Choosing A Web Host

Choosing A Web Host

Filed under Information, News Blog

Written By : Kyle Bahr

In a previous article, we discussed things to consider when choosing a web designer or developer to build your website.  This article will talk about choosing the right hosting account for your small or medium sized website.

Depending on your specific needs, your website hosting could range anywhere from $5 – $50 per month and have various levels of “management” provided by the hosting company itself.  Some hosting companies will offer complete management with everything from email account creation to adding custom changes to your server’s configuration.

Most hosting companies offer basic support and management of the server itself, and tend to avoid supporting any drastic changes that you may need done to fine tune or optimize the server for your specific requirements.

To understand what type of hosting account you will need, it’s always a good idea to identify what your website will be doing in terms of size, traffic and functionality.

Size & Storage

Imagine your website host is a large Disc drive(hard drive).  It has a limited amount of space to hold your website’s content before it is “full” and causes additional fees from your host.  Many host over the last few years have begun to offer “unlimited space” at very reasonable costs.  This is mainly because most smaller site’s typically do not use a large amount of storage space.

While the amount of storage space / size of your website host is important, bandwidth plays an even greater role in the amount of money you pay per month.

Traffic & Bandwidth

When you purchase a website hosting service, you will be given a limited amount of bandwidth or data transfer per month.  Website bandwidth is basically the amount of allowed data(Files, Images, Video, etc) you can transfer to the world.

Small to medium sized websites usually won’t have an issue with the amount of allowed bandwidth since most hosts allow for an adequate amount.   Large websites like file sharing sites or sites that stream audio or video however will require a large amount of bandwidth to handle the amount of data sent from their website.

The amount of traffic or hits your website gets will also dictate the amount of bandwidth your host should have.

It’s important to consult with your hosting company or a professional  to find out if the amount of data transfer they offer is enough to ensure your site avoids additional cost.

Functionality

Websites run on different platforms which are created to handle functionality differently.  Most hosting providers come complete with all the add-on enhancements you could ever need (ASP, PHP, MySQL, etc) but it’s still a good idea to make sure your selected host has the abilities to run your desired program languages and components of choice.

The amount of functionality you require will dictate which type of host you should choose.  Does your website need a database? Are you using static files or do you require dynamic content that changes often?  Will your site feature E-Commerce abilities or require an interactive user interface?

Most managed hosts will include the abilities to do all of the above and more, but it’s still worth consulting someone who can help you make the best informed decision.

There are many more things to consider when selecting a hosting company for your website.  This article is meant to outline some very basic concepts of choosing a web host.and we will continue to add to the article as time goes and technology changes.

Most importantly, when your website is created, the designer or developer you choose should have a good understanding of hosting in general, and assist you in making a good decision.

Written By : Kyle Bahr

With nearly ten years experience in digital media, graphic design, front-end development and creative direction, Kyle Bahr has spent the last several years growing an online presence and portfolio with EnlightenMental Productions with the hope to build continued success online and in life. A strong...

has written 9 articles

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