June 4, 2012

Selecting a Webhost

Tux, as originally drawn by Larry Ewing
Image via Wikipedia

There are many important considerations to look at when selecting a webhost. The first is cost, can your host provide you with everything you need with a price you are content with? Additionally, does your host have adequate space for you? A good way to evaluate this, is what do you intend to do with the hosting space? A simple blog or regular website will not require as much space as if you would like to host video, a large collection of images or other kinds of multimedia content. Some hosts may offer unlimited content, but even if so there is usually a catch. That catch is simply that unlimited means “reasonable usage” traditionally this is around five gigabytes. So be careful and be sure to read the fine print when picking your host.

One of the other things you need to be careful of is bandwidth. Like space bandwidth is often sold in “unlimited” quantities that might not actually be unlimited. So again it is important to read the entire contract and make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before signing up. Ideally everyone likes to assume that they will need a ton of bandwidth for their website, because generally speaking this means a ton of visitors. But take a good look at your content and give yourself a realistic estimate of how many visitors you plan to have a month.

Once you have bandwidth and hosting space down you need to evaluate what other services you might need. Do you need Windows or Linux hosting, do you plan on using a Content Management Service or a shopping cart? If so you will probably need an SQL based database for these systems. Pay attentions to how many emails you get with the account, some hosts allow you as many as you want where other will; tend to charge in blocks of 5-10 emails at time.

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