The Web Hosting Nightmare

by Paul Stagg

Unless you have limitless time, it's obviously not practical to wade through all the Google results. So the first thing you have to do is decide why you want a web site in the first place.

If you are new to the internet and just want to upload pictures to make a family site, you'd be better off using the web space that usually comes free with your ISP (internet sevice provider). Or join one of the social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. With these style sites you can either keep your content private and only allow access to family and friends or you can broadcast to the world the picture of you swinging from the lamp posts at 3 in the morning after a drunken night out.

If on the other hand you are looking to promote your business you then have a few choices to make depending on your business. For example you may have products that you wish to sale by mail order. Having an online catalogue that people can browse and buy from makes a lot of sense and also cuts down on printing costs. Directing people to cyberspace is cheaper than having a full colour brochure printed and sent out to your customers.

You may have a property or properties that you rent out for holiday lets. In this case you may want people to be able to view pictures of your property and book their holidays online. If the business scenario is yours you now have to decide how big your site is likely to be. Web hosting is sold in two measurements, the first is the size of your site (normally in mega bytes) the second is either called data transfer or bandwidth.

The more mega bytes you buy from a host the more storage space you will have on their servers.

Bandwidth is a measure of the data transferred to and from your web site. So if your web site is a total of 1 megabyte and you receive 1000 visitors to your site in a month, your bandwidth for that month would be 1000 megabytes (1 Gig).

So unlike somethings in life bigger is better............Or is it?

Now you have to decide what language your site is going to be programmed in. You can have masses of storage and bandwidth but it won't do you any good if your host doesn't support your sites language.

So what languages are there?

Well apart from the obvious HTML (hyper text markup) that most web sites have at least some of, the popular languages are called Perl and PHP. But if your choice of host doesn't support Perl or PHP you need to find yourself another host, as the majority of scripts written that will allow you to have a catalogue or a house letting site are in one of these languages.

Now because you are reading this I have to assume you are not a programmer (why if you know all this would you be reading it) and so reading the above may actually put you off. You only want a website right? Not have to get a masters degree in programming. Fear not dear friend, because out there in cyberspace there are millions of very clever people who spend hours upon hours creating this stuff so you don't have to. And the beauty of it is you will probably find that your hosting company will have a few of these scripts (programmes, call them what you will), ready for you to use on your site. If not then you can do a search on Google and find them. They all have instructions on how to install them on your hosts servers. And the most wonderful thing is the majority of these scripts are FREE!

Ok lets have a check list on what we look for in a host.

  1. You have at least 15000MB (megabytes) of storage space.
  2. You have at least 300GB (gigabytes-bigger than megabytes) bandwidth or data transfer.
  3. You have PHP Perl (a CGI Bin to put Perl scripts into) Mysql for data bases.
  4. Depending on whether you want to DIY it, you should have a selection of handy scripts. These could include an ecommerce script (for accepting online payments), a membership site script with forum and instant messaging capabilities, guest book for your visitors to sign and perhaps a blog script (an online diary for venting your spleen to the world).
  5. A back office or control panel where you can manage your site, upload your files, install your scripts etc.
Once you have sorted that little job, it's time to select a domain name, this will be the address of your site that visitors will type into their browsers to view your master piece. something.com or .net or .org or.... The list goes on, with .com being the most popular. This part of the exercise could take a while as no doubt your first choice of name will of been taken.

Once you have your domain name sign up and go for it!!

And Good Luck

Wight Hosting.com is a British hosting company that offers all of the above plus much more. Hosting plans start at only 2.19Euros (if paid annually), with a 1 click 30 scripts installer, an online website builder, 100 email accounts.......Just go and check it out.

1 comments:

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