Web Hosting Help

By Sergey Skudaev

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What do you need to know to find a right host for your own website?

If you are not a web master but rather a person who wants to start promoting your small business online or if you want to start online business and decided to create a website, you need space on a server to host the website. Fortunately, web hosting became cheap today. There are many companies who offer web hosting. How to select one that is right for you? What mean all that hosting features they offer? What are they for?

Hosting Space and Bandwidth.

When I am selecting a hosting plan, I pay attention on the amount of space a hosting plan offers, the bandwidth and the number of domains that are allowed to host. Also, it is important for me if the server supports PHP, MySQL and Cron jobs

The more amount of space a host company offers the more files you can store on your website. Text files do not take much space. The most common computer screen size is 1200x800 pixels. A text page 1000x2000 pixels occupies only about 10 kb. Let us imagine that you display 3 images 300x250 on each page. Even if your image is 50kb your page will be 160kb. If you have 100MB hosting space you may have about 100000kb/160kb = 650 pages. For small business few gigabytes of space will be quite enough.

Usually, hosting companies offer unlimited space. It means that you can have website with unlimited number of pages and unlimited number of images.

Bandwidth limits the number of visitors or volume of uploads and downloads you can have on your website. For example, if your website only displays pages with images then you may have thousands of visitors per day and they will not kill your server. If you visitors download gigabyte size movies from your website then few visitors will eat all your bandwidth.

PHP and MySQL

If you plan to make interactive website that allows storing visitors and products data, then you need to do some programming and you need database. PHP scripting language and MySQL database is perfect choice for most cases. Usually, hosting plans include PHP and MySQL.

Cron jobs feature is useful because it allows scheduling execution of some scripts. I use it to check server performance. Even though, most hosting companies claim that their server is running 99,9% of time, in reality it may be not true. For script monitoring your site performance visit my page Monitor site

Number of domains

It may be important to know how many Addon domains you can have because you can have the same number of websites on one host. When you create Addon domain in host control panel, you will create a directory within your root directory and then you can upload to this directory an additional website that will be accessible with Addon domain.

For example, I may create website webdesign.com and on the same host I can add Addon domain photoshopforweb.com and create additional site. Problem is only, that my photoshopforweb.com site will be accessible not only with Addon domain www.photoshopforweb.com, but also with subdomain http://photoshopforweb.webdesign.com.

You can create two websites on one host only if their topics are related. If they are not related, then search engine will be confused by seeing absolutely not related part of the site under subdomain and the rest site under the main domain.

Let us imagine that we created one site about web design with main domain webdesign.com and one site about weight loss with Addon domain fitness.com on the same host. Then search engines will access fitness.com website through http://fitness.webdesign.com subdoman as well. They will get confused because fitness has nothing to do with web design.

Free domain

Some hosting companies offer free domain or they offer to register domain with them for fee. I prefer to register domain with one company and rent hosting from another company. This way, I stay independent from hosting company. If I do not like the hosting I can move my website at any moment. My domain name is with me, not with them. So, I am free to go. Read my page about domain registration

Free Templates and Wizards for creating website.

You may be interested in using free templates for your website, specially if you are not web master. Many hosting companies offer free templates. Be aware, however, that you may have rights to use these templates only on this host. If later you will have to change hosting, you may not be able to move your website with their templates to a new host. I prefer to be independent, I do not use templates.

Hosting Support

It is very convenient to have live support. If you need an immediate answer you can chat with a representative right away. I like it.

Below are links to popular hosting companies. I use two of them. If I did not use them, I would choose Imhosted, Powweb, or Fatcow. They offer unlimited space/bandwidth and charge about $5 per moth.

If you sign for hosting through one of 4 links on my site I placed below I will send you free PHP authentication templates the same as I use on this my website.

Do you want your web site allowed users to register and login with password to certain pages? I created a set of PHP files to enable any web site with authentication. You do not have to know PHP to use my templates. Just create MySQL database and usernames table. It is easier than you think. Instruction on how to create database is included. SQL script for creating table is included. Upload my PHP files on your web site in root directory and it will work instantly.

User will be register on your web site and email with activation link will be sent to her email address. When user clicks the activation link, its registration will become active and she will be able to login to your web site. You will be able set different permission to different users (admin permission for your and your partner) and user permission for all the rest visitors. According to permission visitor will be able or not be able to view certain web pages.

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