Amazingly, I have finally settled on a web host. For all intents and purposes, this is the first time I have ever personally signed up for a web host. To choose one was a long and arduous task of research, research and more research. I really hit a paralysis analysis wall. Choosing one finally is a relief.
I am signing up with a web host because I plan to first host some blogs. Then, down the line, I plan to host some other web sites.
I knew I was either going to go with Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting -- I don't need dedicated yet. Shared Hosting would have been easiest for me because I could get blogging software up and running very quickly, it would have been cheap, and I wouldn't need to know much Linux (or Windows) if I went that route. VPS Hosting is more expensive and requires command line knowledge of Linux (oooohhhh, command line), but you are guaranteed a set of memory, CPU and resources (albeit not as much as some of the shared hosts *claim* to give you). Plus, you are in control of everything from the OS perspective -- you get root access.
I decided to go with a VPS solution (to tell you how close this decision was -- this morning when I woke up, I was *sure* I was going with shared hosting). At the very worst, I learn a little bit of Linux and understand how to run my own LAMP server (LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). At the very best, I am able to successfully host everything and anything I ever need to host, all under my control. In the end it will cost me $10 a month more than shared hosting would have. But that is OK. I am excited about the process.
So, the host I decided to go with after much deliberation is Slicehost. I had two VPS providers in mind, and I chose Slicehost because of what I considered its great website, excellent tutorials, community support options (chat being one of them), and the recommendations from many at the Business of Software forum. The last one was the tipping point.
So I am excited to try this out. I have already signed up for a new account and got the LAMP server up and running. Their tutorials helped out a lot here. It is important to note that this is an unmanaged hosting environment, which means, other than hardware failures, I am responsible for everything. There are no traditional support mechanisms other than the community.
In case you are interested, I signed up for the smallest package of $20/mo which gives me 256 MB of deddicated RAM, 10 GB disk space and 100 GB bandwidth/mo. You can upgrade/downgrade at anytime and I have 30 days to try this out to get some of my money back (You have to pay for at least 3 months of service initially - this was the only "downside" I saw about this)
My first major project is to move this particular blog over to the new host. I figure that should inundate me in the whole hosting process, real quick. That will be the topic of a future post.
I had 5 web hosts in mind; if you are interested in the other 4 that were on my short list, let me know.
That's all for now.