When establishing an online presence for yourself or your business/organization, there are a number of important components that help your content stand a better chance at being found and becoming successful on the vast sea of information that is the Internet. Personally, I have always been a stickler for creating high-quality content, as I believe that this is the single most important aspect to any blog or website. In the past, this has led me to write articles about why content is important and even on how to write and produce better content. At the end of the day, however, content is only one component that helps to drive your websites success, and shouldn’t be your only focus with your online presence.
One aspect of our online presence that many people tend to neglect thinking about is their web hosting service. Sure, your average consumer will usually check out a number of web hosting providers before purchasing service with one provider or another. In a previous video, Jeff discussed a number of reliable web hosting and dedicated/virtual server providers. However, even with the amount of information and reviews that are available for various hosts, many people shop for hosting based on one thing: price. Sadly, many people simply neglect to consider the reputation and reliability of their web hosts, and ultimately end up missing out on a what could be a much more successful online presence. But this leaves us with the question; what makes a good web host?
When maintaining a website, content is always going to be your number one priority. However, you also need to carefully consider two additional factors in order to ensure your overall success. First off is cost – simply because no one wants to spend too much on web hosting. Next off is speed. In a previous article, Jeff outlined some of the reasons why page load times are so important to a site’s overall success and health.
For a couple of months now, I have been using Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) to host a handful of files such as screenshots. More recently I wanted to put together a personal website – nothing fancy; just a couple of HTML documents that would allow me to have a personal online presence. While I pondered purchasing hosting service, I ultimately decided to use “the cloud” and host my simple site on Amazon S3. However, I quickly remembered that S3 didn’t allow for “index” files to show up. So while someone could access my site just fine by going to “www.mysite.com/index.html”, simply going to “www.mysite.com” threw off an error message.
Slicehost, which was acquired by Rackspace several months ago, is an excellent company that provides Virtual Private Servers (VPS). These virtual servers provide the owner unrestricted access for both application and web development. As a customer of them for several years I have had many conversations with the Slicehost support staff, and every time I have had a talk, it always turned out great with relevant answers, but today was by far the best interaction with Slicehost I have had yet.
On the morning of January 18, 2010 I sent an email to Jason, one of the co-founders of Slicehost regarding a problem I had when it came to paying for one of several accounts that I hold with Slicehost. I explained my situation to him and several hours later received a reply from Paul. Who is the current General Manager for Slicehost and I was assured that there are steps that could be taken to secure my accounts to prevent any damage while the situation is sorted out.