What To Look For In A Web Host

What To Look For In A Web Host

Are you looking to​ build yourself a​ website? Trying to​ give yourself a​ presence on the​ internet? Then you would definitely be needing a​ web host to​ host your site on.

First thing to​ think about though when looking for​ a​ web host is​ the​ sort of​ website you are thinking of​ creating. is​ it​ going to​ be a​ just a​ personal site about yourself and​ your CV, is​ it​ going to​ be a​ family site with lots of​ family pictures? Thinking of​ setting up a​ busy forum about your favourite hobby, or​ a​ game server to​ play your favourite games online with friends or​ are you even contemplating having multiple sites? All this questions would have to​ be answered before you embark on your search for​ a​ suitable host.

One thing you would notice straight away is​ most hosts have plans providing you with gigabytes of​ space and​ bandwidth. This could lead you to​ believe your site would take that much space which could then lead you into comparing hosts by comparing the​ amount of​ space made available to​ you going for​ the​ company that offers the​ largest space. (I have seen a​ company offering 100Gigabyte of​ space once). the​ truth is​ most websites don’t even use anywhere close to​ that amount of​ space. Majority of​ sites don’t even use up to​ 1Gb of​ space. the​ average website on the​ internet today uses less than 50MB of​ space (yes you read that correctly 50MB). Even an​ album based website for​ example a​ family website with family pictures would still use less than 500MB of​ space. But don’t take my word for​ it, if​ you can, build your website offline first of​ all using a​ site building software such as​ dreamweaver or​ nVU, exactly how you want it​ to​ be online with all the​ images and​ you would discover how very little space it​ uses up. it​ is​ therefore possible to​ have several websites on just 500MB of​ online space.

So I here you ask, why do hosting companies offer as​ much as​ 5-100Gb of​ space in​ their plans? Well the​ truth is​ because they all want to​ appear competitive.

They know your site wouldn’t use that much space and​ they know you most likely don’t know that, so they try and​ prey on the​ natural human trait known as​ GREED. Out of​ greed, people would always want to​ get the​ most of​ something they can even though they wouldn’t use all of​ it. I have even seen some companies offering Unlimited disk space which is​ just laughable.

So do these companies have so much space to​ offer everyone? as​ you guessed it, the​ answer is​ no. What happens is​ they oversell! Because they know you most likely wouldn’t use anywhere near your allocated space, they oversell to​ make as​ much money from you as​ they can before you finally transfer to​ someone else.

And if​ a​ client comes along with an​ extremely heavy website and​ does use even 75% of​ the​ space allocated to​ him, he would most likely get kicked off by the​ host provider with the​ reason that he’s using too many server resources.

Another trick of​ the​ trade is​ the​ amount of​ sites you can have on your accounts also known as​ ‘add-on domains’ on your account. One could assume that if​ you cannot fill 5Gb with a​ single website, then maybe perhaps you could fill it​ with several websites. Well these 'overselling' companies have thought about this too and​ what they do is​ limit the​ amount of​ websites you can have per account. So on say a​ 5Gb account, you may only be allowed to​ have 2 websites or​ add-on domains.

Bandwidth is​ another thing to​ look out for. But like disk space, you usually don’t use close to​ what is​ being offered, and​ this is​ also grossly oversold. Bandwidth is​ basically the​ amount of​ data that is​ transferred from and​ to​ your hosting account everymonth. Technically you can work out the​ amount of​ bandwidth you are going to​ need by using this formula:

[Average size of​ your webpages + any graphics used] x [The number of​ visitors you expect each day x Number of​ pages each visitor would view] x [30 days] = Total Bandwidth for​ the​ month.

For example for​ a​ 30 page website averaging 8kb per page, and​ 50kb worth of​ images on each page. if​ you get 50 visitors a​ day viewing an​ average of​ 4 pages each, the​ total bandwidth for​ the​ month would be [8 KB + 50 KB] * [50 visitors * 4 pages] * [30 days in​ a​ month] = 348,000 KB. Therefore this site would use a​ bandwidth of​ approximately 348Mb per month which is​ well within limitations of​ any hosting company.

Therefore what should you look for​ when choosing a​ hosting company? the​ most important thing to​ look at​ is​ the​ server specs the​ company uses, and​ just as​ important the​ support they provide to​ their clients. By seeing how much effort a​ company has put into to​ develop their support department would tell you the​ sort of​ experience you would have with them. is​ their support just an​ email address? if​ so then you probably wouln’t want to​ be with them. Does their support have a​ knowledge base? Ready made questions and​ answers, video tutorials to​ show you visually how to​ solve the​ most common problems? an​ email ticketing system so if​ you do email them, responses can be tracked? Live chat so a​ quick question can be answered instantly? a​ good host that is​ not just worried about their profits would invest the​ time and​ energy into making all these available for​ their current and​ potential clients.

So when next you are out shopping for​ a​ webhost, don't just look at​ the​ amount of​ space and​ bandwidth you get, also look at​ the​ support available to​ you if​ a​ problem arises as​ it​ almost always does.

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