Which Web Host Account to Order: What You
Need and What You Don't
One of the hosts I like,
only offers one account so if you go with them it's easy - you don't need to worry
about figuring out which account to get. That one account has
everything you will ever need and then some. Most other web hosts,
however, do offer a choice of plans.
So, how do you know which plan to get?
When you compare web host accounts you will see a lot of techie jargon.
Here is a sample of a web hosting plan: 50 mb storage, 500mb bw,
pop3 email account, FTP, mysql database, cgi, php, python, ssl, ssh,
Front Page extensions.
Seems confusing, huh? Don't let the
techie jargon throw you. If you are just starting out here is what
you need to know; the things you should care about and the things you
Space - this is the amount of space you are allowed to use on
your web host's servers. If you are just starting out don't worry
that the plan you select won't have enough space for you. It will.
All you will probably need is 5 mb of
storage space. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's really a HUGE
amount. The average website uses between 2-3 mb of space. As
a guide, one of my sites has over 100 pages and uses less than 3
mb of space.
Since the most basic plan offering for
most web hosts offers much more space than that (10, 50, 100, 500,
etc.), if you get the cheapest plan and it provides at least 5 mb of
space you should be fine.
People who need extra space:
photographers who are putting their portfolio on the web, people who
want to put movies up, people running a lot of databases/chat
- whenever someone visits your web site your web host's server has to
"serve up" your site to them. The space it takes up when your host
delivers the site is called bandwidth. This is also called data
transfer by some hosts. The more times people request your site,
the more bandwidth is used. Thus, the more popular your site, the
more bandwidth you will use.
Most sites never exceed their allotted
bandwidth so you probably will never have to worry about this.
If your site gets hugely popular your web host will tell you that you
need to move up to an account with more bandwidth. A good problem
- most web hosts plan offer a POP3 email account and either unlimited
email addresses, auto-responders and forwarders or else a substantial
A POP3 account lets you send and receive
email from your computer using a program like Outlook, Outlook Express,
Eudora, etc. That way you don't have to log into your web mail to
check your mail. You can receive it and send it directly from your
Email Addresses (also called aliases)
lets you create a bunch of different email addresses using your domain
name. For example, you could create
You really don't need to worry about the
email offerings since most web hosts offer all of this as standard.
- if you want to get a bit technical and offer certain
scripts from your site such as Refer a Friend, Bookmark this Site,
Newsletter sign up, etc. then you want to make sure the hosting account
you sign up for includes CGI access. This allows scripts to work
on your site.
If you use a web host's site builder
to create your web site you don't need to worry about this - they
will have offerings on your site which will allow you to easily do this.
Page Extensions - this only applies if you are using Front
Page to build your software. Your web host needs to support Front
Page extensions in order for you to transfer your site to your web
host's servers using front page. Most do, but a few still don't.
If it doesn't say so on their site, check with your web host prior to
signing up just to make sure they do support Front Page.
Perl, MySql, SSI, etc. - if you don't know what something is
and I haven't explained it above, you don't need it.
So, now you know what you need, what to
look for and what to look out for. You are now set to begin your
web host search. Not sure where to start? So many people
asked me to recommend hosts that I've put up a list of the web hosts
that I like.
Click here for:
Hosts I Like