Beginners guide to web hosting

For those just setting out to create their own web site there are numerous factors that one needs to take into consideration, and a god guide to web hosting would come very much in handy. Of course, if the site is just for your personal use, you can probably go with a free web hosting, but this is not something I personally recommend.

One of the main problems with free web hosting is that you will not have your own domain name, and this is only one of the issues. Another important point to consider is that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. And what I mean by that is that a free web hosting provider has to make his money too, and if he can’t make it from you, then his only option is to make it from somebody else. This means that you will either tolerate unnecessary and unrelated advertisements on your site, or will have to do something to maintain your website, such as regularly posting on a forum thereby increasing traffic to that forum, which can be turned into revenue for a free web provider in various ways.

Any guide to web hosting will tell you that while these systems do work, they can be invasive to your website as in the case of having unrelated advertisements on it. Or they can be time consuming as in the case of having to post on a forum or to fulfill some similar obligations. That’s why I generally recommend going in for a paid web hosting, even if your website is not commercial and is one that you put up for purely personal reasons.

A paid web hosting does not have to be as expensive as many people might think. This is because so long as the site is at all reasonable in its requirements and in the number of pages and the graphics that it displays, it’s very rare for any average website to cross about 50 Mb in its entirety. 50 Mb is a capacity that most providers allow for under very reasonable terms of payment. Why should you bother with the inconvenience  of a free web hosting when you can have all the space and facilities that you require from a paid web hosting at a very nominal payment of between 5 dollars and 15 dollars a month, depending of course what additional facilities you require.

HostGator Control Panel

HostGator Control Panel

Now once you’ve paid for your site, you’ll find that you can access all its features and systems through a comprehensive control panel cPanel. cPanel will allow you to control all the important aspects of your website, allowing you to set up a theme for your website, to create subdomains and email addresses, based upon your web domain and even let you check what sort of traffic your web site is generating and the IP addresses of visitors to your site. So what sort of hosting plan should you go in for?  I would say that to begin with you should choose a provider that will allow you to upgrade your space requirements as and when you choose.

To start with, you really shouldn’t need any more than about 50 Mb of space and a reasonable bandwidth. However, you should ensure that whatever provider you are going for will allow you the facility of upgrading your site as and when it becomes necessary. Another interesting and useful facility that any good hosting company should provide you with is email with POP3 protocol, whch will allow you to check your email using any standard client application such as Outlook express.

One more important thing a guide to web hosting should mention is that the server should possess is support for the most advanced, versatile and stable  scripting languages. This gives you a basis for compatibility with the future, allowing you to not only to upgrade your site in the present but also to implement new technologies as and when they become available. There should also be several simple services such as an ability to disable hot linking, which can really eat up bandwidth from your site.

Then there is perhaps the most important aspect of all, and that is just what level of technical support your provider is willing to give you. Ideally, at least for a paid service, you should be able to contact customer support at any time of the day or night. This can be crucial if your website suddenly goes offline or if you have any similar problems, such as, with accessing it.

A paid web hosting provider should certainly provide this level of support, as there are a good many free web hosting providers who do provide it. Another nice facility to have it continuous monitoring of the server and system by qualified technicians who can step in in case of any issues or instability. As for prices, they can be very reasonable, so long as your demands and requirements are at all reasonable.

Generally speaking the best recommendation a guide to web hosting can give you is to choose a company with a good reputation and select a plan which satisfies your needs as to bandwidth and disk space with a price that is within your budget.

2 Responses to Beginners guide to web hosting

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