The Insider’s Guide to Web Hosting
Welcome to part three of my five part series! The first two articles discussed free web hosting and whether it was worth signing up with any of these companies. If you are certain that you would NOT like to host your site with a free host, then feel free to read only the last three articles, starting with this one.
Otherwise, you may want to read the first article in the series before you continue.
In that case, it would make sense to check out part two as well.
So let’s proceed with the discussion:
Which Paid Hosting Service Should You Choose Then?
That’s a very good question, as there are a myriad of web hosting services out there. It can really boggle your mind trying to figure out which one to go with, since they all proudly display their outstanding features, like how much disk space and bandwidth they offer, etc.
The question is, what do you need to look for when considering which paid hosting company to sign up with? You’ll find it easier to decide with a little more knowledge of disk space and bandwidth:
How Much Disk Space Does a Typical Website Use?
In general, 100 MB should be plenty for a static website. Most hosting clients rarely use over 100 MB unless they have a pretty popular forum, or they’re using it for file storage.
Some CMS (Content Management System) programs would probably need a bit more, roughly 300-400 MB, unless they have a lot of images and content.
A basic site or forum generally will never go over 500 MB. More complicated sites can go higher though, but I’ve never had a site go over 800 MB, and I’ve owned some fairly involved sites.
How Much Bandwidth Do You Need?
Your site’s bandwidth represents the amount of data that is transferred through it at a particular time, like whenever someone types in your url or clicks on your website and your home page loads.
The actual amount that you need depends on the amount of pages your site has and how big they are, and how many visitors you expect will visit your site per day.
Calculating the Bandwidth That You Need
So, let’s say that your average page size, including images and graphics, is around 50 KB, to be conservative; you have 5 pages on your site and you get 100 visitors per day who visit all 5 pages.
To calculate your bandwidth, you would do the following: 50 KB X 100 visitors X 5 pages, which equals 25000 KB. Thus, to calculate your monthly bandwidth requirements, you would multiply the above result by 30, arriving at 750000 KB. So, to convert that into gigabytes, you would move the decimal point 6 places to the left and your answer is that you need 0.75 GB per month.
This is more than what a beginning or experienced Blogger would need, but of course it just depends on the size of your pages and how many page views you get per month, as shown in your Google Analytics account.
So what Kind of Hosting do you Need, Shared or Dedicated?
When starting out, shared hosting should suffice to fulfil your needs. This is the most common hosting option offered by all the big name companies.
In this scenario, you share a large, powerful web server among several, if not hundreds of, other websites. This is why you can get it cheaply, at the cost of only a few dollars per month. Most bloggers will get by nicely with a shared hosting plan.
However, when your online venture begins to soar and suddenly your site needs more resources than what a typical shared server provides, then you’ll need to upgrade to dedicated hosting. Now you have an individual server that’s assigned specifically to host your sites only.
But a word of warning, though: you need to be familiar with server administration, otherwise things can get a little hairy. If you’re not well versed in this area, then you’ll need what’s called, “managed hosting”. Here, as the name suggests, the dedicated host takes care of everything associated with running the server, so you can concentrate on running your online business. Naturally, you’ll incur more fees if you opt for managed hosting.
Nevertheless, a dedicated server is usually not even needed 90% of the time. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) would suffice for a lot of your average daily needs. The difference here is that you’re still sharing a server, but your website is completely independent of the others in its own environment, free to use 100% of the resources allocated to it.
Hence, if the other big traffic sites on your VPS encounter problems and go down, your site will not be affected at all, unlike in a shared hosting setting. So a VPS is a much more affordable alternative to getting a dedicated server. It’s like a bridge between shared hosting and dedicated hosting, so to speak. We see VPSs these days running enormous sites, hosting constant VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) calls, and even streaming HD media.
Conclusion to Part 3.
You’ve probably seen lots of different review articles and hosting company sites on the internet that showcase all these different hosting plans and their features, like the amount of disk space and bandwidth provided, etc.-and that probably numbed your mind a little in the past!
My aim with this article was to take the complexity out of the hosting lingo and explain what all the various resources actually mean when it comes to figuring out who to host your site with.
So I hope this issue of my five-article series has enlightened you a little and that NOW you can make an educated decision about who to use for your hosting…..which brings us to the next issue. Click here to read part four about recommended hosting companies for beginner bloggers.
Over to You
Was this guide helpful to you at all?
Did I leave anything out that you believe should be added?
Let me know in the comments section below. 🙂
The Insider’s Guide to Web Hosting
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net