If you want to set up a website, the pages, pictures and documents that you want to share must be found on a computer that can be accessed by internet users. This computer can not be the computer you use at home. Because even if you have the needed programs and hardware, the internet connection speed of your computer will be very insufficient.
With this reason you will need to hide the documents that you want to share in a computer(server) that was made especially to publish sites on the internet, that has very quick connection to the internet and also that can service hundreds of internet users at the same time.
So Web Server is the name of the computers which hide the documents that belong to your website and provides access to internet users. This data protecting and publishing process is called web hosting.
There are hundreds of companies which carry out the Web hosting process. And every company has a hosting packet available in different dimensions and that is suitable to you.
Unix or Windows?
The answer to this question will change dependent on the program that you need for your site.
If you would like to use ASP along with the Access or SQL database on your site, you must choose to use Windows hosting.
If you would like to use Php, Mysql, Cgi and Perl on your site, Unix hosting will be suitable for you.
Unix hosting is generally cheaper and more stable than the Windows hosting. In terms of security Unix is much better. But in terms of being easier to use and setting up Windows is preferred.
If you are only going to use HTML files on your site, Windows or Unix will make no difference for you.
How much web area do i need for my site? What is my data transfer limit?
What is Web area:
If you are not thinking of storing large photo dcouments, film documents and MP3 on your site, the web areas that hosting companies will offer you will be more than enough. On average a html document is the length 20kb. You can store approximately 500 html pages in a 10mb web area.
If you are going to store your data in your database and not in your html pages and if you are going to set up your site as a serverbased program like PHP and ASP, you must calculate your web area dimension in accordance with your database. An Acecess database that consists of 100.000 registrations on average takes up 10mb of space.
What is data transfer?
A 1GB data transfer limit is sufficient to show a 50kb page 20.000 times in one month. If your site has a high visitor potential, and if the files(html, gif, jpg,swf etc...) you present to your visitors are of large dimensions, your data transfer needs will increase accordingly to this.
For most sites a data transfer limit of 3-5 GB is sufficient.
What should i be careful of when choosing my Web host?
Determine the requirements of the website you are going to set up. After deciding the budget you think will be needed for this job, it is now time to choose the most suitable web hosting company.
So that you do not make mistakes when you are choosing a company we have some advice for you:
1) Research the companies that you choose.
By doing a search on Google and forum in where webmasters visit alot, you can find many different comments.
Don't believe everything you read! Some comments could have been written by companies or their competitors.
2) Look at the companys references.
Have a look at the references listed on the companys website. Are there enough references? Are there important references? You can send a message to the webmaster of some sites found in the references to obtain an extensive review of the company. You can ask them if they are satisfied with their hosting company, if the technical help is sufficient and if it is quick enough.
3) By sending an email to the company, you can see how fast they respond and the quality of their response.
The easiest way of testing a companys technical support is by sending them an email. Even if the answer to your email is written on the site ask questions about technical issues. Make sure you make your email long and ask many questions. Examine their response and check to see if they have answered your every question or if they have answered you in a careless manner.
If they give give telephone or msn support, use those methods also and try testing their technical support in every way possible.
4) Read the service agreement that they have made you approve of.
In the conditions of the service agreement, there can be other conditions which could not be seen before. Read carefully and examine how the promises made to you are reflected in the service agreement. Generally the features that are said to be unlimited, can be seen to be limited in the agreement that you read.
If there is no service agreement, do not accept service from that company.
5) Check to see whether the company is legitimate or not.
Send an email to the company and ask them whether or not they are registered to the trade room. And ask them for this information. Many amateurs carry out the web hosting process before they have become part of a company. If these type of companies suddenly disappear it will be very hard to trace their tracks. You will not face this problem with corporate companies.
6) Ask for the companys office address and telephone number.
Just in case ask for the companys address and telephone information. If you are suspicious and have the chance to see the location of the company or of accessing by ringing them, you can do so. This is to check the accuracy of the information they have given.
7) Choose companies that guarantee in refunding money
Most companies give a money-back guarantee within the first 15 or 30 days to unsatisfied customers. It is good to choose companies that present this guarantee because they allow you this opportunity if you happen to change your mind. If the company offers you a free of charge test run in place of giving you a money-back guarantee, we advise you to also seize this opportunity.