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Web hosting basics

A series of articles discussing basic web hosting issues
A basic introduction to web hosting
Getting started with your own website today is not as difficult as it used to be. In fact, you can get started with a very small investement, or even for free depending on your requirements.

What is hosting and why do I need it?

A website consists of files, and just like you place files on your computer, you will need a a place to store your files (website pages) on the Internet - as you probably know this is called a server - a server is something you rent from a hosting company. There are free hosting companies who typically offer hosting plans with very limited features or are ad-supported. Free hosting is not advised for a serious website, but if you just need a place to vent your thoughts or a blog for fun, a free host might just be the perfect place to start.

What is most important?

A good web host should be able to help you with any issues that might arise 24 x 7. If you plan on running an e-commerce site or any type of serious site it does not look good if your site goes down for hours or even days. You need to be able to get near immediate help from the hosting company in such situations.

There are also a lot of other factors that are important. It is important that the company can offer a high uptime of at least 99.9%, a money back guarantee and features that match your needs.

What type of hosting do I need?

Most beginning websites won't require anything more than a basic shared hosting plan. A shared hosting plan basically means that you share the space on an otherwise expensive server with other websites, thus reducing the cost. You can get shared hosting for as little as a few dollars per month. But do choose wisely, as some of the extremely cheap hosts cut corners when it comes to quality of service and products. You can always upgrade later if your site becomes a raving success.

How do I choose the right company?

You should look for hosting reviews on the Internet, but don't put your trust in just any review site that you see. There is a lot of money exchanging hands in the web hosting industry, and sometimes the positive reviews are paid for by hosting companies. You should look at multiple sources, and ideally ask for advice in an established hosting forum like webhostingtalk.com
You should also base your evaluation on features offered. Unlimited disk space is not always as important as it might seem to some. Most websites require very little disk space. If you want to start a blog, you should see if the company offers an auto-installation module like Fantastico or Installatron. These add-ons will make it possible to install a Wordpress blog and hundreds of other free and useful scripts even if you are not technically inclined.

This general introduction to web hosting was provided by hostingcouponder.com - a good source for hosting coupons and web hosting advice.
 

Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 5:51 PM by pavlovmb

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