Once everything is working perfectly on a newly developed site, the task of finding it a proper home begins. Finding that optimal hosting platform, an affordable host that provides everything needed, is quite a challenging task.
The task becomes even more challenging when the site is developed using a technology that is relatively less common, like Java. While there are a myriad of choices for websites using the more common PHP-built sites, it is a little scarcer when it comes to Java technology.
It therefore makes it critical to ask how it is that one can find the best hosting provider for a Java website that also allows for the installation and running of Java-related software.
But First, Why Choose Java?
One of the reasons that developers prefer to use Java as a programming language is that it is an open source project that allows them to tinker behind the code should they require it. Today, Java has become so popular that it is used as a platform by governments and corporations in their portal websites.
Who are the Hosts?
Hosting providers for Java installation, like JustHost, usually use a flavor of Linux as their operating system. It should be noted that although any of the latest hosting platforms do support Java, those that specifically host Java websites tend to be more Java-centric. This goes a long way in helping web developers that prefer to use JSPs (Java Server Pages).
Why Choose Java Web Hosting?
Are there any Disadvantages?
Well, if truth be told, Java hosting providers tend to be a little on the expensive side. This becomes glaringly evident when comparing their prices with that of PHP hosting providers who, on average, offer their services for less than a dollar a month.
So, How Do You Choose the Best Java Hosting Provider?
Finding the best Java hosting solution provider in the market is a pretty straight forward, after:
- Making sure that they are solely or, at least, for the major part dedicated to Java hosting and,
- Making sure that they are running Apache Tomcat (an open source implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies) for optimal performance. This of course doesn’t mean that those that don’t have it installed are bad choices – they’re just not the best
Now that we have all that cleared up, let us look at what it is that one should look for when choosing the best Java hosting provider:
1. The Price
As mentioned earlier, the price for Java hosting is a little more expensive than, say, PHP hosting. But even among Java hosting providers there are those that offer surprisingly low prices. Web masters should visit sites that compare the prices of hosting companies.
In relation to the point made above, the price of hosting can be cut dramatically by going for a hosting provider that offers as many free features as possible. Domain names, additional bandwidth and disk space, applications and features and even traffic should be taken advantage of if they are offered for free.
3. Good Reviews:
One of the best ways of weeding out hosting companies that do not deliver on their promises is by researching the reviews they receive from their current and previous customers. Of course, reviews can be rigged. While the companies themselves might try to boost their image by flooding forums and open review sites with fake positive reviews, their competitors can also do the opposite. Therefore, care needs to be taken here.
4. Free Trial
One way of building on the point above is to take the hosting company up on their offer for a free-trial period (those that promise to charge, and then refund money, for a trial period should be handled with care – or totally avoided). During the trial period, the webmaster can try all possible real-time scenarios that can occur in a website’s day to day running. It helps to have mapped out a testing plan beforehand.
One of the most aired complaints about web hosting companies, Java or otherwise, is the support system that they have in place. Although it is difficult to test a hosting company’s support without actually being a member, some sense of it can be felt by trying to contact their tech support and asking about features and plans with a little “twist” thrown in. Like: “Would I be able to upgrade to another hosting plan? If so, what happens to my sub-domains? Do they get individual disk space? Or is it all lumped into one?” The point being to test the willingness of the tech person to help as much as he or she can.
To be fair, even the biggest companies with millions of dollars invested in the security of their IT systems can get hacked. A simple online search will show how some of the biggest players were robbed of their clients’ sensitive data. That doesn’t mean that there is no hope. In fact, quite arguably Linux-based systems tend to be more secure than, say, Microsoft-based systems. But that doesn’t mean that webmasters shouldn’t go through the hosting companies’ security features. All security information that is made available by the hosts should be scrutinized closely.
7. TOS and Money-Back Guarantees
Most, if not all, people don’t bother reading the terms of service (TOS) that are presented to them when they sign up. That can prove to be a costly mistake, especially if money has been spent on a long-term contract with the hosting company. Webmasters should make it a point to (at the very least) give the TOS a cursory read-through. Hosting providers that have vague or too many “shady” or unclear terms should be avoided. The same rule applies to money-back guarantees.
All in all, the best overall advice would be to head to websites that were created for the sole purpose of comparing hosting companies and spend some time doing a little bit of research on them.