked.