Choosing Your Hosting Package
Choosing your hosting package has certainly gotten easier over the years. Web hosting has become very inexpensive. It should be easy for you to find a reliable web host for under $20 a month. For the most part if you have a small business or hobby site you don't need to worry about GB's of Space or GB's of Transfer (see definitions below). Many web hosts offer more than enough of each now.
If you are new to web hosting try this: What is Web Hosting?
Here are a few definitions to help you:
- GB's of Space
- Also called disk space... the amount of disk storage space for your website on the host computer. Storing one GB (gigabyte) of information on a computer is equivalent to storing a billion letters, numbers or characters on that computer. It's a lot.
- GB's of Transfer
- Also called bandwidth... The amount of information (web pages, images, videos, etc.) transferred to and from your website. Transferring one GB (gigabyte) of information is equivalent to transferring a billion letters, numbers or characters to and from that computer. It's also a lot.
- Domain Hosting
- Domain hosting is simply another way of referring to hosting a website with its own domain name. An example of a domain name is website-building-for-beginners.com.
- Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- An Internet service provider, also known as your ISP, provides access to the Internet for individuals and businesses. It allows you to connect to the Internet. ISPs often provide email accounts and a place to put your own website or store files. Some national ISPs are AOL, Verizon, and EarthLink.
- Web Host
- A web host is a computer that is connected to the Internet and has web pages (entire websites) stored on it. A company that offers web hosting is also called a web host.
- Web Server
- A web server is a computer program used to send pages and files to people browsing on the Web. A web host (see above) requires a web server to "serve" (send) web pages to people. The term 'web server' may also refer to the computer that the web server program "lives" on.
Questions to ask when choosing a web hosting package:
- How reliable is the host? Will your web pages be available 99% of the time? Will your pages download fast into your visitor's browser most of the time?
- Does the hosting company provide good customer service? Do they respond to emails quickly? Is there an option to speak to someone on the phone in an emergency?
- How may GB's of transfer (information tranferred to and from your site) will the web host provide?
- How many GB's of space (storage space on the web host computer) will they provide your site with?
- What's the email plan that comes with your hosting package?
- What online tools come with the web hosting plan? Blogging? Online web editor? Shopping cart? Content management?
- Is there a guarantee?
Don't worry about the various technologies that hosts offer like PHP, MySQL, ASP etc. If you don't know what those things are you probably don't need them.
Lean toward the less expensive packages. You can always upgrade later.
Choosing your hosting package is much easier these days. The most important thing to know about a web host is its "up time". In other words what percentage of the time will your pages be available to your visitors? Shoot for 99%+. The speed that your emails get answered is also very important. If you still feel a little shacky about choosing your hosting package try this article: Choosing Your Web Host. Here's another article on Choosing Your HostingPackage.