Here you are, in front of a computer, and you want web space, but you don’t know how to get it. Maybe you do know how to get it, but you don’t know where to get it from. Maybe you’ve seen your share of hideous sites, and you don’t want to be the same. Maybe the hosting you have now puts a huge banner on every page. Whatever the reason is, welcome to the Definitive Guide to Finding Web Hosting.
Important Things to Consider:
What’s the goal of the site? Is this supposed to be professional? Is it just going to be used for storage? Are you looking for a small personal homepage? Do you plan on using PHP or other scripting languages?
Do you just want a simple, easy way to make a site?
If you’re looking to make a professional site, you’ll want to look into registering a domain name (i.e.: http://www.bonenet.net).
Some general guidelines:
You want something memorable. If you’re going to have a sub-domain (http://subdomain.domain.com) you’ll be wanting a short domain name so that people aren’t distracted by the domain name. “joe.bonenet.net” just isn’t glamorous or clean cut.
You want the server your site is hosted on to be reliable. It shouldn’t be a gamble of, “I wonder if my site will be viewable today…” Find a respectable host. Try to avoid a host that seems to have very few customers or a bunch scam sites.
Where to look:
- Hosting Manual
Hostingmanual.net has a large database of black friday and cyber monday hosting deals that you can search to match your needs (see table). Along with a user ratings system and testimonials, sites that have had past problems have notes next to them.
Do you spend money on domain names and hosting routinely? Then this is the moment to go for your wallet. Check out the awesome Black Friday HostPapa Offers and see for yourself.
Of course, if you ever need to find something on the Internet, use a search engine. Google is just a personal preference, but try searching for things like, “web hosting reviews” rather than “web hosting”. By shopping around you can choose which host will be the best for you.
You can have your free website on WordPress.com – if you can stand having their fram on your page. This is an alright choice for the average user who just wants to set up a simple homepage with static HTML or CSS.
- PHP/ASP Powerful server side scripting languages.
- MySQL A Database for storing and accessing records.
- Cpanel An web interface to manage your site. A very useful feature.
- POP3/SMTP Mail Servers so you can send and receive emails
- Bandwidth How much traffic your site is allowed.
- SSH Secure Shell. Some sites allow you access to a *nix shell.
- .htaccess Sets permissions for your site.
- Backups Some sites provide utilities to backup your files.
- CGI/Perl Use Perl on your site.
- SSL Allows secure access to your site. (https://yoursite.com)
- FTP File Transfer Protocol is a way to upload files.
Customer reviews – Not just testimonies from a few loyalists. Look for unbiased reviews.
Active Forums – Are often a good indicator of user base. Some sites require forum usage.
Web Hosting Review Sites – Read what people have to say, common issues etc.