Can anyone recommend a reputable and inexpensive host that offers 4GB RAM and at least 80GB HDD?
Shared? Reseller? VPS? Dedicated? WinDoze or Linux? Location? How about some real specifications?
It is for a Linux server. I am launching a new website and the web development team has suggested that I sign up for either the 4GB RAM/160GB HDD plan on Rackspace or the 3.75GB/410GB HDD plan on Amazon:
Can anyone recommend one over the other? Is there a less expensive alternative?
WebHostingBuzz has a special on for a dedicated Linux server which grossly exceeds your stated requirements. I'm in the process of getting one setup for my domains.
I'll repeat my process for finding a new host as it should help (far more than "someone suggests ..."):
[indent]1. Establish your requirements, i.e., Linux, Apache 2.4+, PHP 5.2+, MySQL 5+, the preferred control panel (e.g., cPanel) and storage and bandwidth requirements. Remember to allocate for log files, databases, e-mail (attachments) and growth.
If you're looking for a VPS or dedicated server, remember to ask what the host's managed services provide. Remember, a non-managed host must be monitored by you 24/7/365!
Know what control panels you are willing to use, i.e., WHM/cPanel. cPanel is the standard bearer for Linux systems and Plesk for Windows systems.
Know how much CPU time/RAM you need. If you need a lot of processing power (like Zoomla and other CMS's), this will be a major factor. These, however, are usually specified only for VPS/dedicated accounts and automatically throttled for shared/reseller accounts.
Know your target (the Internet is fast but some latency could hurt so the closer your server to your target audience the better) location and try to host as close to your target as possible.
SEARCH (using the above parameters) recording each feasible host as well how well it satisfies your requirements and budget. Spreadsheets are good for this as you can assign weighting to the different requirements and how well they were met to generate numerical scores.
Create a shortlist based on the database you've created in step 5 then SEARCH for comments about the host (avoiding obvious shills and websites which advertise for that host).
(from EastCoast) "Eliminate anonymous companies - if a hosting company doesn't have a full office address and company registration details visible on their site, it's often down to the amateur status of the operator, which is unlikely to be consistent with longevity and reliability."
(from EastCoast) "Eliminate new companies - hosting has a very high fail rate because of the low barriers to entry. If a company makes it through it's first 5 years then it's likely it's jumped a few hurdles and knows what it's doing sufficiently to have made a viable business. Not all new companies are cowboys, but the percentage is high enough that it's not worth the risk of being the one to find out the hard way, when there are plenty other options."
Eliminate companies which do not tell you exactly what you're getting for your money, i.e., the Control Panel, the storage, the bandwidth (traffic), the versions of the main daemons (Apache, PHP and MySQL), the SSL and dedicated IP charges, etc. That's where knowing your requirements comes in strongly!
The last step (other than selection) is to contact each shortlisted host with a question (I've used .htaccess and mod_rewrite availability, which services are managed by the host, the availability of IP addresses - you will require one for each SSL you use - or ask to test proprietary control panels - they may make life too difficult for you) and record the response time and your level of satisfaction with the response.
Finally, you'll have enough information to make an intelligent selection: "Just Do It!"[/indent]
it would be better if you would tell us what kind of website you are going to launch. If it is a very big website (a lot of pages...static or dynamically generated) then I suggest you should head for a dedicated server OR if it is a small website then Shared Hosting is enough for you.
Do you mind if I borrow your suggestions for finding a new host? You make some very valid points that others should know.
Not a problem - you can't put a copyright on information everyone should know (and EastCoast added two points)!
What do you need, a "cloud" account (virtual instance) or a physical server? is it also important to have a SCSI/SAS hard drives to achieve better I/O?
Not sure if you have server yet, but if not, pay attention to anyone offering you a single 80GB HDD, cause it's too old, and it can be dead anytime. Get at least 2 new hard disk drives and run raid1. If your budget allows, get at least 4 disks and run raid10. It even helps with performance too.
Would you prefer a specific location for your server?
Choosing a server that is close to most of the visitors of your webpage makes it load faster.
There are MANY types of hosting platforms and providers out there so we need to know specifics on what you need so we can point you in the right direction.
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