So you wish to publish a web site would you? Welcome to the club. Today it appears that everyone includes a web site of some sort, and thousands more continue being launched every day. It’s challenging enough to create a site and fill it with interesting content, however when all is said and done another challenge still remains – where you can host it?
A favorite choice for newbie webmasters, and even experienced ones, would be to secure a free hosting plan with an organization such as for example Yahoo! Geocities, Tripod or Angelfire. While they are an easy task to setup and free of charge, they do have limitations. Most free hosts don’t offer most of the nice features that paid hosts do such as for example FTP access, CGI-BIN, or your own personal domain name. Instead you’re stuck with minimal features and a general URL such as for example [http://www.freewebhost.com/marcswebsite]. This somewhat limits your web site‘s potential. Most free hosts also require you to run banners or pop-up ads on your own web site to make it worth their while – these banners and pop-ups can obstruct the view of one’s web page and ultimately annoy visitors and drive them away. Lastly, most free hosts have an everyday bandwidth limit that’s really small, so should you choose get a lot of traffic you’ll most likely exceed the allotted bandwidth and your site is going to be temporarily disabled. Overall I would recommend free web hosts for people which are a new comer to web hosting and would like to get a sense for how it works. I’d also recommend them for web sites which are personal in nature (such as an online journal) in addition to web sites that don’t want to generate any revenue. Free web hosts certainly are a great stepping stone to paid web hosts – I myself starting building web sites 4 years back using free hosts , and today I run several high traffic web sites which are hosted on paid web hosting plans.
Now it’s time to get involved with the good stuff – paid web hosting. Web hosting firms that charge money due to their services are plentiful on the Internet, and feature a wide array of hosting packages at various price points. First we start out with so called “budget” web hosts , who claim to provide you with the entire world for just $1 per month. Having used numerous such companies I feel I must inform you to proceed with caution here, as these companies aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be web hosting tricks Many claim to supply 24/7 e-mail support, which within my experience turned out to be 0/0 e-mail support. My e-mails were either never answered or answered weekly after I sent them. Even if I acquired a response it was generic in nature and completely unhelpful. Also, expect frequent outages with one of these budget web hosts because they rarely even have their very own web servers – often they’re reselling space on someone else’s web servers over which they have no control. One budget web host I used went down unexpectedly for 6 days, and they didn‘t even bother to notify their customers. Consequently, my web site was down for 6 days and I lost most of my visitors in addition to my hard-earned search engine rankings. Lesson learned: if the reliability and success of one’s web site is important for you, budget web hosting mightn’t be the answer. However, this is not to imply that all budget web hosts are bad – 1dollarhosting.com is one of the leaders in the budget web hosting arena and has quite a good reputation.
Another form of paid web host is what I refer to as a “mid-range” web host , and therefore they feature prices and service which will satisfy nearly all web sites out there. Mid-range web hosts like PowWeb, Your-Site.com and iPowerWeb offer packages which range from $5 to $8 per month and provide the various tools that most webmasters will have to run a web site , such as for example: CGI-BIN, tons of e-mail addresses, FTP support, visitor statistics and more. These hosts do have monthly bandwidth limits, however the limits are quite high , and most web sites won’t reach them. However, if your web site features hundreds of file downloads and gets decent traffic perhaps you are shocked at how soon you’ll reach those bandwidth limits. Whenever you do, your site may be temporarily shut down or you will have to pay for bandwidth overage charges, that may get pricey. Overall though, mid-range web hosts is going to be satisfactory for 90% of the web sites on the market, and generally offer excellent uptime/reliability. In fact, many web-based businesses are successfully run employing a mid-range web host. However, as stated previously, web sites that provide large files for download or sites that get a huge amount of traffic might find that a mid-range host doesn’t quite suit their needs. These types of web sites may require “high-end” web hosting solutions, the following topic inside our discussion.
High-end web hosts typically service web sites which are extremely popular, have a high number of traffic, and/or require virtually 100% uptime. Most businesses count on high-end web hosts to host their web sites. Rackspace.com is a typical example of a favorite high-end web hosting company. Pricing for high-end hosts varies, but typically runs from about $50 per month to many hundred dollars per month. Many high-end hosts offer you your own dedicated server (which they support) that’s reserved simply for you and your web site. The mid-range hosts I discussed earlier typically host numerous web sites on the same server – this is recognized as “shared” hosting. High-end web hosts offer stellar reliability, bandwidth, and just about every tool you’ll ever need to operate an effective web site. Another feature that some high-end web hosts provide is “co-location” hosting. In this scenario, YOU configure and give you the web server, but you’re able to plug it into their data center/network. This can be very nice because their data center normally has a fiber-optic connection directly to the Internet, offering blazing bandwidth and stellar reliability. Individuals who run web-based businesses or extremely popular, high traffic web sites are good candidates for high-end web hosting.
Hopefully this brief overview offers you an excellent picture of the many forms of web hosts that exist, and which one could be right for you. Whenever you begin your search well for a web host , always keep in mind the old adage “You receive that which you pay for” because it certainly does hold true in this case. When you make the commitment to host a web site make sure to take some time and analyze what you would like out of the web site , and decide which factors are most vital that you its success. Answering these questions can get you many steps closer to choosing the web host that’s right for you.