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Our Choice www.A2Hosting.Com
November 20, 2016
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Web Hosting Questions and Considerations.

Over the years we have used different web hosts. Some good, some bad, and some excellent. We needed a change and so we tested several hosts before we arrived at our decision.

Our Use Case and Requirements for Choice

Our use case was simple. We had several websites hosted on several different host providers. We needed to consolidate several domains under one hosting account to reduce cost of monthly hosting fees. The domains, we owned, were low volume (informational only) traffic making it difficult to justify recurring costs of separate monthly accounts for each domain.

Consolidation came with some concerns and questions. Could we host top-level domains as sub domains on our account while maintaining a proper top-level url? What could we expect for performance on shared-hosting? Could we use separate databases for each domain or would be forced to consolidate databases as well? Additionally, could we install separate instances of content management systems at each sub-domain?

Given the questions; we arrived at the list of requirements below that would factor into our decision.

  1. Reliability
  2. Maintain high-level-domains with ability to add more.
  3. Host additional websites with little to no cost.
  4. Manage multiple sites from one account.
  5. Separate databases for each site.
  6. Managed software applications easily and separately.
  7. Multiple programming languages available.
  8. Responsive customer service.
  9. Fast and fair resource usage on shared-hosting.
  10. Clear documentation.
  11. Easy to use management / administration tools.
  12. Ability to easily scale in the future.

A Note On Cost Considerations

Even though cost was the driving motivator for us; we still couldn't consider cost more important as reliability was most important. After reliability; ease of consolidation was critical to our decision.

Cheap hosting can be found from a lot of different providers, however, when we tested solely on price-point, we found (many) hosting services fell short of our requirements and a poor choice.

A Note on Scalability

Given we were consolidating websites we could not ignore having the ability to un-consolidate (and scale) later if our requirements were to change. Therefore, we additionally factored in the host providers scalability features and offerings before making a decision. The questions we asked were:

  • Will it be difficult to un-consolidate?
  • Can we expand a website to dedicated hardware at the same host?
  • What type of redundancy could we expect at larger scales?
  • Could we easily move from shared hosting to virtual hosting (VPS) if needed?
  • Was the data centers located in the U.S.A.?
  • If we grew like-crazy; how reliable is the data center and will it also scale?
  • Does the host have data center compliance features in place; such as SSAE 16 certification and physical location security in place?
  • Does the host purchase, operate, and maintain all of their hardware; as opposed to out-sourcing to third parties? If not, how does that affect future scalability and costs?

Our Choice www.A2Hosting.Com

We moved four (4) of our domains to one consolidated hosting provider account at a2hosting.com. A2Hosting was the only provider that actually met ALL of our requirements and answered all of our questions. Customer service has exceed my expectations and the administration tools made it very easy to consolidate websites.

Don't want to do it your self?

Hire us to setup, configure, maintain, and manage your hosting account. We charge reasonable monthly fees for this service. Please contact us for more information and a price quote. i n f o @ a x i l b i t s . c o m

We also have one-time-setup services where you take over the management of your account once setup is complete.