What Should I be Looking for when Choosing Where to Host a Website?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by SR20DETDOG, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    Hi all,

    While I can put together a decent website I'm clueless as to what I need to be looking for, besides storage and bandwidth, when I decide where to host my website:(. The hosting would also have start off as free, we're all quite young, and (hopefully) the site will grow to a stage where we'll have to start paying. If that's makes any difference in what I should be looking for.

    The site that I'll be making is going to be quite small small to start with. It's for a web comic that some of my friends are creating, so it will start off with quite a small amount of content but will grow continuously. And of course there will be a 'contact us' section.

    Any and all help is appreciated :)
  2. harpster macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Here's a few things to think about regarding web hosting... not necessarily in this order but things I look at.

    1. Do they have the features you need and can you upgrade/ change your plan as your needs change. Most hosts have similar features but differ in disk space, monthly transfer, and price. Some hosts offer a free domain name for a year or a few months free if you sign up for a year vs. monthly. Not all hosts offer SSH (shell access) if you need that than look for it in the features.

    2. What control panel do they use? I prefer CPanel but there are several others. Some hosts will let you test drive the control panel but with Cpanel your in pretty good shape to manage your site features.

    3. What kind of tech support do they have? Phone support usually costs more while the support ticket method is more common. Hosts like A Small Orange will usually get back to you very quickly via their support ticket system.

    4. How long have they been in business, do they have a good reputation when you search on them? There are many hosting rating sites you can pull up. I never trust any of them completely but you can get an idea and see their track record (uptime and user comments). No host is perfect!

    5. Where is their data center located? This may not be important to everyone but I like the hosts data center to be somewhat close to me or my client not half way around the world. Good hosts will tell you where their data centers are and even let you select which one you want your site hosted at.

    6. Server status - some hosts will let you see the server/ maintenance status on line which is nice if you think there might be a problem.

    Remember that shared hosting is less expensive... you can get good shared hosting for 5-6 bucks a month. If you get big you will probably want dedicated/managed hosting so other users who are hosting sites can't slow down your server. I can usually get by with good shared hosting.

    There are a lot of good hosts out there just do a little research... and when in doubt pay monthly so you can cancel and change hosts if needed.
  3. SR20DETDOG thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia

    Thanks for the great reply, very hepful:)

    I've definitely got some long hours of research ahead of me. I've never even heard about some of things before :( Shared hosting sounds like a great option though.
  4. harpster macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010
    Shared hosting on Linux Servers is probably the most popular due to the low cost and I would recommend going this way when starting out. I have a lot of shared hosting sites for clients and myself with very little issues.

    The problem comes when your site gets very popular with thousands of hits and gigs of downloads at the same time, a dedicated server would be more suited for that. One limitation of shared hosting is they usually limit the sending of email blasts (mass emails) because that would load down the server for the other users (sites) on it. Some hosts won't even allow it so you need to read the "terms & conditions" carefully for what is allowed for the content and sending of emails. You can always use a service like MailChimp to get send email newsletters out.

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