Make Your Website Go Public With The Right Host
Web hosting services are providers that give public access to websites. Every website, no matter its nature, must be hosted by a web host if it means to make its appearance to the public. The same goes for yours so after the designing and coding phase is over, look for a web host.
There are different types of hosting services, some extremely expensive, others very low cost and even free. The choice is up to you. However, free services lack certain features you may deem important such as a dedicated domain name (not available with free hosting) and slower connectivity (with shared hosting as other websites share the same server). If cost is no factor then a dedicated service is your answer. It’s extremely fast and gives you root access but security and maintenance issues are on you.
Now that you know some of the options available, let’s look at what other factors should influence the web host you choose.
• Domain name registration: Before your site goes live, you need a domain name that internet users can identify. Web hosts generally offer domain name registration where you enter the name you want and check to see if it’s available. ‘.com’ extensions are more expensive but if yours is an e-commerce site, it’s the best bet.
Aside from the name, check the fine print. Some hosting companies may increase hosting costs without prior notification. Or there could be a clause that allows them to sell domain names if you don’t meet some criteria.
• Own or third party: Not all web hosts may use their own servers. Third party services are cheaper but security issues may be a problem. Hosts that own and maintain their own servers may be more reliable especially if you use the site for trade.
• Reliability: Web hosts that run multiple servers can guarantee less downtime, a feature you want as downtime means limited access to the site. Ask for a breakdown of quotations, bandwidth, maintenance, additional hardware and anything else you’ll be billed for. Find out if the service is hosting websites you’re familiar with. Bigger clients mean better reliability.
• Do you need help managing your server? Let’s say you don’t opt for a free or shared server but don’t feel you’re up to the task of managing a dedicated server. The best bet would be to go for a managed server where you pay for the entire server but all administrative tasks will be taken care of by a representative of the hosting company. Not everyone knows the ins and outs of how to manage a server and if you’re an amateur, you don’t want to mess with technical issues.
Semi-managed servers are also available where you take care of minor fixes and leave difficult tasks to a representative.
• Check bandwidth allocation: A website that incorporates a lot of media such as music and video will use plenty of bandwidth. If yours is similar, a few hundred megabytes will not mean anything and you’ll see your website shut down frequently. 2 GB bandwidth or more should be the minimum to look for.
• Check hard disk space: This means the space that’s allotted to you on the server’s hard disk. A minimum of 1 GB is enough if you’re the only one who has a mailbox and you don’t intend to feature an array of videos and games.
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