In choosing a web host, should you go for the free one or the one where you’ll have to shell out a little money? Free web hosting isn’t all that bad. It’s good enough for those don’t need much and those don’t mind its limitations. Affordable web hosting on the other hand is where you’ll get a little bit more but with having to spend a bit more.
Free web hosting isn’t as reliable as the paid web hosting plans. Its servers can go down for as longs as it wishes and you don’t have a customer support to turn to. Affordable web hosting plans are quite reliable but it depends on the company that you choose that’s why it is important to choose one that’s known to have very little down time. Besides, if something goes wrong, there’s a technical team that you can contact and they will be answerable to that.
If you don’t mind having little disk space, then a free web host should be good enough for you. This depends on what you intend to put in your website so as long as you don’t plan to much into it then you’ll need very little disk space. Paid web hosting will give you more disk space, some are even unlimited so consider disk space in paid web hosting plans as limitless.
With the affordable web hosting, you will get features that will help you optimize your site. You won’t find these features in free web hosts. There are some scripts that you won’t be able to put up in free web hosting sites. Whereas with the paid versions, you can pretty much put whatever you want in it.
In choosing a paid or a free web host, you must first assess your needs. Know what your goal with your website is. Usually, free web hosting is good enough for personal websites. If you have bigger plans though, you are better off choosing the paid version. Besides, it won’t cost a lot. There are really affordable web hosting plans, some are even very cheap and you will get your money’s worth and so much more.
In web hosting, you need a control panel to be able to manage and host your website. While there are other kinds of control panels, cPanel is probably the most popular and preferred choice of a lot of people because of its ease of use. As more and more people are trying web hosting, control panels have become easier and easier to use. cPanel is well known for being user-friendly even for beginners.
So what can you do with cPanel?
- You can manage your e-mail accounts in cPanel. You can use it to add e-mail accounts, check mail, change your password and so much more. As with every websites, newsletter is an integral part in managing it so cPanel allows you to manage newsletters too.
- There’s an account information where you will see all the basic information about your website as well as your hosting account including website statistics.
- With cPanel, you can easily customize your website. This is probably one of the reasons why cPanel is very popular. You can easily add and delete features on your website. It even has business features like a shopping cart.
- File management is made easier by cPanel. You can easily create and maintain database with it since it allows for an easier downloading, editing, creating and deleting files. The tool File Manager will allow you to manage your files directly.
- cPanel has an additional features that allows the user to download even more applications such as e-commerce applications, discussion boards, forum creation and so much more.
- You can easily manage domains with cPanel. Because they are an important part of website management, you can configure them in cPanel and create subdomains too.
These are only a few of the features of cPanel. Don’t worry, once you get the cPanel, you will be guided through the entire interface. It will offer a tutorial to get you familiar with how the whole thing works and trust me, you won’t have a hard time because it is very easy to use. There are even countless tutorials on it in the internet, it is that popular.
E-commerce web hosting is similar to a regular web hosting in the sense that the customer purchases a space in the host’s server. Along with that purchase are a set of features and internet bandwidth. But unlike regular web hosting, e-commerce web hosting has tools that make online shopping and online payment transactions more secure and convenient. Not only that, but tools that make managing an online business easier too.
Just like the regular web hosting, e-commerce web hosting can be purchased in shared servers or dedicated servers. If you are starting out and don’t expect thousands of visitors at one time, start with a shared server because it is much cheaper. Dedicated servers are for high traffic websites.
So what are the basic features of an e-commerce web host?
- Your very own domain name
- Technical support
- A site that displays the services or products that are on sale
What are in e-commerce web hosting plans that are not found in regular web hosting?
- Shopping cart
- Payment gateway
- Merchant account
- SSL certificate
- Mailing list program
- Web analytics program
- Dedicated IP for SSL
The seven features mentioned above are not typically found in regular web hosting plans. They are what make e-commerce web hosting best for online shops.
The shopping cart is what makes online shopping possible and convenient by allowing you to put all your purchases in one place and check-out and pay for them when you are done. The payment process in checking out is made secure by the payment getaway by ensuring that the customer’s payment details are encrypted.
Finding the right e-commerce web hosting plan for your online shop is an entirely different subject. Take into consideration what your needs are and what the company has to offer as well as its limitations. E-commerce web hosting plans differ in prices and features. Some companies offer features that other companies don’t such as software upgrades, free templates and website builders and marketing packages and tools. Take a close look at what a company has to offer but be sure that it has a good customer support, high-performance servers with very little recorded down time and secure infrastructure.
Free web hosting is great for personal use or if you simply want to put up a simple website that will not gather much traffic. It does not require a degree in computer and a simple grasp of computer knowledge should be enough to have you host your own website.
Your first option is through the use of third-party hosts like Google Site’s and WordPress. There are many others, so explore your options. Third-party hosting sites are great since they are easy to manage, you can customize them to your liking, they have automatic back-ups and most importantly, they are free!
