GBs and Gbs of Web Hosting
By Troy Smith
What is web hosting you ask? Web hosting refers to the service that a webmaster provides to ensure your website and email at your domain name stay up and running 24/7. Think of web hosting as renting space on a special computer that stays on all the time to keep your precious domain name up and running. The computer that hosts the files for your website is called a web server. A web server is really just a computer that hosts the contents of your website either in files. These files can be in any number of different formats, but that is a whole nother topic in and of itself.
You buy web hosting just like you buy internet service from an ISP. You usually pay monthly, although some web hosts offer discounts if you pre pay annually. Today, web hosting is often one of the most difficult things to price. You will see offers online for gbs and gbs of transfer and file storage for very little money. But who knows what the service or uptime will bee like? If you're serious about building a website and developing a website that will be succesful, don't skimp on web hosting. It is the backbone of your website. For a little extra money you should get 24/7 email support and phone number that you can call during normal business hours. 5 gbs of transfer and 1 gb of disk space should be more than enough for the first year if you're just starting your website.
You will often get a good discount if you pre-pay for a year or two of web hosting so take advantage of any kind of offer like that. After that year or two you may be ready to start heavily promoting your website and at this time you cacn upgrade your hosting account to account for the extra traffic. Perhaps at that time, 20 GB of monthly transfer will be the right amount for you. And, by that time it may even cost you less. Disk space is getting cheaper and cheaper all the time. It wasn't long ago that web hosting plans were offered in terms of mbs rather than gbs. I suspect that in a few years, even gbs of disk space will be obsolete.
If you do a Google search for web hosting, you will be overwhelmed by the thousands of results and sifting through them would probably prove fruitless. There are many good offers out there that give you more than you will ever need. The question then becomes which host has exactly or close to exactly what you need. Write out exaclty what is important to you and what features you will want on your website. Will you want a forum, content management system (cms), shopping cart, or all of the above? If you are creating an online forum, ask several top webhosts how easy it would be for them to install a script like phpbb or invision power board. If you're creating a shopping cart or eccommerce website, ask your web host how easy it would be for them to install oscommerce for you. And, if a content management system is what interests you, ask your web host how easy it would be for them to install Mambo.
Troy Smith is a freelance write and also enjoys web development as a hobby. Troy Smith owns the website http://www.GBWebHosting.com where he answers questions freely about anything and everything related to web hosoting. Ask him a question about PHP, CSS, HTML or any other web development topic and he'll post an answer for you within 12 hours in most cases.
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