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Reliable Web Hosting
Jun 02, 2004

What does reliable mean for a company hosting sites on the World Wide Web? Read on to learn more about the qualities to look for in a web host.  Find the best web hosting service for your business or personal website. Get a reliable web hosting provider.

What Is Reliability for a Web Host?

Well, for one thing, redundancy makes a web host more reliable (see the article Redundant Web Hosting.) But reliability depends on a great deal more than that. You could summarize web host reliability by saying that it incorporates these facets:





• the network experiences a very high percentage of "uptime" (during "downtime," a network is unavailable)
• sites, including multimedia, load without lag time
• data is accessible and delivered intact upon request
• the network undergoes regular maintenance and is up-to-date
• the network is protected from damage such as fire, flood, and theft
• the system is secure and client data is safe
• web host personnel are pleasant to interact with and work efficiently to solve problems
• support is available 24/7/365

You can see from this list that reliability depends on well-trained, expert staff, quality equipment, and well-thought out security. Other elements that play a role in reliability are load balancing, failover, fault tolerance, diversity, and replication, in addition to redundancy. If your website is crucial to your business, these are terms you should learn more about so you can make a considered decision about your service.

Conducting a Reliability Check

Given the many aspects of reliability, and its crucial role in delivering your webpage or website to the world, you'll want to do a thorough check of the web host before signing up for services.

 Uptime

If the server's "down," then it doesn't matter how much thought and care you've put into your website because no one can see it. Especially if you're engaged in an activity in which Internet connectivity is crucial, like ecommerce, uptime is a crucial element of reliability. Uptime is measured in a percentage and this article has all rights reserved and is copyright by 100 Best is never 100%. There are always server maintenance checks and upgrades, and other factors such as power outages or viruses can temporarily shut down operations.

As you consider uptime, remember that in a 30-day month, there are 43,200 minutes, and in a 31-day month, 44,640. When you check a company's percentage, you can use these figures to see how many hours and minutes of the month is downtime. Also, check the times for scheduled maintenance and upgrades to make sure it's not typically a crucial moment for you: most people may not be disturbed by 1 a.m. downtime every second Wednesday of the month, but if that's the time you customarily meet with your agent in Australia, you have some thinking to do.

 Testimonials

As long as they're legitimate—and quotes from Molly B. in Oshkosh, WI and Hal M. in Los Angeles are pretty difficult to verify—testimonials may be helpful in establishing the web hosts history in the area of customer relations. Ask friends and colleagues about their hosting experiences. You could also check for a seal of approval, such as that provided by Hosting Assured, a company that gives a trustmark to web hosts that agree to abide by their Code of Ethics and mediates in the case of any problem.

 Track Record

It's probably a good idea to check how long the web host has been in business and how they have responded to technological developments. How old are their servers? Are they keeping up with the latest standards in bandwidth? Are they committed to the community?

 Guarantee

A business that sets a high quality standard will offer a guarantee. Some web hosts may offer a satisfaction guarantee or your money back, but do take the time to read the fine print so you know exactly what is being promised. Since web hosting may include set up fees and/or be paid for months in advance, check to see what happens to the set-up fee and fees paid in advance in the case of a problem.

Related Web Tools:
Redundant Web Hosting

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