Creating your website through these hosts is a fairly easy task and does not require a lot of computer knowledge. Take advantage of the templates that are available, they can give your website a professional feel if you prefer it or a playful one, if it’s for personal use. The set-up and editing tools make it easy to tweak your website. It has built in security features as well.
But because it’s free, it has limitations. For one, there won’t be as much editing tools as there are in paid hosting services. You will only be allowed to use a limited amount of space and bandwidth and you won’t have your own domain name. Advertisements are another factor. Because you are using a free feature, the host can display advertisements on your site whether you like it or not.
Before you choose which third-party host to get, determine what the benefits and disadvantages of each are. Find one that will work the most for your needs.
Your second option is to host a website from your very own Windows computer. I must say that this isn’t a very easy job but as long as you are familiar with the computer and can follow instructions very well then you can try creating your own website. Before anything else though, verify with your Internet Service Provider if you are allowed to do this because not all of them do.
Once you’re certain that you can host your own website, you can look for the instructions on how to create your own website online. The disadvantage to this kind of hosting is that once your internet is out, your website will be out too. And of course, it isn’t as reliable as paid shared web hosting.
Availing of a dedicated web server means having an entire server all to yourself and that means more control over the server, being able to handle more traffic, having more space, more bandwidth and the list goes on. Now that sounds like the best plan for everyone doesn’t it? Except it’s not. Find out if it’s the one for you.
The advantages of a dedicated server web hosting:
The most stable – dedicated server web hosting is the most stable and reliable of all because you are not sharing the server to anyone else. Other’s activities or practices will not be affecting your website. You won’t have to worry as your website increases traffic either because your host will be able to handle it.
Flexible – You will have more bandwidth, more hard drive space and more memory with this kind of web hosting. You will basically be able to do as you wish and add as many features as you need.
More control – You will have more control here than you have with a shared web hosting. As to what you can do on your website, is entirely up to you and almost limitless.
Why dedicated server web hosting is not for you:
It’s not cheap – it is significantly more expensive than shared server web hosting so those who have a budget to consider will not even consider this option. If you don’t expect too much traffic and if you don’t need a lot of space or bandwidth, then the shared web hosting should be good enough for you.
IT knowledge required – Unless you know the ins and outs of a website, you will not be able to take advantage of the features of a dedicated web hosting service. You either need to hire someone to set-up your website or you can avail of this service from your web host for an additional fee.
So if you expect thousands upon thousands of visitors on your website, if you are not concerned with the price, if you are running a high traffic online shop then a dedicated server web hosting is perfect for you.
It’s not surprising for companies to have very promising advertisements to lure customers in. Look closely because there just might be a disclaimer written in fine print. This holds true to almost every single company in every industry. Web hosting companies are no exceptions. You’ll find amazing deals boldly displayed on ads but if you read carefully, you’ll find it to be not so amazing. Worse, it doesn’t say anywhere what the truth really is until you have signed up for it. Well, here’s the truth:
Unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Everything
It’s not surprising for companies to claim to offer something unlimited to make it seem like an amazing deal. In most cases, you’ll find unlimited bandwidth, unlimited space, etc. When in reality, there is no such thing as an unlimited space or bandwidth. There is always a limit, it’s just that normal website owner’s won’t reach that limit that’s why they can say it’s unlimited. If in case you reach a certain limit, the web host can contact you and require you to upgrade to a higher package.
With anything, check for hidden charges. This is a very common surprise for a lot of people because companies don’t say it outright. In your case, there just might be VAT charges or set-up charges that will significantly increase your overall bill. Be sure to read everything to make sure that you are not signing up for a just a portion of the total amount.
Ownership of the Domain Name
This is one thing that you should look out for when reading the Terms of Services of a web hosting plan. Some companies will register the domain name under them instead of under you since they are the one hosting and doing the registration process. Be sure that it is under your name so you have every right to it.
To get the free set-up, you have to agree to a one year lock-in period. You might find something like this in a web hosting plan and it’s not a good sign. Agreeing to it means you will have to pay for a full year’s worth of their services even if you are not happy halfway through the contract.
A good website is crucial in the success of a small business so it is important to choose the perfect web hosting company and package for yours.
First of all, consider what your needs and goals are. This will make choosing much easier for you. What do you envision your website to be? What is your long term goal for that website? What services do you want to offer? Do you want it to be a simple and informative website about your business or do you want to be able to do online transactions through it?
Reliability is one of the top characteristics that make a best web hosting company. You would want your website up and running all the time. Look for a company that is well reputed for this. You must have your website accessible to your customers’ 99% of the time.
It is inevitable that something wrong will happen, that’s why I only said 99% of the time. Because of this, look for a company that has good customer support that you can turn to should you need any help.
What is a business without an e-mail account? Know what your e-mail needs are. I reckon that since it is a small business you don’t need many accounts and you only need the basics, which comes free on most plans. Take a look at the security and the reliability of the e-mail service too.
