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HostingCavern  >  Choosing A Web Host

   

Choosing A Web Host

Choosing a web host for your site is an important decision. This for two reasons:
  1. If you are using for web site for business purposes, it is important that you use a company that you feel comfortable with, and which can provide the required level of reliability and support.

  2. Web hosts vary widely in terms of the technical features that they provide. and obviously you will want to choose a web host that provides the facilities that you need for your site.
Here are some of the technical features that you might want to consider in your choice of web host:
  • Storage:

    Storage is the amount of space that you get to store your web pages. You will want to ensure that you have at least enough (plus some room for growth) to store your web site.

  • Bandwidth:

    Bandwidth is the total amount of information that you are allowed to transfer through your web site over a set period of time, and is usually measured in Megabytes (Mb) or Gigabytes (Gb) per month.

    The more people who visit your site, the more bandwidth you will need. Additionally if your site includes large amounts of images, videos, or downloads, then they tend to eat up more bandwidth.

    (Your basic goal should be to make sure that you have at least enough bandwidth for your needs).

    Here are some examples:

    • Suppose your web pages, including graphics etc., add up to about 100K of files per page. If you have 10,000 people visiting your site each month, and, each on average views 2 pages, then:

      Bandwidth used = 100K X 10,000 X 2 per month
                  = 2,000,000K per month
                  = 2,000 Mb per month
                  = 2 Gb per month

    • Suppose you have a 1,000K file on your site, and 10,000 people download it each month:

      Bandwidth used = 1,000K X 10,000 per month
                  = 10,000,000K per month
                  = 10,000 Mb per month
                  = 10 Gb per month

  • ASP:

    ASP (Active Server Pages) is a scripting technology that some (but not all) web hosts provide. If you want to install and run ASP scripts on your site, you need to choose a host that supports ASP. Additionally, there are several versions of ASP in use, so this could be an issue that you need to consider too.

    This web site contains a list of ASP web hosts.

  • CGI:

    CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is another scripting technology. Virtually all (but not quite all) commercial web hosts support CGI.

    Please note: Some CGI scripts may require particular operating systems or other facilities too, in order to operate.

  • ColdFusion:

    ColdFusion is a scripting technology supported by some web-servers. If you want to use ColdFusion, you will need to find a compatible web host - many web hosts do not provide it.

    This web site contains a list of ColdFusion web hosts.

  • Dedicated Server vs Shared/Virtual Server:

    Cheaper web hosting companies generally provide "virtual" or "shared" hosting. This means that each computer at the hosting companies hosts lots of different web sites.

    If you would like to have one computer just dealing with your account, and nobody else's, then you need a Dedicated Server.

    Using a dedicated server may give you greater security (or at least peace of mind), greater speed, more control over your site's configuration, etc. - but these things usually come at a price - dedicated servers usually cost more than virtual/shared servers.

    This web site contains lists of Shared/Virtual Server web hosts and Dedicated Server web hosts.

  • FrontPage Extensions:

    FrontPage is Microsoft's program for designing web pages. If you want to use Microsoft FrontPage, you ought to look for a web host that supports FrontPage extensions.

    This web site contains a list of web hosts who support FrontPage extensions.

  • JSP:

    JSP (Java Server Pages) is a scripting technology supported by some web-servers. If you want to use JSP, you will need to find a compatible web host - many web hosts do not provide it.

    Note: Do not confuse JSP with Java Applets. Although both are written using the Java programming language, they are very different:

    • JSP runs on web servers, and requires a web host specially configured to support it.

    • Java Applets run inside the user's web browser (assuming the user has a compatible web browser) - and typically display as part of the web page that the user is browing. Most web hosts allow you to use Java Applets.

    This web site contains a list of JSP web hosts.

  • Miva:

    Miva is a popular e-commerce application.

    This web site contains a list of Miva web hosts.

  • Multiple Domains:

    Many web hosting accounts allow you to only create one web site for one single domain.

    But, if you have several domain names for which you want to set up web sites, you may want to look for a web host that allows you to host multiple domains under a single account (Note: some multi-domain hosts may charge to add additional domains under your account). Using one multi-domain hosting account, may be cheaper and/or easier than purchasing separate hosting accounts for each of your domains.

    This web site contains a list of web hosts who support Multiple Domain hosting.

  • MySQL:

    MySQL is a database that runs on web-servers. Many PHP scripts (and some other types of scripts too), require it.

    This web site contains a list of MySQL web hosts.

  • No Programming

    Most web hosts require you that you create your web pages in HTML, and for more advanced facilities require work with scripts in ASP, CGI or PHP.

    Some companies however have developed special web hosting solutions that those without the skills or time to use HTML and Scripts, can still achieve good results. While some of these solutions may not be quiet as flexible as those which require programming, they make up for that in easy-of-use and time-savings.

    This web site contains a list of web hosts who do not require programming.

  • PHP:

    PHP is another scripting technology. Most (but not all) commercial web hosts support PHP. Again, if you need PHP compatibility, check the hosting companies provides it before choosing a host.

    Please note: Many (but not all) PHP scripts also require MySQL.

    This web site contains a list of PHP web hosts.

  • SSL:

    SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a method that is used for users to send data securely to a web site, for example, in secure credit card transactions.

    • If you intend to use a third party payment processor like ClickBank, or Verotel then you probably do not need SSL.

    • But, if you intend to use your own merchant account to accept credit card orders, then you probably will need SSL.

    This web site contains a list of SSL web hosts.


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