To enable anyone to share a website with the rest of the world you will need both web hosting (somewhere to store the website online) and a web address to help you locate the web site
online ( correctly known as a domain name).
Webs For Everyone can help you by supplying you with both great web hosting and a suitable domain name. If you look around the internet it is very easy to find companies who supply these services at "bargain prices". Take care these self proclaimed bargains may not be as fantastic as you think they are. Our guide below may help you better understand how to look for quality web hosting and domain names. A poor decision or choice now could have a long term detrimental effect on your website or creating leads and opportunities.
Web Hosting Packages
To enable you to correctly judge your hosting requirements you need to consider the size of your website. A website that is mainly text based would usually be much smaller than one that is image heavy. Further more one if you were going to use a blog or Content Management System, you may need php and databases installed into your hosting package. Careful planning of the requirements or functionality of your website will usually determine the requirements for your hosting package. The basic rule that you need to observe is to dig below the surface of the package and behind the glitzy £1.99 per month and discover what the package really offers you and the functionality that you will therefore be able to enjoy on your website.
What should I look for in a hosting package ?
There are certain features in a hosting package that we feel in our opinion, your hosting company should provide, these include:
- Control Panel - this allows you to perform updates and amendments to your website.
- Email Accounts - some hosts will let you have control over your email accounts, others will do all the set up for you. Being able to change the accounts yourself is easier than you think.
- File Manager - in many ways a file manager is one of the most important things (email aside) that you should have on your hosting plan. A file manager gives you the ability to upload or add things to your website, create folders, delete items on your hosting space or move things to alternative locations.
- Parked Domains - many hosting plans do not allow more than one domain name (your www. website address) to be situated on the same hosting plan. Being able to add additional "parked domains" or web addresses on your hosting plan is a good idea.
There are other features that are beneficial to have. These will depend on what need you have for them on your website.
Other features include:
- PHP module - PHP is a special code that runs on the web hosting plan. It allows you to offer lots of extra functionality.
- MySQL databases - having databases also means that you could have a Content Management System (CMS) on your website. Using a CMS would give you the ability to update your website yourself.
- PHP my admin - PHP MyAdmin is a really effective way for your web designer or developer to access your MySQL databases.
There are 2 other key features of your web hosting plan, bandwidth and disk space.
- Bandwidth -This is more commonly described as monthly data transfer and is the amount of data transferred to or from your website or server each month. When trying to choose a web hosting company and looking at the figures quoted for bandwidth, you will notice that some companies say “unlimited bandwidth”. Some also give an amount say 500Mb. These figures also include your emails, ftp and other applications you may use.
- Diskspace - this is the amount of data you can store on the hard disk of the web server. Every web hosting package comes with a certain amount of space. Although now as in the case of bandwidth some companies are offering “unlimited disk space”. Other companies still offer a set amount of disk space and they can be quite different depending on your hosting company.
The amount of disk space needed depends on what sort of website you have. Unless you have really large files (eg downloadable music or video), which take up the most room on a server then most people would be fine with a lower limit on the web space. We recommend that you purchase a hosting plan that has a little extra space than you think you may use at the outset. Whilst you can usually purchase additional disk space it could be better to have a little extra capacity on your site.