Getting your site on the Internet – Web Hosts
You have decided upon that irresistible Domain Name. Now we need to choose a Web Hosting Company.
To have a site or sites on the internet, you need a Web Host. Basically a Web Hosts are servers (a very large computer systems) that have enormous amounts of disk storage and they “rent” space on their servers so that you can have your web site publicly available on the internet.
Choosing a Web Hosting Company can seem overwhelming. There are many companies out there offering this service, and the services they provide as well as their prices vary widely.
You will likely begin your search by typing “web hosts” into google.com and on the first page you will find several “Top 10 Web Hosts” listings. A word of caution, when you refer to the information about web hosts on these sites, and if you read the fine print disclaimers, you will see that many of these Top 10 sites do receive commissions from the web hosting companies that they list. I am not saying the information they present is misleading or incorrect. Just remember it is up to you to go to each of the web hosting sites and check out for yourself it they are the right fit for you.
I did actually find one Top 10 Web Hosts site that states in their fine print that they Do Not accept payment or commissions, so I would suggest starting there:
No matter where you begin your search, it is up to you to gather the details of the different web hosting companies and decide which one best fits your needs and budget.
You will quickly see that prices vary widely, from as low as $1.99 per month up to $20 or more per month. When I began our search I tried to find the best balance between price and features. When shopping for price, be sure to check what the price will be when your original agreement expires. For example, I saw many low price offers that more than doubled after the first year. If you are setting up family web sites, or are a small business on a budget, you might want to be sure that you understand what your price will be when your agreement renews.
Web Hosts – Basic Features you Should Look For:
Disk Space – How much storage you are renting. Many hosting companies offer Unlimited Space and Unlimited Websites.
Data Transfer – How much bandwidth your site(s) use. Can be important if you host photos, videos and other downloads. Look for Unlimited.
Email – How many email accounts you can have (ie: email@example.com). Nice for businesses, looks much more professional than a “free” email address.
Webmail & POP3/IMAP Email – Use your web browser and/or a mail client (MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail).
FTP Accounts – Used to upload your sites, photos and other documents to the servers.
Web Based File Manager – Useful for uploading smaller files to the servers.
cPanel – Your control panel for your web hosting account. Most web hosting companies supply this control panel.
There are many other features that web hosts offer so if there is something else that is important to you, then look for those features and list which hosting companies offer them also.
To aid in your search, make a worksheet that you can make notes on as you explore the options. You can list your required options across the top, and the hosting companies down the left side. When you are finished with your research, this will help greatly in choosing a hosting company.
So are you wondering who we chose and why? We found that webhostingpad.com fit our needs best because it has all the features that were important to us (listed above) and then some. They go as low as $1.99 per month if you sign up for 4 or more years, $2.49 for 3 years and $2.99 per month for 2 years! While we only needed their support once in the two years we had an account with them, they were very prompt in responding to our problem. The shocker came when we got the bill to renew our domain and hosting. I guess we did not read all the fine print because the hosting went from just under $40 per year to almost $80 per year. That prompted us to search and see if we could find a hosting service that guaranteed the same price year after year.
So we recently changed hosting providers and went with Arvixe which has a reasonable monthly fee ($4), but with the added benefit of all renewals will continue at your original price “for life”, plus you get one free domain registration (or transfer), and that is also “for life”. There are many coupons on the internet that you can use to get a lifetime discount off any of their hosting services. So we are paying $1 more per month that we originally did with webhostingpad, however our renewal cost will always be $4 per month.
Ok, you already have that perfect Domain Name. Now do your homework and select a web hosting plan.
Next you need to decide, depending on your specific needs and budget, if you want to buy your Domain Name and host your Domain with the same Company, or if you want to buy the Domain Name from one company and then go with a different company to host your it. Either way, make your decision and purchase the Domain Name and Web Hosting plan now.
Next, you will want to get all the files and folders for your web site nicely organized on your computer and ready to upload to the web host server. When that is complete, move on to the FTP page to learn how to get your website on the server and the internet.