Hosting a Web Site
Determining What You Need
First, you must decide what you need for your web site. If you have a dynamic web site, you will need to meet the requirements of the CMS or custom-coded package. This usually includes PHP or ASP, and MySQL. Check with the official web site of the CMS you are using or with your web-design consultants. Most web hosts will meet the requirements of dynamic web sites.
If you have a static web site, you only need web space and (if you are using Dreamweaver) an FTP account, which should be provided with paid accounts. However, I suggest that you use a hosting provider who also provides PHP and MySQL, as you may find that your site may require dynamic features in the future.
So, next decision - will you use paid or free hosting? If you want a fast, quality, ad-free website, definitely use a paid host. Free hosts are only good for personal hobby web sites or other small sites. Also, most free hosts do not allow you to use a domain name.
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Paid hosting can range from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a month. For most situations, you will only need a fairly cheap hosting plan. If you are paying for hosting ($3+ per month), ensure that the host provides at least:
- PHP or ASP
- POP email accounts
- no advertising
- FTP account
It is also preferable to be supplied with an online control panel, such as cPanel or Plesk, which makes managing your site much easier and gives you control over nearly every aspect of your web site.
If you need an enormous amount of space and a large amount of bandwidth (the amount of data which is transferred when a visitor accesses a website), then purchase a dedicated server (an entire server which is dedicated to your website/s entirely - these usually cost $60+ per month).
Choosing a Hosting Provider
There are literally thousands of hosting companies around. Finding a good provider can be difficult. Thankfully, there are numerous sites around that provide detailed information and reviews of hosting companies. One of these sites is Host Search.
Once you have set up a hosting account, upload your site. Check everything is working fine. Once you perfected the site as much as you can, it is time to get some traffic to your site and promote it.