Choosing A Host
More often then not, you find yourself looking for web hosts to house your own sites, blogs, and other projects. How much thought do you put into deciding what host to go with? Maybe you should put a little more into it.
The Shelter For Your Site
Choosing a host can be a daunting task, because every other site you see, and every other advertisement in most popular design communities are all for hosting, and all with different hosting companies. Each one offers different features, and all for different prices.
To start, choosing a host is not something to be taken lightly. When you host your site on another companies servers, you expect your data to be protected. By protected we mean safe from everything – crashes, attacks, and oh yeah, the hosting company just vanishing one morning.
Tip 1: Your Needs
The first thing to consider when choosing a host is your needs. How many sites do you plan to host on this one plan? What amount of space and bandwidth will you need? You always want to give yourself a little bit more room to work with than a little less. For example, you plan on only writing a blog, so you settle for a meager 25MB. You soon find you posted images in every entry, and you’ve loaded the server up with extra things – and now you’re out of room.
First things first, create a list of what you’re looking for in terms of features. Try answering some of these questions:
- Cpanel or Plesk? – Both offers there own pros and cons. Take a look around if you’ve never worked with either of them before, and decide what control panel you’d rather have.
- How much storage space am I looking for? – Come up with a rough estimate on how much space your site(s) may need, and try adding 5 to 10 extra megs, just in case your estimation was short. In most cases, you can cut down that extra space for a few dollars off your monthly bill.
- How much bandwidth will I need? – Is your site original or has the potential to become very popular? Or are you running a small site or portfolio? These factors can help determine how much bandwidth you’ll need to handle your traffic. Most of time, it’s better to start off small, and buy more bandwidth as your traffic increases, because all sites start off slow, and an excessive amount of bandwidth would in turn be wasted in the first few months of a new site.
- What features do I need support for? – Are you going to need Mysql databases and php support? It’s important to know ahead of time what extra features and things you need in order for your site to operate. While most hosts offer mysql databases and php by default, some may not, and there may be other features you need, such as support for Ruby On Rails, which not all hosts have.