Web hosting is the term used to describe the service that allows customers to store websites, files and other information on the World Wide Web. Web hosting is becoming a more and more important service, even for the average user thanks to increased use in business or even the wider use of personal sites or blogs for families or hobbies. Therefore, finding a good web hosting package is an important task but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either.
The most basic web hosting packages typically available usually allow you to create a single web page and give you enough disk space on the server to store that web page and the associated files. You’ll also get a certain amount of bandwidth which is a measure of the amount of traffic the web site can handle (usually this number is an amount per month and resets each month). Most free web hosting packages are offered at no cost because they are supported by advertising. If this is okay for your particular situation and the intended use of the site, then a free web host might be a good option for you. However, most people would prefer to pay a little more and not have to have ads on their sites.
By using a paid web host, you can still find a cheap hosting package but you’ll get all the benefits of not having those annoying ads and quite possibly, more disk space and greater monthly bandwidth. More than likely, you can find such a service for a monthly cost that’s less than the cost of a large pizza, just to put things in perspective. Clearly, a lot of times it makes sense to pay such a nominal fee for much better service and features so you can see why this is the type of service most people end up choosing, especially for personal or family sites or blogs.
Shared Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting
Shared hosting is what most customers end up using, or at least starting out with. In this type of setup, the hosting company divides the available web space on one of their servers and allows multiple customers to share the space. The customers get to enjoy all the benefits of hosting but can share the burden of the cost, bringing the monthly payments way down compared to having a dedicated server. The down side is that your website is on the same computer as several other sites, so if one of those sites has a problem, gets hacked or takes up too many system resources (memory, CPU time, etc) then your site can be impacted as well.
Dedicated hosting is the obvious solution to this problem, allowing you to have your own server without any other inhabitants sharing your space, bandwidth or system resources. Of course, the drawback is that dedicated hosting costs significantly more than shared hosting and you may also be responsible for managing your server-no one to call or point the finger at when something goes wrong.
What to Look For From Any Type of Web Hosting
Regardless of the type of hosting you decide on, you should also be sure that you understand exactly what is (or is not) included in the price. As with anything else, know what you’re paying for. For instance, the hosting provider should tell you how much disk space and bandwidth you’ll get. Usually, 5GB of disk space and 50GB of bandwidth will be enough for most websites and is a fairly typical setup to find. If the numbers happen to be a little off from this estimate, not to worry. But if you find a web host offering an extremely low amount of disk space/bandwidth, run away and run away quickly. The last thing you want to do is deal with moving a website from one host to another because they’re providing poor features. You might also want to ask how many email addresses you’ll be able to set up. Usually this number is some insane amount for the normal user, something like thousands, if not an unlimited amount. The same holds true for FTP accounts. Also check to see if the web host provides PHP, MySQL, PERL, CGI or other features you might need. This will vary depending on your intended use for your site. For instance, if you’re setting up a family website, a blog, or an ecommerce site to advertise your business online, each of these could require different features. The good thing is that for that same cheap price mentioned earlier, all of the items mentioned usually come as standard features.
As with anything else, it’s always a good idea to check out reviews of top rated web hosting companies to see how they compare with one another. That way, you know you’re getting the most for your money and can potentially avoid headaches down the road. Hopefully by following these simple guidelines, you can quickly find a good quality, affordable web hosting package and be well on your way to building a great personal, business or ecommerce website.
Get the most out of your webhost while keeping more cash in your pocket. Research top solutions for cheap web hosting, ecommerce web hosting and more in the resources section at OnlineWebHostGuide.com