Using a web host can help you get your business or personal website online in no time, with all the tools and security you need to stay there for years to come. But choosing the right web host one that offers enough storage space, processing power, bandwidth, and other features can be overwhelming if you’re new to this game. That’s why we created this beginner’s guide to web hosting; our goal is to demystify the whole process so that you can make an informed decision about which provider is best for your needs.
Choosing a Domain Name
To start, you’ll need a domain name. For most individuals or small businesses, that means picking something short, simple and memorable—think Gmail or Yahoo. Even if your first site is simple enough that you don’t need web hosting, consider getting one anyway; it’ll be easier than searching for a better option later on. In fact, many hosted options give you as many as 100 domain names for free. If you do decide to shop around for hosting and domains separately at some point in time down the road, keep in mind there are hundreds of different companies that offer both services most of which fall under one of two categories.
Choosing a Host
One of your first decisions when selecting a web host is whether you want them to handle all of your technological needs or if you’d prefer hosting everything on your own server. As with most things, there are trade-offs with each option: more expensive, higher-end plans may provide better security and better uptime rates, while more affordable options may have poor customer service and be less secure. Web hosts come in all shapes and sizes; for a truly high-end site that requires lots of bandwidth or regular maintenance, it might be worth it to use an outside company like Amazon Web Services. But if you simply need a place for people to find information about your company or products and don’t mind doing some maintenance work yourself, then going with a simple shared host is probably fine.
How Much Disk Space is Enough?
When it comes to hosting, there are a number of factors you should consider. One of these is disk space. For example, if you need a lot of storage for large files (such as images or videos), you’ll want more disk space than if you simply need enough room for basic website hosting. If your site features a lot of large media files, including images and videos, give extra thought to what size plan will suit your needs best before signing up.
What’s an SSL Certificate?
You may have heard that web hosting companies are required by law to use an SSL certificate. This isn’t exactly true but there is a bit of a debate over whether or not it should be true. Generally speaking, however, an SSL certificate does provide some security for your customers and visitors. For example, say someone gets their hands on your site’s database credentials and steals customer information. If you don’t have an SSL certificate in place, that visitor can intercept traffic between a customer and your server and view any sensitive data being passed back and forth.
Email accounts are essential for both business and personal use. While many major providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail offer email services in addition to web hosting, you may find that these aren’t a good fit for your individual needs. Consider using a third-party provider that specializes in email accounts specifically, such as GMail or Yahoo Mail Plus. This will allow you more freedom in terms of storage capacity, customization options, and features like spam protection.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
Web hosting isn’t a matter of one size fits all. In fact, it’s one of those decisions where you have so many different options that you can easily get lost in them all. It doesn’t help that most web hosts try to make things seem complicated with fancy jargon and unnecessarily long descriptions. If you don’t have web-hosting experience, figuring out which features are important and which aren’t can be tricky at best. Start by asking yourself, What do I need from my web hosting? While every business is different, there are certain things you should expect from your service. Do you need your site on its own private server? Do you want a basic shared account or something more advanced?