When making a website, one of the most difficult decisions you have to make is selecting a hosting provider. Which is the best criterion to use when in the market for an affordable and reliable company? How does one settle for the best from the vast list of web hosts, all promising incredible support, amazing up time and great performance? The truth is that separating the real deal from shams can be challenging.

However, having some background information on web hosting can spare you the frustrations and confusing that come with choosing a dependable company.

To make a sound and informed decision, here are the top 10 factors you need to consider when buying web hosting:

  1. Specialty. 

    A good number of web hosting companies are great at one thing but less than average in others. For instance, you might have a company with completely reliable VPS and dedicated hosting services but with poor shared hosting — the reverse can also be true.

    Understanding the hosting you need is a great place to start. Is your website for a small business or a personal blog? If the website has moderate traffic, then it is prudent to settle for shared hosting. Choose a company that specializes in shared hosting. Similarly, if your site expects high traffic regarding page views, then a company that specializes in VPS is the best choice.

  2. Bandwidth/Disk Space

    Most shared hosting companies promise ‘unlimited’ bandwidth as well as disk space. Ever imagined a disc with unlimited space? Your website does not need that much space. Unless you intend to start your own Flickr or YouTube, the site can never come close to 1gb of disk usage. The main concern ought to be bandwidth. Unfortunately, it is ‘unlimited.’

    Nevertheless, since top provides never reveal the actual bandwidth they provide, it is prudent to ask customer support for clarification. Additionally, online reviews can give you a clear picture the reliable and speed of a web host. From the reviews, you can also learn how good a site delivers on its promise of unlimited resources.

  3. Hardware Maintenance

    Web host companies that do not clearly lay out their server infrastructure should worry you a great deal. Check out for what type of hardware the company’s servers are made of. Moreover, are the servers top-notch machines in a grid system or just plain old machines that are assembled to form a modest server network? What you can be sure is that hardware infrastructure weighs heavily on server performance — and your website too.

  4. Technical Support

    Technical assistance tops the list of what most customers look for in a web hosting company. By carefully checking authentic user reviews online, you will discover that most clients always rant about support. The main reason for this is because when your site runs into some technical issue, you need to be sure that the company’s staff will be present to resolve the issue quickly. Server/website downtime should never be an option for any business that relies on the internet presence.

  5. Customer Reviews

    It is highly characteristic to trust web-hosting reviews nowadays since a good number of websites on top Google pages are most likely sponsored. It does not mean that all reviews are sponsored. However, it is wise to be always on the lookout for reviews that inconsistently rate companies as the best when it comes to dedicated hosting, VPS hosting and shared hosting. In the end, you must read balanced reviews and pick web host companies that have minimal support and reliable issues.

  6. Email Features

    What is the number of emails is one allowed to have? Does your prospective host offer auto responders, protocols such a POP3 and mail forwarding? Moreover, establish if the company spam protection features as well as support especially if you run into problems. Among many hosting companies, email associated features are standard. Therefore, it should not be much of an issue. However, it is prudent to check just to be on the safe side.

  7. Type of interface

    Tasks such as editing files, setting up email and installing WordPress, should not be difficult to manage provided an interface be intuitive. A good number of companies offer Plesk or cPanel to manage accounts. Anything different might be somewhat difficult to figure out.

  8. Price

    The lure of cheap web hosts should not inform your decision when looking for a web host. Most companies promise everything but deliver nothing. To be clear, it does not mean that low prices indicate poor quality services. Nevertheless, a ridiculously cheap hosting plan is not perhaps as reliable as you would hope. The golden rule is to take ample time to compare offerings from different companies. Consider the value for money you shall be getting.

    However, when you buy web hosting you can use discount coupons to save. You can use a a small orange coupon when you buy any web hosting package from A Small Orange. As example, A Small Orange offers discounts up to 15% or $5 of your first invoice.

  9. Scalability

    Scalability is an important consideration to make precisely if you intend to expand shortly. Shared hosting plans might be enough for the moment. However, it might not be adequate in the coming 12 months or once traffic begins to surge. Establish from the company or online reviews if the upgrading process will be seamless when it becomes necessary.

    Do you expect a rapid growth? If yes, then settle for a Cloud hosting company or a VPS right from the beginning. Check whether it is possible to upgrade later to a dedicated plan. Remember the last thing you need is to transfer servers since the current company does not have the capability to improve the plan you are using to address the needs of your growing storage/bandwidth.

  10. Add-ons

    An excellent company is not just about email and servers. Most companies try and appear as attractive as they can be with many add-ons list. What exactly makes a hosting company different? Are the data backup features, enhanced security, or reputation for uptime? A web host can offer numerous features but fail in providing primary data backups. Others offer free domain privacy — other companies charge for that. The rule of thumb is to settle for a company that has add-ons necessary for your needs.

    As much as looking for a web host is usually challenging, it does not necessarily have to be the case. All you need to do is to know exactly what you need. The above factors are handy to assist you to make the right decision.

As the common saying goes, ‘the best things in life are free,’ right? The answer is no when it comes to hosting. Depending on your expectations and needs, this may not or may be true. Many web hosts provide free web hosting — however, is it really ‘free’? An objective analysis helps shed more light on why you should or shouldn’t sign up for such services.

What Is ‘Free Web Hosting?’

