Choosing Your First Web Hosting Company by Paul Herbert Suppose you just finished a great new web site. You have a beautiful design, an awesome domain name, and a large amount of content. The question is, "what do I do next?" Having a great web host is essential for a successful web site. A great site with a crummy host will be bogged down and will suffer as a result. It is important to consider many elements when choosing your first web host. Too many people are dissatisfied with their web hosting service. The best service is the one that fits your needs. There are several elements that any webmaster should consider before choosing a web host. The first thing to consider is disc space. Disc space all depends on the size of the web site, and how much money you are willing to spend. Look in your web site folder and see how much disc space it takes up on your computer. You should always get more space then what is taken up on your computer (better safe than sorry). For example, if your web folder is 200MB, you should probably get 250-300MB of disc space. Sites with complicated designs, or flash animation, and sites with a variety of videos and pictures will typically take up a higher amount of disc space than other sites. You should do your best to estimate the amount of bandwidth your web site will be using. Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that your web site can use. If you plan on having a massively popular site with a large amount of files, then you should have a high bandwidth. For casual web sites, bandwidth is not as big a factor. Again, consider cost and try to have more bandwidth than you need, not less. Web site speed is seldom taken into consideration. The fact is that there are many Internet users still on 56k dial-up connections. If your web host has a very slow speed for all of its web sites, then you may not want to go with that host. People won't sit around at a page forever. If you want many people to visit your site, having a fast speed is very helpful. One technique to check how fast a web host's hosted sites are is to simply ask the web host for a list of their sites. If the web host is legitimate and wants to have your business, they will comply in no time at all. All of these elements need to be taken into consideration when hosting a web site. Unfortunately, this does take some time and effort. Taking time searching through web hosts and finding out everything you can about them will be very rewarding. Have a clear-cut view of what you want to accomplish with your web site. The best web host is not necessarily the most expensive, or cheapest. The best web host is the
host that fits your needs. For the casual webmaster, cheaper web hosts may be the way to go. However, if your site is intended to 'wow' users, get them to come back again, and tell all their friends about your site, than you might want to consider getting a higher end web host. Without web hosting, no one can see your site. It is important to make the gateway between your site and the rest of the Internet as successful as possible. About the Author Paul Herbert recommends Net Explorers ( http://www.hosting-netexplorers.co.uk/ ) for UK web hosting. Brought to you by: Chris Eckart is a consultant and huge fan of http://www.ecosnap.com/ a web hosting company that provides the highest quality hosting, exceptional support, straightforward pricing, a custom website creation tool, and they give 8% of every hosting dollar they take in to grassroots environmental initiatives!