6 Tools to Help You Analyze a Web Host

Sep 11 2008 by Eva Vesper | 28 Comments

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Eva Vesper who works with Web Hosting Search – a small, independent hosting review site. She’s here to share some insights on how to evaluate and analyze your hosting provider.

You have a website.  You are satisfied with the web hosting provider but you still think it could be better. What to do? There are fortunately a few excellent tools that will help you monitor how web hosts are performing.  We will cover 6 popular tools to help you analyze your hosting provider.

1. DNSstuff

DNSstuff - screen shot.

One of the better tools is the one that is provided by DNSstuff. They have tools that cost a small fee or that are free of charge.  Some of the free DNS tools are Traceroute, Country IP Range, Wake-on LAN, RFC Lookup and others. They also offer a free trial for the Standard and Professional Tools.  Whether you think you really need the service is up to your website needs and demands.  If you want convenience, the toolset is the best option.

2. Who is Hosting This?

Who is Hosting This? - screen shot.

At Who is Hosting This? you are able to check out what hosting provider is hosting a particular website. Simply type in the domain name and get immediate results. This might seem like a simple website tool but if you know of a website that never has any problems with down-time, for example, it could be a good thing to partner up with this hosting provider.  As of August 5th, 2008 from the official WHT blog, there is a new owner so we can expect changes in the upcoming months.

3. Netcraft

Netcraft - screen shot.Screenshot of Uptime.Netcraft using w3c.org as an example

Netcraft is a data and analytics company.  They provide a wide range of services from anti-phishing to hosting provider server failure. They also have an uptime monitor for websites where you can type in any website domain and find the server information, ip address and a reboot graph in some instances. The downside to Netcraft is that the data provided in some articles are extremely outdated, as old as 2001 or 2002. You will have to peruse documents and information given on the site.

The latest performance report can be found on the uptime main page.  Do be careful as the results are the 50 hosting providers that paid to be included in the report, not necessarily the 50 best performing providers.

4. YouGetSignal.com

YouGetSignal.com - screen shot.

At YouGetSignal.com you will find a proper collection of useful tools when you are analyzing a hosting provider. Use reverse IP domain check to find other hosted websites, WHOIS lookup to find out who owns a domain, Visual Trace Route to see where a website’s host server is located and other useful tools. With its own in-house network tools YouGetSignal.com is a great place to get more knowledge about a web host.

5. SamSpade.org

SamSpade.org - screen shot.

It is similar to WhoIs.com but with more detailed information. SamSpade allows you to find out who is hosting a certain website by simple typing in its domain name or IP address. It also gives you access to contact information, name servers, domain expiration date, and more juicy tidbits geeks love.

6. GeoTool

GeoTool - screen shot.

Some of the tools on the internet do not seem to have been designed with the user in mind, but Geotool is not one of them.  With Geotool you can check up where all online businesses (from Amazon to your neighbor’s home business) have their hosting situated. In an instant, you can see details of the city where the server is situated, its IP Address, ISP and the region of the server.  It is important information to know since websites should have their servers located where most of their traffic comes from.

Conclusion

There are many more web hosting related tools up for grabs on the net and the more information you have about how a web host is performing, the better for you and your website. Ask for advice, do your research, and use services that are convenient for you.

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28 Comments

jdwise

September 12th, 2008

thanks for the helpful web hosting info it was great

James

September 12th, 2008

This is great! I especially like the “who is hosting this” site… Thanks for the list Eva!

Ky

September 12th, 2008

>This is great! I especially like the “who is hosting this” site… Thanks for the list Eva!

The same here. Thank you very much!

mohmmad

September 12th, 2008

Awesome
Thankx very much

Dainis Graveris

September 12th, 2008

Thanks for the tools. I just needed to analyze my current one, for now I analyzed just with YSlow tool.

Wedding Slideshow

September 12th, 2008

Very good post. I especially like the Netcraft tip

Rizky

September 13th, 2008

u might wanna check this out as well:

http://web-hosting.domaintools.com/

it’s a real time web hosting metrics and analysis of top web hosting companies. very useful.

Nick | Resource Pile

September 13th, 2008

No link to domaintools.com? It’s like the ultimate all-in-one solution ;)

gary

September 14th, 2008

http://builtwith.com gives a pretty good idea what technology a web hoster is running.

If you can find one of the hosted domains on the provider you can see if they are using any limiter modules on the domain, which will probably mean your site will just stop working if you go over your bandwidth limit rather than carry on working whilst you resolve the issue with your hoster (the preferred option).

Dani

September 17th, 2008

Super helpful list! Thanks so much Eva :)

Friedbeef

September 17th, 2008

Awesome list – thanks for sharing!

Zaman Hasanov

September 18th, 2008

This is great! helpfull post

Taubin

September 18th, 2008

Great post. Thank you.

Edgar

September 19th, 2008

These links are beautiful. Thanks for collecting them. I saved your paged on my delicious bookmarks.

Csaba

September 21st, 2008

I’m using http://www.alphapatrol.com . DNS stuff made changes to their services and they require some money for their popular services.

Farid Abdulhadi

September 21st, 2008

Thanks for the list. Choosing a web host can be a dreadful task.

Danh ba web 2.0

October 4th, 2008

Thanks a great list !
I like dnsstuff very much

Joey Ross

October 12th, 2008

Hi, Great set of tools.I found some very helpful tools to help analize my site.But why is it when you do a check for similar reports, it always differ from site to site. So I guess the moral of the story, is to you these tools as a guide line only.But they are very helpful.
Thanks

Carlos @ VPSmedia

October 24th, 2008

We recommend DNSstuff alot too, its very useful when diagnosing any DNS, MX, issues.

neddy

November 23rd, 2008

Hi, Cheers for the useful tips!

I just thought i might add / suggest a site that i use http://wdt.net/ It’s great for all my dns/whois/web tools and queries and have been using it for about 5 months as dnsstuff seems to be a bit on the slow side for me & not to mention most of it now cost money.

All the tools on w3dt.net are free and there are like a LOT more than dnsstuff have to offer.

Once again, cheers for the web-host tips.

Paul Viau

December 1st, 2008

Thanks for the great info. Sam spade is an awesome tool!

Yes Man

January 8th, 2009

Thanks for some great tips! Just tested the DNSstuff tool and I’m loving it!

Johann Maiberg

February 4th, 2009

For a website’s CMS check out WebmasterCoffee. Some of the explanations seem to be German, though…

Brian

February 6th, 2009

Hi everybody!
Great to see that so many of you are enjoying this list and putting the tools to use. I have a question I would be delighted if you could help me with. Say if I register a domain, or hosting account and want to make it private so that nobody at, e.g WhoIs.org will be able to see who has registered. Is there any other way to access that information? A tool I do not know of?

If you guys know, please share!

Jeremy

March 21st, 2009

When looking for web hosting options, the problem I was having was finding the REAL price I would be paying per month for my web host. Many “cheap” plans required a 36 month contract or they’d have a pricey setup fee or something…

So I’ve been working on this web host list on my blog (http://www.webhostranker.net/webhostinglist/) that shows the TRUE cost per month you’re paying, what you’ll owe when you sign up, etc.

Not pretty, but it does the trick. :)

Will

May 24th, 2009

Great site… thanks for sharing.

terryanne

June 29th, 2010

I cannot even begin to tell you how helpful this article is. It’s a crucial requirement to do more than just go by web reviews and stated up times when looking for a web host. I speak from experience on that!

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