Guide to Web Hosting for Beginners
5 Minute Guide to Web Hosting for Beginners
Seasoned webmasters can easily setup a new website in minutes
with one of their preferred hosting companies. Novice webmasters
are often confused by the various web hosting plans - affordable
web hosting, Cheap Web hosting, ASP Web Hosting, Budget Hosting,
Dedicated Servers, eCommerce Hosting, FrontPage Web Hosting, Hosting
With Templates, Managed Web Hosting, PHP Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting,
Shared Hosting, Unix / Linux Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Windows
Hosting and Co-location Hosting.
There're really a few things to look at while choosing a web hosting
plan whether you run a hobby site, a small business site, or a high-traffic
ecommerce site. In fact, all web hosting plans and terminologies
can be classified in terms of cost, programming languages, operation
systems, Web servers and functionality.
Cost - Cost of web hosting is the first thing that many small
site owners are looking for. Most of web hosting plans cost less
than $10 a month. Affordable web hosting, budget hosting or cheap
web hosting plan often cost less than $5 per month.
Programming Languages - Whether you want to write your own scripts
or install customized software packages, you want to choose the
hosting plans that support the programming languages of your choice.
The commonly used Web development languages include PHP, ASP, JSP
and PERL. The hosting plans that support those programming languages
are referred as PHP Web hosting, ASP Web hosting, JSP Web hosting
or PERL Web hosting.
Almost all hosting companies support PHP/MySQL, but only a fraction
of them support ASP or JSP. For beginners, PHP/MySQL is the choice
for programming language.
Operating Systems - Once you've picked up the programming language(s)
for your Web development, you still have freedom to choose the operating
system that hosts your Websites. Besides ASP which works only on
Microsoft Windows, other programming languages, PHP, JSP and PERL,
work on Windows, Unix and Linux. Hosting plans that support particular
operating systems are referred as Window Hosting, Unix Hosting or
Servers - Apache is the most widely supported Web server in Web
hosting industry. One of nice things about Apache server is the
ability of mod_rewrite to make dynamic URL look like static URL
or SEO-friendly among other things. ASP works only on Mirosoft Internet
Information Server or IIS server. Weblogic or Websphere is needed
for JSP hosting.
Performance - When webmasters are talking about Web servers, they're
most interested in the server performance - Managed Web Hosting,
Shared Hosting, Dedicated Servers, or Virtual Private Servers (VPS).
Shared hosting is the cheapest plan, and you can host as many sites
as you like with a Reseller Hosting option.
VPS costs around $50 a month, and Dedicated Server plan will cost
from $50 - $100 or more a month dependent on storage space and bandwidth
of the hosting plan. A shared hosting is good enough for most of
websites. If your website serves heavy audio/video files, or needs
to frequently install customized software package, you'll need a
For example, a company that sells Computer Based Training (CBT)
software online upgraded its hosting plan from a shared hosting
to a dedicated hosting plan in the first 6 months of online operation
as the company started to use video/audio support to boost online
Online Transaction Support - Websites that accept payment online
require support of secure connection (HTTPS) and digital certification
to conduct online transaction safely. The alternative of having
your own online merchant account is to use a third party payment
processor for payment process. Integration of paypal shopping cart
only takes about a few minutes without any knowledge of programming
After all, choosing a web hosting plan that works for you isn't
that complex, even for the beginners.
About the Author
Bruce Zhang has over
10 years experience in developing ecommerce and e-business applications
such as Order fulfillment and supply chain management systems.