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Choosing a Web Host

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 @ 4:25 pm by ProBlogit.com

Choosing a web host depends on your requirements. Your requirements in looking for a web host are different from mine. For a beginner for example, if you are not yet familiar with programming languages and databases, all you probably need is just to have a space or a website or a blog where you can write your thoughts online.

I consider myself no longer a newbie in this field but there are things too that I still have to know concerning web hosting business. But I know what I want and what I need when I am looking for a web host.

If you visit a site of a web host you will see a lot of features that a web hosting company offers. You read the list of features and it looks, even sounds foreign to you. Do not panic, they normally have an explanation what each term is all about if you just look at the Glossary page or Frequently Asked Questions page at the site of the web host.

What do I look for in choosing a web host?

Control Panel. One of the most important features I require to have in choosing a web host is a Control Panel. I would like to have control over my domain names and websites so I will not be at the mercy of the web host. I tell you, I have experience over these things where a company is at the mercy of its web hosting company because there is no control panel and it is not at all fun. Having a control panel is great. It definitely is helping me how to do things without bothering others anymore. I have experiences working with control panels like cPanel, H-Sphere, Plesk among others, and those ones with Dreamhost and Yahoo.

Disk Storage. I would like to emphasize this, Unlimited Disk Storage. I did not mind even if the disk storage was limited as long as the bandwidth was unlimited. But now a days, I actually find it great to have unlimited disk storage as I do not have to worry anymore if ever I exceed my limit, which never happened anyway as my disk storage usage is very minimal considering that I have several websites and blogs. Even if the disk storage is unlimited, I do not abuse my web host. For me it is not just right to abuse this feature. And my message to you is, do not ever ever abuse the generosity of your web host even if we say we pay them anyway.

When it comes to uploading photos, I do not upload the original ones. I always reduce the size of the photos and the ones which are smaller in sizes are the ones I upload. Having my photos reduced in smaller sizes has something to do with bandwidth too. The smaller the photo, the lower the bandwidth usage than having the photo in its original size.

Monthly Bandwidth. I also would like to emphasize this, Unlimited Monthly Bandwidth. A lot would tell you and me that there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. I actually agree that there is really no such thing as unlimited bandwidth.

But why do I still would like to have this feature if it is not true? My reasoning is simple. Even if unlimited bandwidth is not true and what I have is probably 500GB a month (example only), I do not really mind because my websites are not that popular yet so my traffic is not that high. I do not even consume 500GB bandwidth or site transfer a month.

Assuming that I exceeded 500GB monthly bandwidth, well, I do not have to worry for the excess if I need to pay for it or not. With unlimited monthly bandwidth, I do not have to pay for the excess unlike if there is a limit. I just hope that the website is still viewable online. That I really hope.

I also would like to have a high traffic but because my monthly bandwidth is limited, I will just worry that I will pay for the excess and in effect I also limit the number of people to view my sites. If I am willing to pay for the excess, no problem, but then I am not yet willing to pay additional expenses at the moment.

For a successful problogger who is already earning a lot of money, they will probably not mind paying for additional expenses. For one thing, those successful probloggers are probably not having a shared hosting, but a dedicated hosting for their blogs or websites.

By the way, all the time that I was writing about the unlimited disk storage and unlimited monthly bandwidth, I was referring to shared hosting and not dedicated hosting. Shared hosting is a shared web hosting service where many websites reside in one server connected to the Internet. It means that you and I, and other probloggers or bloggers out there are maybe sharing one web server for our websites or blogs. Dedicated hosting is the opposite of course of shared hosting. Dedicated hosting is a dedicated web hosting service where only one website reside in one server. I will not discuss the advantages and disadvantages between shared hosting and dedicated hosting yet.

The question now with the shared hosting is, is the site fast enough to download? My experience, so far so good. Once in a while, the websites or blogs were down but in a way still tolerable.

MySQL Databases. I make sure that MySQL Database is being offered so I have an option later on if ever I decide to have a CMS website or a blog using for example the WordPress publishing platform. Unlimited MySQL databases are also good. Take note of that too.

Email Accounts. Web-based or POP or IMAP Email accounts, unlimited or not, give me a lot of options. It gives me a choice to have my own email address at my own domain name which is actually very important for branding and marketing purposes.

FTP Access. Aside from the control panel, FTP access is one of the most important features that I require in choosing a web host. There are some things easier done using FTP than using control panel. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.

Domain Names. I always look for the unlimited domain names that can be hosted in one account. As I have several domain names not yet being utilized, I do not have to look for another web host anymore. I can host it at my present web host and if things may change, I could transfer my domain name anytime to another web host.

Subdomain Names. Unlimited subdomain names give me an option not to register too many domain names. I just make use of the subdomain names where the topic of my new blog or website is approriate.

Custom DNS. I would love to have this as well. It is very handy. There is no need to contact someone at the web hosting company if I need to add Domain Name Servers also called DNS. But in this case, DNS stands for Domain Name System.

PHP Support. This is very important to me. PHP is a scripting programming language being used in designing to produce dynamic web pages. I used to design websites using HTML. But now a days if the website needs more pages and not just three to five pages, I use PHP to develop the website. Although I have designed a site using ASP, I prefer PHP scripting programming language than ASP. But just to give you an idea, once you are viewing the pages on a browser, the output is always in HTML even if the programming languages used were PHP and ASP. One more thing, WordPress is using PHP and WordPress is what I am normally using these days. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. ASP stands for Active Server Pages developed by Microsoft.

Use of .htaccess Support. This is another important feature that I want that should be offered by a web host. I am helping others with their website and the site is hosted at Yahoo. One thing missing at Yahoo is the support for using the .htaccess. Yahoo has its own system but it is just too different without the .htaccess.

One-Click Automatic Installers. This is for easy software installation purposes like WordPress. I mentioned WordPress because this is the publishing platform that I use for my blogs and as CMS for my websites. CMS stands for Content Management System.

Technical Support. I always see to it that the web host has a Wiki site and Forum. I do not like bothering people all the time with questions. So I always frequent the forum to look for answers. If I really cannot find the answers, then I send the web host support team an Email.

Each web hosting company offers a lot of features but there are only certain things I need. I do not even use all the features but it is nice to have the others as well considering that I might need them someday. If you noticed, I did not write the list of features according to its importance when I am looking for a web host. I am simply saying that they are all important if I eventually choose a web host.

If you are ready to open an account with a web hosting company, could you use my referral link at Dreamhost, Lunarpages and Bluehost?

I encourage you to look at Dreamhost, Lunarpages and Bluehost Web Hosting. But I do not guarantee about anything with these web hosting companies, it is always your choice and decision, not mine.

If you are using my referral link to the three web hosting companies, I will earn from it. Please kindly inform me if you use my referral link so I will know if it really works. This is another topic that I could review later on. Thank you very much.

For more information, I was not paid by any of these web hosts to blog about their services nor what I wrote before this blog entry. I was also not paid by any of the companies I mentioned today and on the past blog entries that I wrote before this blog entry. I was just writing based on my experiences.

2 Comments to “Choosing a Web Host”

  1. […] Choosing a Web Host. There are different requirements in choosing a web host. There are a lot of features a web host can offer. What you think do you need among the good features they have? Even if you are new to the idea of having a paid web host, you can experiment with your control panel until you will be able to know how it works. Having a paid web host gives you more freedom to do whatever you like with your blog. Just do not abuse it if you have unlimited storage and bandwidth. […]

  2. […] is simply choosing a web host and signing up for a web hosting account with a web hosting provider. Choosing a web host may not be as easy as you think because you need to consider a lot of things that you need for a […]