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How to choose a website host?

This is a much discussed subject when beginners start on website making. I myself have searched long for a good host. Well, let’s keep this straightforward and to the point.

First, you need to know what your website will offer. Will it only contain text? Will it have videos? Will users be able to submit items (articles, messages)? Will you need a domain? Those sorts of questions help you to identify the key features of a webhost that you require. If you will just need the ability to post text, any webhost will do. This is the simplest item. However, if you need to post a lot of pre-written text, with lots and lots of archives, you might consider getting a host that supports FTP access. If you require large videos and image files, you would probably look for the best bandwidth and file capacity in order for you to host and users to view these files. You will also require an FTP client, which will give more convenience to you when transferring these huge files.

If you need user-submitted content, you will definitely need some sort of database support. Unless you are confident you can work with just flatfiles. You will also probably need a good control panel to configure your statistics. For this, the webhost is up to you, but I find that I prefer using CPanelX which is available from most Linux servers.

Will you need a domain? Almost all paid hosts allow for this, though you will have to consider whether or not you want more than one domain or not. (see Addon Domains) However, more free hosts have been giving domain availbility as a feature, so I would be sure to check first.

Finally, is it worth to pay for your hosting? If you’ve just had a brainwave about making a website, I would say no. There is no guarantee that you will keep the website. (Trust me, not your brainwave, as you are deluded by excitement) Most free webhosts are sufficient for people, but if you are planning to have a huge website, don’t get a paid host right away. Start off free, but make sure that your host has the ability to upgrade your account to a paid service should the need arise.

I hope this quick guide helps you.

Want me to recommend a webhost? These guys are great.

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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