How to Get Started With Web Hosting

You’ve done all your homework and you’ve decided on the perfect website for yourself. You understand that you need someplace to host your site and now you’re stuck. How, exactly, do you get your website up and running? You understand how to create the site using a web designing software, but how do you get your site on the Internet and live? That is what a web hosting package will do for you. Let’s start from the beginning.

A web host company provides you with web hosting services. This means they put your website on their web server for a monthly fee. They are leasing out a small portion of their server to you so that you can make your website come alive. The URL that your site is found on is called the domain name and more often than not, the web hosting company you decide to use will offer you a package in which you will get the domain name you want to be registered to your site in addition to the web hosting services.

Let’s pose this question now: what type of website are you building? There are some of you saying, ‘They’re more than one type?’ Yes, there is. Websites come in static (simple) sites or dynamic sites. Static sites do not change or update themselves until you reload the web page with the new information up onto the webserver.

These are simple sites developed with HTML coding using a software package like FrontPage, Dream Weaver, or site builder software the web host provides. Dynamic sites are the ones that use web applications on the webserver such as blogs, forums, photo galleries, and more. They do not require any special software to develop and visitors to your site can participate in conversations and other activities if the site is set up to allow it. Most web hosting packages will automatically install the application on your behalf.

The next step knows what type of web server you are going to be working with. Static HTML sites can be hosted anywhere so they are less of a consideration than dynamic sites. Because dynamic sites use interactive type applications, you will need to know what types of hosting services handle them. There are two main types: Linux and Windows. You will want to use a Linux package for everything unless you need an ASP host. Then you would use a Windows web hosting package. Linux is faster, cheaper, and more flexible in its usage that Windows and you usually never have any sort of compatibility problem with it.

The level of web hosting is the next step. Free hosting – which is free and doesn’t cost you anything – is great for small private websites and communities where advertisement overload and speed is not an issue. It won’t hurt you or your website if the server goes down every so often and your website is not live when this happens. Shared hosting, the most common type of web hosting available, costs somewhere between 100 INR to 200 INR a month. The server is huge and hosts websites that vary widely. Each site has its account that is isolated from other clients. VSP – or Virtual Private Servers – run between 700 to 1000 INR a month, and is similar to shared hosting, meaning that multiple sites are hosted on one server. However, sites on a VPS are highly isolated with strict security protocols that make the server itself act as if it was a dedicated server. Lastly, there is a dedicated server hosting. The most expensive package of all – running around 3000 INR if you take services from HostingRaja who is a leading hosting services provider in India.

If you haven’t chosen a hosting company yet, then you already know what to look for based on the decisions you’ve made as you have read this article. You are not going to need unlimited disk space or bandwidth so do not be tempted by companies that offer you unlimited anything. They are too good to be true and not necessary. A hosting plan between $5 and $10 a month will provide you with all the space and bandwidth your new site will need. You can always upgrade later if you exceed the bandwidth or need additional space.

There are three things you should look into when choosing your web hosting company and package:

How well will your site perform and how fast will it be? Look at a site the company hosts to get an idea. How reliable is the hosting company? Look for reviews and comments on downtime. How good is the customer service? Once again look for reviews and comments. If you are a hands site designer or know your way around, this may be less of an issue.

Remember, if the site says ‘unlimited space and bandwidth’ is not unlimited. You will run into restrictions that the web hosting company puts into place to simply attract you to use their service. The only time bandwidth and space considerations are going to affect your website is if you’re trying to run a very high traffic site virtually free. If this is the case, you will be better off, in the long run, paying a monthly fee for your site than dealing with all the downtime and ‘unlimited’ issues that will arise.