One of the first things that you need to do when you want to put up a Web page is find a hosting provider. Your Web host is where your Web pages will be displayed on the World Wide Web. If you don't have a Web host, then you can't display your Web pages.
What Requirements to Think About for Your Web Hosting Needs
Cost is often the first thing people think about when looking for a Web host. You can find a host that costs anything from free up to hundreds of dollars a month.
Ease of Use
How much time do you have to spend thinking about your Web hosting? Often, the more money you pay, the less you'll have to worry about. Ease of use can include things like:
- site management software
- file upload
- online HTML editors
Many beginning Web designers forget about space, or they don't think about the growing needs of their company. Remember that what seems like an astronomical amount of space today may be hardly enough in a year. Try to anticipate how much your site will grow.
Things that take up a lot of space include:
- PDF documents
Programs and Scripts
Are you going to need any programs like CGI or PHP on your Web site? What about databases? Again, as with space, it is easy to think "I'll never need that" and then be stuck a year later when PHP would have been the best solution to a problem you're having.
At minimum, you should choose a hosting provider that allows you access to a CGI-BIN folder so that you can add scripts later. You should also look for a provider that has pre-built tools like form-to-email, guestbooks, or chat.
How do you need to access your site to make changes to it? Some sites allow FTP access from anywhere, while others require that you use only their online tool.
Don't forget support. If your site has problems, support will help you get it back up and running. Support is one of the first things to go in cheaper plans, and can make your hosting service very difficult to use.
Transfer Limits or Bandwidth
Bandwidth charges can cost you much more than the monthly fees you have just for hosting. Bandwidth is the amount of traffic your site gets per month. A site with a high amount of bandwidth will need to pay for higher transfer limits or risk getting hit with high fees. If you anticipate that your site is going to be really popular, then you should watch that hidden bandwidth fees are not part of the service plan.
Finding the Perfect Host
Now that you know what you're looking for, you can look at the available hosting plans to determine which one bests suits your needs.
- Types of Web Hosting - know what you're trying to buy
- Web Hosting Reviews - find out what other users think
- Web Hosting Profiles - overviews of several hosting providers
- Free Web Hosting - you don't have to pay for your hosting
- Find a Web Hosting Provider - links to other sites for help finding a good host