Selecting a hosting plan is a critical step when you want to start up a website.  In prior posts I discussed choosing a domain name and creation of web pages.  Now let’s talk a little about hosting:  Choosing a hosting plan is a primary step in launching your fledgling web presence.

Once your website has been created, it is time to make it go live on the internet.  In order to do so, you will need a hosting plan.  A hosting plan is different from a domain name.  You own your domain name but you rent a hosting plan.  In it’s simplest terms a hosting plan is paying a company to broadcast your website onto the internet.  Let’s go over some of the key important factors to consider when choosing a hosting plan:

SERVICE  First and foremost in your decision is to consider the hosting provider’s reputation for it’s services.  No consideration, including price, should supersede Good Customer Service as the criteria for choosing your hosting provider.  Once your website is live on the internet you will want it to be up all the time.  Therefore should a problem occur it is important to select a hosting provider that is readily available and will resolve the issue in as timely a manner as possible.

UPTIME  Does the hosting provider you are considering offer an “uptime guarantee? The better hosting providers will offer up to 99% uptime.  Even at 99% average uptime it can mean that your website will be off the internet for over 7 hours per month. If at all possible, choose a host guaranteeing up to 99.9% uptime.

SIZE  What size, or how many pages will the website have?  The amount of disk space all of your website’s pages takes up will determine the size of the hosting plan you will need.  Most websites do not require much space but if you’re planning on having a large site with a lot of multimedia content or an ecommerce site selling multiple items, you’ll probably need additional disk space on your hosting plan.

LINUX OR WINDOWS  Which operating system should your hosting plan use?  BTW it does not matter what operating system you are using on your personal computer.  The determining factor here is what programming language was used to design the website.  For example, if CGI or PHP programming language was used, the best choice for the hosting operating system would be Linux.  For a website designed with ASP, the best choice would be Windows.  For the novice user who is building a simple html website the above may not be a consideration at first, but may become important later on as you become more experienced and add more features to your website.

TRAFFIC  How much traffic or how many visitors do you expect monthly?  Hosting plans are usually sold at different level plans according to the bandwith that will be required.  Bandwidth = Traffic.  The more visitors or traffic you expect on your site, the higher the bandwidth you will need, and the more the plan will cost.  The best advice here is to start off with a low cost, low bandwidth plan and upgrade it later as the traffic to your website grows.


SHARED OR DEDICATED HOSTING  Whether or not to choose shared hosting over dedicated hosting comes down to the following:  A shared hosting plan is exactly as it sounds, and means that your website will be stored on a server along with lots of other websites.  In this hosting format you generally have no ability to make changes to the resident software on the system, meaning you cannot change or upgrade the operating system, or the database management system, etc.  You will have to work within the software structure provided by the hosting company.  Dedicated or virtual dedicated hosting is different in the sense that you will have full control over the environment that your website resides in, and you will have the only access to that space.  Dedicated server hosting gives you full control over setup of the operating system and auxilliary programs such as database management or shopping cart or database management software.  This type of hosting is definitely geared to the more advanced user, and usually you won’t be able to get as much customer support because it will be a custom setup.  The best advice I can give to the newbie is to use shared hosting at first, until you gain more experience and abilities and are ready to take the plunge into something as advanced as dedicated hosting.

At I offer 99.9% guaranteed uptime and offer customer service 24/7.  The hosting plans that are offered include a variety: shared hosting, virtual dedicated hosting, and dedicated hosting plans with either Linux or Windows operating systems for every need and budget ranging from the small personal website to large online multimedia sites to those interested in ecommerce website building. To see what is available, click HERE: Hosting plans.


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