You may have already chosen your own domain name and is thinking of setting getting the whole site online. Well, congratulations! Welcome to the world of web hosting. This guide will show you what it is to host your own site and what you should know with hosting providers.
However, before signing up for a web plan, you need to know what you want for your site right now and what you will need in the future. You will also need to get your budgeting skills working in this industry.
Before you choose a web hosting service
You will need to determine what it is you want to your site before looking for a web hosting service and plan. The way your website performs depends on the hosting plan you have signed up for. Think carefully before making your final decision.
What kind of site do you have?
What kind of site will you be managing? Are you setting up a blog? A small business site? Web Directory? Affiliate store or setting up your own hosting business?
How much disk space and bandwidth does your website require? These are the two major resources you will use in a web hosting provider. When you upload stuffs in your web space, you consume disk space, and when visitors visit your site, stream music or videos, or download files to your website, you consume bandwidth.
While disk space is not much of a problem, bandwidth is. So, choose a web hosting provider that has a lot of bandwidth that can accommodate large number of visitors in case your site becomes popular.
Blogs, text based websites, small business sites, information sites, online stores, web directories and small forums usually consume low bandwidth while social networking sites, user-submitted content sites, video sites, and flash gaming sites require high bandwidth.
The more bandwidth and disk space you require, the higher your monthly expenses.
Are you moving your site?
Find out the current bandwidth rate of the site you want to move into a different web hosting provider. If the current bandwidth rate per month is 1GB, then a 3 GB bandwidth plan will do fine.
What is your spending budget?
Hosting plans can range from $5 per month to a hundred dollars per month. It’s up to you to determine the kind of web hosting plan you need based on your annual budget and how much you are willing to spend for your website.
Don’t hesitate to choose a cheap hosting site especially if your site is new as it will get you longer in the long run. Just remember that it must be bundled with the features you need for a startup site.
There are free hosting providers in the market, but the hosting provider usually include pop up ads, forced advertising and other annoyances that can hurt your site. I would recommend not using free hosting for an online business. There are many reliable and affordable best website hosting companies out there.
Do you need your own web server?
There are two types of web hosting: shared and dedicated. With shared hosting, you are sharing a space in a server along with other customers of the hosting provider. Dedicated servers, on the other hand, means the server is yours alone. You will be the only one who will use the server box; therefore disk space, bandwidth, and memory are used by only your sites.
The only reason you will be using a dedicated hosting is that you have multiple sites running a video site or other sites that demand high traffic. Otherwise, shared web hosting is fine since the annual expense for a dedicated web hosting is more than $2000 compared to about $100 for a shared web hosting.
Can you install your own website?
If you don’t know how it is done, you might want to choose a web hosting provider that offers Fantastico, a server-based tool that lets you install content management software like WordPress in just a few clicks.
Other Things You Should Know
- Go with managed servers if you want the hosting provider to deal with administrative issues in your site.
- Backup your site often. Your web hosting provider should provide automated backups as one of their features to save your site from disasters.
- VPS is an alternative in buying a dedicated server. It offers more resource than a shared hosting plan and more affordable than a dedicated hosting plan but boasts both features shared and dedicated plan has.
- Unlimited disk space and bandwidth is not possible as servers buy hard disk for disk space and pay for bandwidth costs. It may seem that unlimited hosting plans are a perfect choice, but you have to know what their limit actually is to prevent problems that you may encounter because you don’t know about their limits.