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New to web hosting? Starter information here!
23-10-2010, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2010 10:44 PM by howtothings.)
Post: #1
New to web hosting? Starter information here!
Looking for web hosting? Starter information here!

Finding a good, well priced and reliable website host is a hard and tedious job. I, myself have gone through more web hosts than I care to remember. After reading this thread, you should have a better idea of what you require.

Contents
  • What is a web host?
  • Types of hosting
  • What resources you need
  • Resources explained
  • Important notes / extras
  • Recommendation


What is a web host?

Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients, this allows individuals, (you), and organisations to make their own website accessible to the public, aka put it on the Internet.

For the difference between Domains, DNS and webhosts view my thread here:
http://mcompute.co.uk/showthread.php?tid=248


Types of hosting
  • Shared
  • Semi-Dedicated
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • Co-location
  • Hosting from home

Shared
A lot of users on the same server. The server resources are shared between the sites. This is the standard and cheapest option.

Semi-Dedicated
Shared hosting with less accounts / domains on the server, resulting in more resources available to each account.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A VPS is a virtual server for the exclusive use of an individual. Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system meaning that you if you wanted to, you could install cPanel / WHM on it.
A VPS is a great choice for people starting their own hosting company. You can get either Managed or unmanaged.

Dedicated
A dedicated server is an entire physical server that a client can lease, the server is not shared with anyone. A dedicated server offers flexibility and full control, including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. A dedicated server must be managed by yourself.

Reseller
Shared reseller hosting allows the creation of separate control panel accounts.
Usually cPanel/WHM are paired together here. This service is usually used by people trying to get into the hosting industry themselves, or to just host a few friends.

Hosting from home
I don't recommend that you attempt to host your website on a server from home. If you have a basic Internet package, the bandwidth won't be as good, it's a security risk, and it'll probably cost as much as a shared host anyway.


What resources you need

There a few factors you need to consider, the main two are:
  • Disk space.
  • Bandwidth.
Once you've answered the top two questions, next to come are:
  • How many domains you need hosted.
  • How many SQL databases you need.
  • How many subdomains do you need.
  • Do you need SSH?
  • Do you need Python / Perl?
  • How many FTP accounts do you need?
  • Do you have a country preference?

Please continue reading below for a breakdown of these resources.


Resources explained.

Disk space
Disk space is essentially how much hard drive space you have on the server that your website is hosted on.
Let's say you want to use your website to host pictures on, the average size of an image is 200kb or 0.19531 MB. To fill 1mb of space you would need to have 1,000 images.

Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer you get. If you are on a shared account, normally when you exceed your bandwidth, your account will just be suspended. If you're on a dedicated server, you're account will usually be billed.
Say your website has a 1 MB image on it and 0.5 MB of other data like text. Every time someone loads your page they are downloading all that data 1.5MB worth. That is bandwidth. If you have 5GB of bandwidth a month, that means your page could be loaded over 3,000 times. Excluding caching.

How many domains you need hosted.
A domain is your website, my domain is mcompute.co.uk. Some companies offer you the ability to host more than one domain per package.

How many SQL databases you need.
A database consists of an organised collection of data for one or more uses. mcompute is running MyBB forum software which requires an SQL database, things such as registered users, posts, threads etc are stored in the database.

How many subdomains do you need.
An example of a sub domain is markwood.mcompute.co.uk, it's simply something.yoursite.com

How many FTP accounts do you need?
You may need different FTP accounts to allows different people to upload to your site, say you have a photographer working for you, you can give him his own FTP account that you can restrict to only be able to upload to /images and not the entire site. Mainly for security reasons.

Do you have a country preference?
Laws differ from country to country, depending what you have hosted on your website it may be against the law in certain countries. Another reason for wanting a particular country is your user base, if you just have traffic from the UK, get a host in the UK.
The most popular countries are the UK and US.


Important notes / extras
Don't fall for "Unlimited" hosting tricks from people that offer you unlimited bandwidth and storage. It's obviously not unlimited and will be capped somewhere along the line.

Recommendation

After searching for days for a decent, reliable and cost effective web host I finally come across vidahost. Vidahost had been suggested to me by multiple people, people that know what they're doing.
Not wanting to waste any more of my time, and money I emailed vidahost and no word of a lie I got a reply within 2 minutes! which was followed up with a great discussion resulting in mcompute members being able to save 10% on future purchases!

Website: vidahost.com
Coupon code: mcompute

[Image: vidahost_footer.jpg]


Feel free to pm me, or post for assistant with anything.


[Image: engrish25.png]

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