Determining Your Web Hosting Needs
Before you decide on the hosting option that is right for you, it’s good to assess your needs for that hosting company. The following sections discuss some hings you might want to consider.
Hosting your website files and making them accessible to other people can cost money. As with many of these considerations, a wide range of pricing is
available, from close to free to more than a mortgage payment a month. Don’t think that any web hosting is completely free, though. Even if you host your own web server out of your home, you still need to buy the equipment and pay your electric bill, rent, and yourself.
Try to decide on a budget you can spend on an ongoing basis to have your website hosted. For my money, a little bit of monthly fee solves so many problems and offers so many opportunities it is well worth it. Technical Knowledge Required Some hosting options require you to have a higher level of technical skills than others. Honestly assess your technical skills and the time you’re willing to spend using these skills before choosing a hosting option.
It’s important to know who is maintaining your web server. If you are doing
it, you need to perform several regular maintenance tasks yourself. This
includes making sure the server is running and accessible to other people. If you are using a hosting service, someone else might do this for you, but they probably expect to be paid. You need to evaluate how much time you can give to maintaining a web server or how much you are willing to spend.
Your web files take up digital space. You need to know the amount of space
you have available to store your files. Unless you are the only website on the web server, you need to find out how much space you have available on that server and keep that in mind while planning your website.
How easy is it to upload and access your files on the web server? Do you have remote access to the server (you can connect to it from any other computer) or do you need to have physical access to it? This can make a huge difference if your access is limited or restricted in any way. Also, you should know what security requirements (such as personal information) you have to give the web hosting service for security reasons.
Bandwidth determines how much information can be transmitted over a
period of time. Every time your website is downloaded it uses up some of the bandwidth allotted to you by the web server. One way to think of it is how many times your website files can be downloaded. Some web hosting services put a limit on the amount of bandwidth your website requires.
With some hosting options, bandwidth is nearly unlimited, and with others it is restricted. If you expect a lot of people to come to your website, pay careful attention to the web hosting bandwidth restrictions.
Domain Name Service
A domain name is an address on the Internet that is owned and stored at aparticular place. See the Geek Speak sidebar for further explanation of domain names. You need to know whether your hosting option will take care of domain name services and, if so, at what cost. Domain name services include registering and hosting your domain name so that other computers on the Internet know to come to your web host when they type in your URL.