Free web hosting is a space on a website server that is housed somewhere in a server datacenter or farm situated anywhere in the world, made available free. It comes without a fee so that you can ‘self-host’ your files, supported software application, website, or blog in a web server that is on your computer. Users are responsible for installing, maintaining, and creating files and applications. Free web host providers offer only the tools and space to get your applications and files working and accessible through the internet.
One -click installation or easy site builders tools may not or may be included in your free package depending on limits placed on the account.free web hosting

It is important not to confuse free web hosting with website builders or hosted blogging platforms that provide pay-as-you-go/premium or free services, such as About.Me, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, Tumblr, WordPress.com and many other popular web-based services.

Here are the pros and cons of free web hosting:

Pros of Free Web Hosting:

  • Cost effective

The fact that you do not have to pay a cent for web hosting is the biggest advantage.

  • Testing purposes

If you need to test a particular element of a web page, or you want just to learn about website design, then free hosting will surely do the trick for you. With free hosting, you can poke around, or test some software scripts from a web server.

Cons of Free Web Hosting:

  • Advertisements

Now that you are enjoying free hosting, website owners have to make money. Moreover, since the money is not coming from you, they have to generate through other means. Revenue from advertisement comes in the form of affiliate links or ads. If you sign up for free hosting, expect ads.

  • Customer support

With free hosting, once you experience any technical hitches on installation, or you need guidance/tutorial, there is no one you can ask for help.

  • No primary domain

Free hosting plans never provide a separate domain name. They only offer a sub domain on their domain name. Ever seen some personal blogs with an address in such a format — mywebsite.blogspot.com or mywebsite.wordpress.com? If you want your own main domain name, you must get paid hosting services.

  • Limited speed and bandwidth

Free hosting services have limited data transfer speeds and bandwidth. If you exceed the limits, the provider halts the hosting thus forcing you to sign up for the paid hosting plans.

Previously offered at very low bandwidth, today’s internet connectivity comes at fast speeds with minimal charges. With the current economy, new entrepreneurs are looking for efficient ways of saving money when it comes to startup costs. Most individuals are settling for free web hosting. Is it worth it, both in the short and long term? The above are some of the pros and cons of free web hosting.

Web Hosting – Why do You need it?
When you want to make a website, you need two things: web hosting and a domain name.

What is Site Hosting or Web hosting?

web hosting

Any site consists of files that should be stored on a server with Internet access before they can be accessed by users (internet). Depending on the type of language used by the site that will be placed on a server, the latter will be able to interpret that code before being sent to the user.

Examples: if the site is dynamic and is built in PHP and MYSQL, will need a server that will have these two types of server software installed and configured.

Server Hosting can be build at home using your computer using XAMPP if you have a good stable internet  connection . However is better to use free hosting , because it offers much better conditions  to host your website.

Why use Free Hosting to Host Your Website Instead of Hosting it on Your Computer?

Better uptime (the time that the server will be turned on and accessible on the Internet).
Better resources (even a free web hosting  will perform better than your computer because they are specifically designed to handle these types of services).
Better internet bandwidth (if you plan to have thousands of visitors / day your home internet definitely not meet these users).

The best solution is to buy web hosting from a reliable web hosting company.
In this way you will get more resources. And your website will be always online.

There are companies that offer web hosting sites under certain contractual conditions. Usually these companies offer servers that run on certain operating systems (the most common being Linux and Windows) and some interpreted languages site (PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion or ASP.NET) with some types of databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL). On these types of servers you can easily install  e-commerce sites (online stores), blogs or forums. All paid web hosting plans come  with a control panel from which you can configure everything your website: adding / editing subdomains, emails, databases, accessing files, logs, configuration programs server, cron-jobs, web page builder,  installing scripts CMS automatically, etc.

Types of Web Hosting:

  • Shared web hosting
  • Reseller web hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • Dedicated Server Hosting

Shared Web Hosting  is the type of web hosting where multiple websites (clients) are hosted on the same server. These sites use shared system resources (disk space, RAM, CPU, etc.). This is the most used type of web hosting. It is recommended to only use this hosting to host sites that consume fewer resources, gender presentation websites, online stores, blog, etc.

Reseller Web Hosting is the type of web hosting, where account owner can re-sell system resources (disk space, bandwidth control, etc.) to third parties. Reseller hosting is mostly used by web design companies and web developers.

VPS  Hosting (Virtual Private Server)  is a virtual machine that shares a platforms hardware resources with other VMs. However, a VPS is allocated own resources – memory, CPU, disk – has its own operating system and works independently, similar to a dedicated server, allowing the holder to configure it according to their needs.

Dedicated Server. A dedicated server (as the name suggests) is a professional hosting solution. It’s used by only one client.
The biggest advantage of opting for a dedicated server is mainly due to the fact that the entire number of resources is yours only, so you will not have to share them with other users.
Any dedicated server gives us the ability to fully configure it according to the needs that we have. In addition, we will be able to opt for the desired operating system.
Dedicated servers are intrinsically much safer than any other mode of hosting, given that resources are not shared with other customers.

The only disadvantage of a dedicated server is the price, which unlike a shared hosting is slightly higher.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a unique array of characters, synonymously ascribed to an IP address.
IP addresses can be assigned multiple domain names. The domain name is unique. There can’t exist multiple websites using the same name and extension. For example freehosting123.com is unique.

Internet users can access a web site just by typing in the address bar of the browser they use the domain name, the process being similar to downloading files Output of the site’s source code on his computer.

The most popular extensions at the moment are: .COM ,  .NET ,  . ORG , . IFNO, .BIZ , . MOBI.
All extensions are managed by an existing TLD (Top Level Domain).