So you want to publish a web site do you? Welcome to the club. These days it seems that almost everyone has a web site of some sort, and thousands more continue to be launched every day. It’s challenging enough to develop a web site and fill it with interesting content, but when all is said and done another challenge still remains — where to host it?
A popular choice for newbie website owners, and even experienced ones, is to secure a free hosting plan with a company such as Yahoo! Geocities, Tripod or Angelfire. While these are easy to setup and free of charge, they do have limitations. Most free hosts don’t offer all the nice features that paid hosts do such as FTP access, CGI-BIN, or your own private url of your website. Insfivem clothestead you’re stuck with minimal features and a universal URL such as
somewhat limits your web site‘s potential. Most free hosts also need you to run banners or pop-up ads on your web site to make it worth their while — these banners and pop-ups can obstruct the view of your web page and ultimately provok visitors and drive them away. Lastly, most free hosts have a daily bandwidth limit that is really small, so if you do get a lot of traffic you’ll most likely exceed the given bandwidth and your site will be briefly impaired. Overall I would recommend free web hosts for people that are new to website hosting and would like to get a feel for how it works. I’d also recommend them for web sites that are personal in nature (such as an online journal) as well as web sites that don’t want to generate any revenue. Free web hosts are a great stepping stone to paid web hosts — I myself starting building web sites 4 years ago using free hosts, and after this I run several high traffic web sites that are managed on paid website hosting plans.
Now you have to get into the good stuff — paid website hosting. Website hosting companies that charge money for their services are abundant on the internet, and have a wide array of hosting packages at various price points. First we start out with so called “budget” web hosts, who claim to offer you the world for only $1 per month. Having used numerous such companies I find myself I need to tell you to proceed with caution here, as these companies aren’t all that they are damaged up to be. Many claim to offer 24/7 e-mail support, which in my opinion ended up being 0/0 e-mail support. My e-mails were either never answered or answered a week after i sent them. Even when I got an answer it was universal in nature and completely unhelpful. Also, expect frequent outages with one of these budget web hosts as they rarely get their own web servers — often they are reselling space on somebody else’s web servers over which have no control. One budget webhost I used was lost unexpectedly for 6 days, and they didn‘t even bother to inform their customers. As a result, my web site was down for 6 days and I lost most of my visitors as well as my hard-earned search engine ranking positions. Lesson learned: if the reliability and success of your web site is important to you, budget website hosting might not be the answer. However, this is not to say that all budget web hosts are bad — 1dollarhosting. com is one of the leaders in the budget website hosting arena and has quite a good reputation.
The next type of paid webhost is what I refer to as a “mid-range” webhost, which means that they offer prices and service that will satisfy the majority of web sites out there. Mid-range web hosts like PowWeb, Your-Site. com and iPowerWeb offer packages ranging from $5 to $8 per month and provide the instruments that most website owners will need to run a web site, such as: CGI-BIN, tons of e-mail addresses, FTP support, visitor statistics and more. These hosts do have monthly bandwidth limits, but the limits may be high, and most web sites will never reach them. However, if your web site features hundreds of file downloads available and gets decent traffic you may be shocked at how soon you’ll reach those bandwidth limits. When you do, your site may be briefly power down or you’ll have to pay bandwidth overage charges, which can get pricey. Overall though, mid-range web hosts will be satisfactory for 90% of the web sites out there, and generally offer excellent uptime/reliability. In fact, many web-based businesses are successfully run using a mid-range webhost. However, as mentioned previously, web sites that offer large files for download or sites that get plenty of traffic might discover that a mid-range host doesn’t quite suit their needs. These types of web sites might have to have “high-end” website hosting solutions, the next topic in our discussion.
High-end web hosts typically service web sites that are extremely popular, have a high amount of traffic, and/or require pretty much 100% uptime. Most businesses rely on high-end web hosts to host their web sites. Rackspace. com is an example of a hot high-end website 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 give you your own dedicated server (which they support) that is earmarked just for you and your web site. The mid-range hosts I discussed earlier typically host many different web sites for a passing fancy server — this is known as “shared” hosting. High-end web hosts offer stellar reliability, bandwidth, and just about every tool you’ll ever need to run a successful web site. Another feature that some high-end web hosts provide is “co-location” hosting. In this scenario, YOU configure and provide the web server, but you get to plug it into their data center/network. This is very nice because their data center usually has a fiber-optic connection right to the internet, offering high bandwidth and stellar reliability. People who run web-based businesses or extremely popular, high traffic web sites are good candidates for high-end website hosting.
Hopefully this brief overview gives you a good picture of the numerous kinds of web hosts which exist, and which one might be right for you. When you start your search for a webhost, always keep in mind the old saying “You get what you pay for” because it really does hold true in this case. Before you make the commitment to host a web site be sure to take some time and analyze what you want out of the web site, and decide which factors are most important to its success. Answering these questions will get you many steps closer to choosing the web host that’s right for you.