How To Get Website Hosting
Besides getting a domain name, you need a web host. A web host provides you with all the tools you need to store, maintain, and serve your website to the public. When a visitor views your website they are getting your web pages from the web host.
Besides being a server for your website, a web host also provides you with email accounts. You can set up multiple email address (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.) and it will all be managed for you.
The following advice assumes that you want to have a basic content based website – like this one. You will have some web pages with content, pictures, videos etc. You will want to have all the common scripting languages supported. You want lots of space for your content and fast loading times for your visitors. You want good customer support.
Basically if you want a website like this one then the following advice applies to you.
Choosing a Web Hosting Service
A web host is a place to put your website. The web host then serves out your web pages to your visitors.
When choosing a good web host you should look for:
Does the website host provide enough web space for my website? Usually this is not a problem. Unless you are planning to have thousands of pictures on your website, or store files for your visitors, then space is not an issue. Most Web hosts provide 100's of gigabytes of space. So if your website is going to be a standard text and pictures content based website then you will never come close to using up the space available.
Does the website host provide enough bandwidth? Every time a visitor views your website then bandwidth is being used. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred for any given time period. Usually it is measured as bits per second - how much data can the web host send to your visitors a second. Again, if you are just starting then you do not need to worry about this – at the beginning you will not come close to using up the available bandwidth. Bandwidth only becomes a problem once you have 1000's of visitors a day. But at the beginning the standard web host packages provide plenty of bandwidth for your site.
Does the website host have email hosting? Most web hosts provide unlimited email accounts with the standard package. So even though you are just one person you can have many email identities. For example, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Of course each of these email addresses will be forwarded to you but the advantage of having multiple emails is that you can keep organized. You know that an email from firstname.lastname@example.org came from the sales page and is regarding sales.
Web hosts also provide online email access. So you can either have your email pulled to your desktop email software, or you can use the online email access to view your email online. This is perfect if you are on vacation and want to view your email from a public access computer.
Does the web hosting company have a good reputation? This is important. You want a reputable web host. A company that has been around for a while and has a reputation to maintain. Web host companies with a reputation to uphold will provide good service and good customer support. I guarantee that you will have questions to ask your web host. A reputable web host will make sure that you are satisfied by answering your questions and helping you in a timely and effective manner. Fly by night web hosts might be cheaper, but you can wait days to get your questions answered.
Does the website host provide the necessary tools? If you are with a reputable web host and are paying around $10 a month then you will have all the tools you need for a standard content based website. Even though you do not know what tools you need now you can be certain that they will be there when you need them. Everything from having the most common scripting and language support (PHP, Pearl, Flash, Python, Java) to database support (MySQL, phpmyadmin) will be available. They will also have an interface for your account (the most popular is CPANEL) so that you can manage your web host account.
On the other hand, if you use a cheap host service you will need to read the fine print. Find out what tools and services they do not provide. The worst thing that can happen is that 4 months down the road you decide to have some PHP on your site only to find out that your cheap host does not support it.
What Web Host Service Should You Use
The end decision is yours. There are lots of popular ones out there, Hostgator and Godaddy come to mind. Although I am sure they are great web hosting companies I cannot vouch for them because I do not use them.
The hosting service I recommend and use is WorldForWebsites. For me it has been the best web host. A few hours after creating an account my web space on one of their servers was ready. For this website's needs I chose the delux plan.
For most content based websites (which is what this one is) the above is more then enough. So if your website is going to be the same as this one – a basic content website with pictures, some scripts and a few email accounts then the standard package from WorldForWebsites will provide you with everything you need. And when your website takes off and you have 1000's of visitors a day then you can simply upgrade to a higher package which increases the amount of space and bandwidth available. And should the day come that your website gets 100,000 visitors a day you can upgrade to a dedicated server.
Great support. WorldForWebsites works on the ticket based support system. If you have a question or problem you go to their website and submit a ticket. A support specialist will be assigned to your ticket and will help you. Usually after a few back and forths your issue is resolved.
So far I have had to create about 10 tickets. All of them have been a pleasant experience. I had a problem, created a ticket and in a reasonable time the issue was resolved. Everything from general questions to creating subdomains has been handled in a timely and professional way. And I was quite surprised because since I am in Europe I deal with the night shift staff. I expected some delay or slower response times but that is not the case. They provide quality support 24/7.
Cheap Web Hosting – A Warning
Web hosting is quite cheap. It seems that every day a new web hosting company pops up. With all these companies competing against each other the prices are very cheap. Usually for a general starter package for a content based website you should be paying around $10 dollars a month. For $10 a month you can be certain to have everything you need. Lots of web space, bandwidth, email accounts, and most of the bells and whistles.
