If you want to find out how to host a web site then this article may be just for you. Web hosting can be a confusing proposition but if you do some research and plan ahead it could be smoother sailing than you think.
There are so many options and providers out there all claiming to be the best. Usually though, to host a web site the process is the same no matter what or who you choose to host your web site. Whether it’s a new web hosting arrangement or if you are moving from one host to another, you need to choose a web hosting provider, choose the right plan and then hook it all up for your web site and email to operate under your domain name. In this article we discuss some of the considerations you need to make and then provide a checklist of items you should cross off to get your web hosting, web site and email off the ground.
When deciding on a web host there are a number of factors to take into account:
- Web Hosting Platform
- Web Hosting Location
- Web Hosting Features
- Web Hosting Reputation and Reliability
- Web Hosting Support
- Web Hosting Pricing
Web Hosting Platform
There two main types of web hosting. Linux and Windows based. Essentially they both end up providing the same end result and your web designer will most probably point you in the direction they are comfortable with. If you’re not sure, then we recommend the Linux Web Hosting based option as this is usually easier to manage and more often than not also less expensive with more options. The question of platform is especially important if you’re moving your web hosting from one company to another. For example if your web site is made using WordPress or Joomla or any of the other popular content management systems then it’s imperative that you do not change web hosting platforms. A PHP, MySQL based web site will be very difficult (if not impossible) to get up and running on a server which is Windows based. DISKMANdotNet provides Linux based web hosting with cPanel, MySQL and PHP services.
Web Hosting Location
There are three main reasons you should use a ‘local’ web host. Firstly your web site will load faster for your audience if you choose a host located within that region. For example, if your audience is mainly Australian then you should choose an Australian Web Host. Secondly, support responses will be more timely for you. If your host is overseas, there are time differences which could affect your issue or question being answered in a timely fashion or when you are awake. Thirdly, by choosing an Australian web host, you are supporting local business. Many of the big web hosting might appear to be Australian, however usually they’re owned by larger overseas companies and even though they might be employing Australians, the profits are transferred overseas. DISKMANdotNet is 100% Australian Web Host, owned and operated out of Melbourne, Australia.
Web Hosting Features
The features you need with your web host will be once again determined by your web designer, or what you want from your web site. Firstly you will need to consider how much space you’ll need and how much traffic is allowed per month. You’d be surprised at how little space you actually need to host your web site and emails efficiently. So don’t get sucked in by ‘all you can eat’ web hosting. Most web hosts provide FTP and control panel so you can manage things like your space, check bandwidth, create/edit/delete email accounts, email forwarders and auto-responders. Your cPanel is also handy for creating and managing databases, file management, web stats and so much more. Although rare, if your intended web host does not provide a control panel like cPanel or Plesk, then you should look at a web host that does. The benefit of having access to a control panel is that you can manage most, if not all, of your web hosting needs right there from within; thereby eliminating the need to submit a support ticket and waiting for a response from the help desk. DISKMANdotNet provides cPanel access to all clients across the entire range of web hosting plan options.
Web Hosting Reputation and Reliability
You will most likely never meet your web host. There isn’t usually a shop or an office for you to walk into at the shopping centre, so you can’t meet anyone to get a feel for them. Your decision will usually influenced by recommendation through a colleague or a friend, by reading testimonials on web hosting company web site or by what you think you know about the web host. A good reputation and good reliable service do not often go hand in hand with the perceived size of a company. Nor does price (see below). What you’re after is a web host that offers a high level of uptime and in the event of something going wrong that they are able to restore order as quickly and efficiently as possible. No one can guarantee 100% uptime but they should guarantee that they will be there for you and provide you with timely response and expertise to fix any situation which arises. In September 2014, DISKMANdotNet turned 20 years old and a lot can be said about that many of our original clients from ‘back in the day’ are still with us now!
Web Hosting Support
Most web hosting companies offer 24/7 technical support. That’s great if you tend to work all night, every day of the week and you are or their service is prone to having problems. If you’ve done your research and chosen a reputable, reliable web host and everything is set up correctly then 24/7 help desk isn’t as much a priority as support during your business hours and the response effectiveness from your web hosting provider. Phone, web site (FAQ’s, support guides) and email support should be a non-negotiable whether 24 hours support is offered or not. With the attitude of “doing it right the first time” DISKMANdotNet prides itself with being proactive in mitigating web hosting issues from both the back-end server point of view and also front-end customer viewpoint.
Web Hosting Pricing
You should be wary of a web host which offers ‘everything’ for a very low price. Usually there servers are jam-packed (which slows things down) and they are so busy attending to support tickets for web users who chose the cheap service and don’t know what they’re doing. You should also be aware that some web hosts are set up for the corporate world and can be quite expensive, usually charging for services and even support. What you should do is find a web host like DISKMANdotNet who is positioned in the middle of these scenarios (not the cheapest and not the most expensive), as we provide premium Australian Web Hosting for very reasonable prices and can support you quickly and easily in most cases.
Web Hosting Checklist
- Register a domain name (if you haven’t already)
- Get access to your domain management details
- Choose your web hosting provider
- If this is a new service build your web site or have your web designer do this for you
- Set up your emails, email forwards etc via your control panel
- If this is an existing service which you are moving to a new host, discuss with your new host or web designer how to move your web and email services across to the new host
- If this is a new service, make sure you cancel your old service(s); get it in writing
In summary, although it seems daunting, choosing the right web hosting company can be easier than you think after you take these points above into consideration. Browse our web hosting plans.
If you are unsure about anything, we would love to hear from you. Contact us.