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What Is Passive Income
Understand Web Hosting
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Understand web hosting

Tags: web hosting companies, web hosting services

If you want to know how to start a website, one of the first things you need to learn about is how webhosting works. Your website has to be connected to the Internet 24x7, and you can't rely on your desktop computer, since they are prone to failure, resetting, power shortage, virus and the like. The professional way is having a web hosting provider host your website for you.

What every web hosting service offer is a slice of their arrays of computers connected to the Internet. They also have backups and redundant systems so no matter what, their servers (and your website) will always be up and running. That's the service you pay for.

Before you sign up with any web hosting provider, you should learn some of basic features and which ones will be important for your service. The trick is to pay only for what you really need and will use, and to know so, you must learn your way:

The Control panel is usually a web-based application where you will do most of the configuration / development for your site (apart from page building that is). If possible, try to see or use their control panel to see if you feel comfortable with it looks and features. Some web hosting services will have a demo or guest login account that you can use to see their control panel before you pay.

Storage Space is the amount of space you will have on their servers to storage information. In a website that will be: pages with code, text, images, music, videos, flash files, etc. By far, the most space-consuming will be videos and music, followed by images. Text and code takes up virtually nothing compare to the above.

Monthly Transfer (or monthly bandwith) is the tricky one that many people don't understand and end up paying a fortune. In short, it is the amount of information that can be transferred. I will give you a clear example: you have a website that has a small text and one picture. The page and picture take 50k, because it is a small one, so you will use very little storage space. However, the Monthly Transfer will depend on how many people see your page, which is something you don't know in advance. If 100 people see your page, you will have to send 50k to each of them, you will then use 5000k or 5MB of bandwith/transfer. Your monthly transfer needs will be small at the beginning (since you will have a few visitors) but they will skyrocket after a while if you are doing things right. Check with your provider what's your monthly limit, and what happens after you ran out of it. You could have the service suspended until the next month, of be charge on a per MB or per GB basis. The bare minimum any plan will have will be 1 or 2GB. Optimize content to spend less bandwith/transfer.

Support is the nightmare with hosting services. It is not easy to find a service that will respond quickly to calls or email with technical/billing issues. As a rule of thumb, if you are going for a dirt-cheap package, don't expect great support. It is simply not economically viable for them to bill you $10 a month and answer a couple of your calls everyday. Most tech-savvy people won't use much the support anyway, as they know what they are doing. If you think you are going to need help setting up everything, pay a little more and make sure they will promptly help you resolve issues. That extra money will definitely be a good investment.

Database support is another key feature for modern website that rely on a database to fetch data from. Learn which ones they support and if there is any caps or limits on the use (like size of the database, user accounts, etc). One of the most used databases out there are for web design is MySQL, which happens to be free.

Email accounts , if you have a domain name, like example.com, you will probably want to have also emails in the form of jim@example.com, webmaster@example.com or even sales@example.com, most web hosting packages came with a limit on how many of those you can have, and expect you to pay more to get more email boxes. The good news is that usually you get a lot of them for very little money, 10 is the bare minimum you will get, some times you might get 100 in the most basic plan.

Statistics, what statistics can they provide? The best packages offer you more than one statistic-making program. As before, check in their control panel to see what options do you have, from the raw servers logs to more complex analytics programs to help you understand what your website and you audience is doing.

You may also find how to start a website useful or online advertising, if you are looking for way to turn your website into a profiting asset, or web domains explained to understand more about domains names. You may also be interested in getting your website ranked better in search engines, then read what is page rank.

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