While doing your search for the best web host you will come across some companies offering cheap web hosting. Be careful. If the price is a lot less then the average of $10 per month then there will be a catch. With cheap there always is. Read the fine print. Find out exactly why it is so cheap. The reason might be that there is a limit to the bandwidth, or the space, you might have to have some advertising for web host on your site, or it is cheap for the first 3 months but then it is more expensive then the competition. It might be cheap, but what is the tradeoff? My advise it to avoid cheap – it might cost you $5 a month more buy avoiding cheap but at least you know you will be satisfied.
Free Web Hosting - Avoid It
Nothing in life is free. And this applies to web hosting. True there are free web hosts, but there is always a catch.
Most likely with a free web host you will need to have your website on their domain. So instead of having your own domain (www.yourdomain.com), you will have a sub domain of the free website host (www.freewebhost.yourdomain.com). This looks very unprofessional. Nobody will take your website seriously if they know that you are using a free web host. Would you take a website seriously if you know that the website owner is not even willing to pay the $10 a month to have a good web host service?
Secondly, with free web hosts you will be forced to have advertising on your website. Not advertising that makes you money, but advertising that makes money for the free web host company. Not good - your valuable web page space will be taken up by your free web host's advertising. And the advertising will probably not be relevant to your content. So you will have a website about gerbils and the advertising will be about skin care products – that does not look good.
Thirdly, a free web host does not have the same tools and services that a paid one has available. There will be limits. Limits to the amount of space you can use, limits to the amount of bandwidth, limit to the amount of email accounts. Or the host might not support PHP or some other type of script. They might not allow you to do 301 redirects or block IP addresses. They might force you to use their website building software. Instead of being able to create any web page you want you will be able to build only what you can with their software – a big limitation!
And finally, with free web hosts you have no control. You are limited by what the free web hosts allow you to do. If they do not like your content, or if they decide that you do not make enough money for them, or for any reason what so ever, they can shut your site down. Having your website on their free host is a privilege – a privilege they can take away. You wake up one day and your website is gone.
Free is never free – there is always a cost. That is why I highly recommend that you do not go with a free web host. If you are really serious about having a website then you should pay the $10 a month for a quality and reputable web host. On the other hand, if you simply want to build a quick website for a party you are planning or a personal website to share with your friends then a free web host is all you need. But if you want to make money with your website, then you will need to spend money and avoid free web hosting.
Running Your Own Web Host Server
Another option is to setup and run your own Internet web server. If you are proficient with computers and enjoy playing around with software, then having your own server is fun. It's nice to hear the machine humming under your desk, doling out your pages. You have full control over your website. When something goes terribly wrong or wonderfully right you know that it is because of your doing. Tweaks to your website big and small are just clicks away - the only issue is knowing which keys to click.
It is possible to buy a cheap older computer, get Internet connection, download all necessary server software (mostly for free) Unix, Apache, PHP, etc. There is lots of information on the Internet how to set it all up. With little previous knowledge you could probably have a simple Internet server running in a day. Once its all set up the only costs to you will be the Internet connection and the electricity to run the computer. Sounds simple and cheap. But as with most things that sound simple and cheap there are hidden costs.
Servers crash, software updates are constantly needed, the power outages, and probably the worst one – a hard drive crash that obliterates your website. These are all major drawbacks to running your own server.
Running your own server is a good option if it is something that you want to do. It is not a good option if the only reason you are doing it is to save money. The headaches of keeping it up to date and dealing with crashes and security are not worth it. Most web hosts are only $10 per month which is nothing compared to the work involved in maintain your own server.
Is Getting A Web Host to Technical For You
Is all this too much technical mumbo-jumbo for you? Do you just want to have a website with content and not have to think about all the technical stuff?
If this is your case then there is a solution. WorldForWebsites website builder handles all the technical stuff for you. They setup the web hosting, they provide you with templates and then provide tools to promote your website. All you need to worry about is creating the content for the website. They handle all the technical stuff.
Of course there is a cost involved. For their services you will need to pay a little more then a standard hosting account. But if you want to avoid all technical aspects of web hosting and having a website then maybe it is worth your peace of mind to pay the extra amount.
Conclusion – How To Get A Web Host
Here are your 4 basic options (you will need to pick one of them):
- Take my word for it and use WorldForWebsites for your hosting news.
- Find a different webhost: do a search on Google for web hosts and research other reputable web hosts.
- Build your own web server. (Don't do this unless you are sure you know what you are doing)
- Use a service like WorldForWebsites website builder which takes care of everything technical for you. With this option you do not even need to know what a webhost is - your website just magically appears online.
Do not take this decision lightly. Although it is not impossible to change web hosts it is something that you want to avoid. A proper choice at the beginning will save you the trouble of creating new accounts, moving your website, setting up payments, redirecting your domain names in the future. Get it right at the beginning and you can focus on your website and forget about your web host.
If you enjoyed this website, please share. Thank you.