1. How many sites or blogs are hosted on the same server?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask due to two reasons. If there are too many sites crowding the same server, it may get overloaded. Due to this your blog may experience slow download times. In extreme cases the server may just go down taking you along. This can be disastrous because visitors to your site may simply decide to move on because of poor user experience. The second issue is related to unique IP. If a single IP is shared by too many websites, it is likely to suffer not only degraded performance but also get low score in search ranking. As a result, they suffer greatly on the SEO effort.
One of the ways to avoid penalization due to shared IP is to get your own Class C IP address. To some extent this will mitigate your SEO work. If you have an exclusive C Class IP, you have a unique identity online, even if it is hosted on a server with multiple sites. The issue of degraded performance would however persist.
ALSO READ: Marcela’s List of Top 10 Web Hosting Companies
2. Is the IP assigned to you safe?
This is a problem which many blog and website owners face. The worst part is that they never come to know about it till the damage is done. You must ensure that you have a clean C Class IP, in the sense that it has not been blacklisted. Google blacklists IP’s which use black hat techniques. This means you will be penalized for somebody else’s mistakes. Of course you can approach Google to white-list you but it’s a process which I would rather avoid. You must scan your C Class IP before accepting it.
It would be ideal if your hosting service provider guarantees that your IP is new and never used. But nowadays most IP’s are recirculated due to its paucity.
3. Reliability, Physical safety and redundancy
Usually servers are physically located in data centers which may have hundreds and thousands of servers. The data center must be reliable and must ensure physical safety against fire, earthquakes and natural calamities. Many data centers located in Japan were destroyed in the recent tsunami leading to loss of data. In case you have very important data stored on your servers, it is advisable to provide for redundancy. If one server goes down due to any reason, you have a backup server which would automatically takeover. Many large companies have servers located in geographically and spatially separated locations. Power backup and fail-safe hardware must be used in data centers.
The nuisance value of malware and malicious attacks has multiplied recently. Your server must be protected from such attacks.
4. Technical support
Though I may have put this at number four, it might as well be the first thing to look out for. Many a times, you spend hundreds of hours nurturing your blog or site and poof – one fine day it disappears from the face of earth. You realize that the server guys have no technical support and have virtually disappeared. This can be a terrible situation to be in. You must ensure that your site is hosted by service providers who give technical support.
5. Keeping your software and hardware updated
The operating system of your server must be up to date. All OS providers put out upgrades and patches from time to time. Your hosting service provider must ensure that all such upgrades are installed in time.
BlogoTech is hosted on HostGator and we recommend the same to our readers.
Srini has learnt to make fast cash online the hard way. As an online marketer he is able to earn money while waiting for his own blog to take off. Meanwhile, he also promotes several online businesses like http://www.cash-fast.net/ .
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