Remember this from the first post in this series…”section or’ home’ set aside somewhere (website host) for you to store all your website files.”
The website host is that section or home where all your website files are kept so they can be visible to the outside world. It is also where you upload applications to run on your site and set up your email addresses. And yes, “Some hosting companies will also register your Domain Name for you”.
Just like registrars, there are many hosting companies out there and it is important that you take some time to shop around. Some pretty much offer you the moon to get your business so knowing some key areas to consider in your search should make the decision a lot easier.
- Technical Support: Will support be available when you need it, and are the representatives courteous and knowledgeable? Are they reachable by a toll free number, or other means such as online chat?
- Disk Space: Does the host offer enough space for your website now and in the future, especially if you intend on uploading lots of pictures, videos, etc. (simple sites take considerably less space)?
- Bandwith: How much data can routinely be transferred from your site to the viewer? If you have lots of photos or other downloads, this allotment can be used up fast.
- Uptime: What percentage of uptime can be guaranteed by the host? Although all hosts will go down from time to time, this should be less than 1-3% of the time. A host with guaranteed 97-99% uptime is a good choice.
- MySQL: Some programs that you may want to install, such as WordPress, require this application.
- FTP Access: Unlimited and unrestricted FTP access to your site is mandatory, as you will use this to transfer files, such as website files, photos, etc., up to your site.
- Control Panel: The engine behind the scenes of your site, allowing you to install applications, set up email, add more domains, perform backups, etc., should be very easy to understand and navigate.
And if you would prefer to have your Domain Name registered with the same company that will host your site, you can add that to the list above.
One more thing, before deciding where you will host your site, put some thought and research in to what kind of a website you want and what you will need from the host to accomplish this. For example, if you plan on creating a blog site, being able to install a platform such as WordPress is a must.
Definitely do your homework, compare prices, read ratings and feedback, and gather referrals.