Canada Web Hosting Companies

Written by Patricia Skinner
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The standards among Canada web hosting companies can be compared to those in the United States as far as value and reliability are concerned. Chances are, your wants and needs won't differ much from other web users in the United States either. We're all looking for more or less the same things from a web host, even if we don't realize it at first.

Do You Need to Change Hosts?

As with elsewhere in the world, website owners in Canada are discovering that it can pay to change hosts. Prices have gone down tremendously over the past couple of years, due to the cutthroat competition. This means you can nearly always find the same service you signed up with two or three years ago at less than a quarter of the price, for exactly the same or better service. There's no room for sentimentality in this business. If you're hiring a web host for the first time, things have never been so good in terms of services offered and price paid.

Let's take a look at what you might be looking for in web hosting. Naturally, price is the first thing that any customer is going to look at when looking for a web host. Don't be fooled by very low prices though. Remember that five or 10 dollars a month are not going to make that much difference to you in the long run. You need to look very closely at the features on offer before you make a firm commitment.

What You Need to Know Before Choosing Web Hosting

If you're reading this, then chances are that you're pretty new to the subject of web hosting, or you realize that you can never know too much. An easy interface will mean that you will save time no matter how experienced you are; if you have no experience, being able to readily understand how to get your site up and running through your host's interface can be critical. If possible, take a look at the interface you'll be using to make sure you can get along with it. Some web hosts have unbelievably complicated interfaces.

Can Your Website Grow with You?

However small your website is now, there may come a time when you need to expand. This applies especially if your website is as successful as you hope it will be. How much will the company charge you for additional space? This should be measured by the megabyte so you can compare. How much data transfer is allowed every month? This is commonly known as bandwidth, and many website owners are furious when they find they're cut off after a certain number of visitors surf into their sites every month because they didn't look at the small print about bandwidth.

Such an arrangement would be a disaster. You're effectively slamming your shop door in customers' faces. While you're there, and just in case, enquire about how much extra data transfer will cost, should you need it.

Does your web host server operate on Linux or Windows? If you need compatibility with your own computer operating system, and other Microsoft products, then you should probably choose a server with a Windows operating system. If you need extra security and you can cope with the more technical interface, then perhaps you should choose Linux.

Will You Have a Unique Address?

Will you get a unique IP address with your hosting package? An IP address is a bit like your phone number. Put like this, you can immediately see why having your own is more preferable than a party line. Would you accept a party line for business purposes? Will the company help you get a domain name? Or will you have to go through someone else? This is not such an important point; it really is easy to sign up for a domain name.

Can you have CGI bin access with your proposed web host? Does your host provide you with statistics for who visits your site and so on? Can you put a database on your website? Is there full support for common scripting languages? How many sub-domains are permitted? How many POP 3 email accounts can you have before you need to pay for more?

Even these are not all of the questions you might want to ask. If you're starting out small, you may not think it's important to make arrangements for more email accounts or more bandwidth, but it's amazing how quickly a business can grow online and you don't want to find yourself in the situation where you see that your web host is not offering you economy and you have to move your entire website structure somewhere else after only a short space of time.

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