You don’t expect your business to be where it’s at forever so choose a plan that is flexible, one that will accommodate your needs should you need a bigger hosting space.
Listen to what others have to say about that company or plan that you are considering. While no web hosting company will have a hundred percent positive feedback, know what the negative feedbacks are and take it into consideration in choosing the right one for you. Your website can only go two ways; stagnant where it won’t help expand your business or a lure that will attract more and more customer to you.
The competition in web hosting is cut throat and that’s one of the reasons why web hosting companies have slashed their prices to the lowest possible. That doesn’t mean that they have slashed the quality though because you can still get amazing deals with low costs. Where the companies have cut corners is in what we know as shared web hosting. They are able to bring the prices down by having multiple websites share the same server. You have to understand that this doesn’t affect the quality of the websites themselves. Low cost equals great websites.
In looking for the best low cost web hosting deals, you must consider the price, the package itself and feedback from others.
When you say lost cost, it’s quite a general term and it should refer to around $5 or below per plan. The low cost web hosting deals fall into this price range, some are even as low as $2 but you shouldnt simply jump on the cheapest deal. Look at what the plan entails and what others have to say about it too. For all you know, the cheapest plan doesn’t have the best benefits.
Next, take a look at what’s included in the plan. How much disk space is available for you? Some may have unlimited space and some may have 100GB and honestly, 100GB is more than what you will need so that doesn’t make it much different from the unlimited plan. Customer support is another thing, a very important thing. There must be a customer support that’s helpful, knowledgeable and available all the time. You never know when you’ll need it and you can’t risk having your website down for hours.
Does the plan include a free domain name and set-up of the website? Is there a money-back guarantee or whatever kind of guarantee? What are the features and tools that come with it? These are only a few of the benefits that you you will get from a web hosting company. Find out what your needs are to see which one is best suited for you.
What others have to say about the company is important too. Customer feedback is an honest form of finding out what the company’s limitations and strengths are.
To answer that question, not really. When web hosting companies say that they offer unlimited bandwidth or disk space or whatever else they come up with, it’s not exactly unlimited. It simply means that what they offer is something that you won’t be able to reach or consume. There is no such thing as unlimited when it comes to these things, there is always a limit although it is just almost unreachable. That’s why they could say that it is unlimited because it is highly unlikely for their customers’ to use up the allotted space or bandwidth that they are offering.
This is not a bad thing. It’s a good indication that should you choose to avail of that unlimited web hosting plan, you can use up as much disk space as you want without worrying about reaching a limit. Unlimited doesn’t only refer to bandwidth or disk space as I have used as examples, there are also unlimited domain names, unlimited domain parking and unlimited subdomain names. All these will enable you to create as many subdomains under your main domain.
The word unlimited should not blind you from other factors that you should consider when choosing a web hosting plan. It is good to take into consideration this one factor but there are more important ones as well. The more important factors that you should look into is the reliability of the web host, the cost and its customer support.
Choose a reliable web host that is well reputed for having very little down time. You wouldn’t want your website to be down a lot otherwise you’ll be losing traffic. If ever it goes down, what’s important is that you have a customer support to reach out to. Make sure that the host that you choose has customer support that is knowledgeable and adept at helping clients out. The cost is another big factor in choosing. What with the countless hosts that offer affordable plans with amazing deals, it can be hard. Know what your priorities are and look around thoroughly to find the best plan suited for your needs.
So again, don’t be blinded by the unlimited offers floating around. Take a good look at the web hosting plan and other offers before jumping into one.
A shared web hosting plan allows many website owners to share the same server. While many will convince you that dedicated web hosting is better since you will have an entire server all to yourself, shared hosting is still the best option for personal and small to medium businesses. Unless you are expecting thousands and thousands of visitors on your website and unless it is a large scale online business store, you will find shared web hosting plan to be more than enough. Here’s why:
Being cheap is one of the biggest advantages of shared web hosting plans. But just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it cuts down on quality. It’s still very reliable and efficient. Depending on the specific plan and company, you can get a space and bandwidth that’s more than what you need. Look for one that has a good customer support too.
Space and bandwidth
In most shared web hosting packages, you will get space and bandwidth that’s more than enough for your needs. It’s a good thing because you will never know when you’ll need more. Having more space means being able to add more resources to your website.
Despite sharing the same server with other website owners, you will still get your own control panel tools. That means being able to customize your website as you wish and manage it however you want to. The control panel will enable you to see your website traffic, create different e-mails, edit the website and so much more.
These are very important factors that make a website. You see, shared web hosting is not far from dedicated web hosting. It’s very affordable for small businesses but you will still get all that you need. Before jumping on a plan, make sure that you have done enough research about. Find out what others feedback about it are. Don’t forget to find one that is highly reliable and has a good customer support team that is there for you whenever you need them.