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Virtual Dedicated Server: also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server admin tasks for the customer (managed server).
The availability of a website is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly accessible and reachable via the Internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a certain amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. This scheduled downtime is often excluded from the SLA timeframe, and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a system drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider often will provide a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is determined changes from provider to provider, therefore reading the is imperative. Not all providers release uptime statistics. Most hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow for 43m of downtime per month, or 8h 45m of downtime per year.
Alexandra Leslie (HostingAdvice.com): If you’re in need of a one-stop shop for building and hosting a website, you should be pleased to hear that 1&1 offers their own custom website building tools for desktop and mobile. In addition to a free domain and email address, and unlimited webspace… Go to full review »
Shared hosting should be flexible. As your business grows, your web hosting service should accommodate your growth. We measured the flexibility of each service by assessing the number of plans each service offered and then checking to see how easy it is to upgrade plans even if you’re in the midst of an existing contract.
And that provides an important lesson to website owners: it doesn’t matter if your hosting provider will allow you to go crazy with server resources if it ends up with your website loading slowly or going offline.
FastComet’s customer service was good, but uneven. They were one of only six companies who responded to our email inquiry, responding to all of our questions within an hour, and we had a pleasant time with their live chat. But when we called, although their phone rep representative was friendly and eager to be helpful, she constantly misheard our questions and took forever to work her way through a response. At one point, seemingly unprompted, she began listing off different types of domain names (there are many). We ended up cutting the call short and turning to the site’s email support, live chat, and knowledge base instead, which are all superb. If phone-based customer service is your top priority, we’d suggest GlowHost, below.
Lack of control: If you want to configure advanced server options, you probably won’t be able to on a shared hosting package. This isn’t always a deal-breaker but it can throw a serious spanner in the works if you’re not aware of it in advance.
HostGator is a full-service hosting company, with plans for almost any need. Whether you’re starting out and need a very basic shared site, or need to be able to operate your own machine dedicated solely to your company, HostGator has a service that can help.
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“I began building computers and writing software in 1978 and begin developing websites and building servers in 2002. I thought I knew everything about hosting…but not so. The cost of business internet service has continued to rise to the point I…” Read full review