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Which web hosting solution to choose once you complete your web design.

This is question faced by both the seasoned web design professionals as well as the newbie who has just entered into the lucrative field of web design.

The Confusing World of Web Hosting: Making Your Decision.

Before you can get a website up and running, you need to have a place to put it. Paying for web hosting is, basically, like renting a small amount of space on someone's server and paying what it costs them to send your web pages to your customers. Fortunately for you, though, web hosting has never been cheaper.

Domains and Hosting Together?

Many domain name companies have taken to offering you hosting when you buy your domain from them. This is generally an expensive option, and a bad idea you'll be getting few features compared to what you're paying. Few people who are serious about web hosting get it from the same place they get their domains.

So Where Should I Start Once I Am Through With My Web Design?

Well, that all depends on what your website is going to need. How many visitors do you expect to have? Are you going to have lots of large graphics on the site? Do you have a lot of articles or products that you want to put in a database? Do you want to have an email address at your website (yourname@yourdomain.com)? On and on it goes and it all depends upon your web design. Each host you look at will offer you different combinations of features at different price points, and finding the one that's right for you can be quite a task. Here's a technical-to-English guide to what you should be looking for.

MB storage. The more MB of storage you have, the more you can put on your website. For most websites, this number can be really very small without it being much of a concern the pages would be too big for anyone to download and see before they'd be too big to store. You only really need to worry if you're planning to put something apart from plain pages on your site. If you want to make a gallery for your digital photos or let people download ebooks from you, for example, this number needs to be higher.

GB bandwidth per month. This is a limit on how much data your website can transfer each month. For small websites, you don't need to worry too much, but as you get more visitors the amount you need will increase sharply, especially if each one looks at lots of pages or downloads large files from the site. The amount of bandwidth your site needs is generally considered to be the deciding factor in how 'big' it is, and how much it will cost you.

MySQL databases. The number of databases your website will have to store things in. It will make it much easier for you if you have one. Don't pay more to get extra, though: one database is all you need. It's worth noting that if your host may offer some other kind of SQL instead of MySQL (for example, PostgreSQL). You should usually avoid anything apart from MySQL as it is a standard followed in web design, unless you know what you're doing.

In fact, your choice of a web host is solely dictated by your web site and the web design pattern it followed. It's judicious blend of what your site needs now and what it will need in the future.

Most people make the Himalayan blunder of going after features that are not all required by the basic pattern of your web design. Still people are attracted by a big list of features and higher expenses and they give in without analyzing the needs of the web site or the web design strategy it followed.

PHP, Perl, ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, Python, Ruby. These are all scripting languages, used to write your website. You should make sure your host offers the languages that any software you plan to use is written in. If you don't have specific requirements, then you should be fine with just Perl and PHP.

You must be very careful here. You web design structure might demand installing some PHP script and your web host may not allow that particular script to run!

So you have to make it very clear to your future web host what is needed by your web design structure. If  not, you will end up loosing money as well the troubles of shifting your site to another host.

These things have to explicitly clear in the initial stages of choosing your web host. Some hosting services comes with excessive securing measures. For e.g. your web design might require a certain PHP script to be run and your hosting service may disable it under some silly security issue.

Subdomains. These allow you to split your website into more sections than just 'www' you might decide, for example, that you would people to be able to go to 'shop.yourdomain.com' and 'news.yourdomain.com' and see pages there. You don't really need these, though, as doing the same thing with subfolders ('www.yourdomain.com/shop') is usually just as effective.

FTP accounts. An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) account is what you'll use to upload your website to your host. You'll always get one of these. The only situation when you'll need more is if you want to let someone alter things on your site without giving them the master password.

FTPying is common to most hosting services and it should not be an issue at all, no matter what your web design is.

POP3 accounts. POP stands for 'Post Office Protocol', which is just fancy-speak for email. The more POP3 accounts you get, the more email addresses you can have: useful if you want to have sales@yourdomain.com for new customers and support@yourdomain.com for existing ones, for example.

We hope now you have understood the relation between web hosting service, your web site needs and the web design strategies it followed. There are mor informative articles on web design on this site. Browse them and enjoy!


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