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WAHM  > How to Start an Internet Business > Choosing a Web Host

Choosing a Web Host

It’s important to choose a reliable web hosting company that allows business sites and offers a variety of packages so that you can upgrade as you grow.

You will need to choose a package based on disk space, bandwidth or file transfer limits, email accounts, and additional services such as databases and included software.

Choosing a Web Host Consideration: Disk space 

Disk space refers to the amount of room you have for your files – the number and size of your pages, graphics, and so on. You will probably want 25-50MB (megabytes) of disk space to start. Most web pages are under 50K in size (unless they contain a large number of graphics) so a 25 page website will require just 1.2 MB of disk space.

You will need additional disk space for email storage, database use, and other files necessary to run your website. 50MB of disk space should give you plenty of room to grow, but be sure that you can easily upgrade (without exorbitant prices) should the need arise. 

Choosing a Web Host Consideration: Bandwidth 

Bandwidth is the amount of activity on your site so the more visitors you have, the more bandwidth you need. Many packages provide unlimited bandwidth, but 2 GB should be more than enough to start. Again, make sure you can upgrade if needed.

Choosing a Web Host Consideration: Email Accounts

You’ll probably want at least one pop3 email account associated with your site, but having at least several can help you organize your incoming email.

Choosing a Web Host Consideration: Reliability

One of the most important factors to consider in selecting your web host is reliability.

It’s probably also one of the more difficult factors to evaluate. Most companies will have “guaranteed up time,” but what does that really mean?

It’s really no consolation to have your monthly fee refunded if your site has been down for days.

 Look for a site that provides a history of their uptime. All sites will have some downtime for maintenance and other issues can occur, but you want your site to be available consistently.

Other factors to consider:

  • Is customer support available 24/7?
  • How often are back-ups performed? If data is lost, the backup system will help you recover your site. You should also be performing your own backup on a regular basis.
  • What other software do you need? Examples include message boards, FrontPage Extensions (more about that in the building your website section), shopping cart, web design service or templates, sub domains, mailing lists, databases, etc.
  • You’ll want website statistics so you can see how many visitors you receive and from where.
  • If you are going to collect personal information from your visitors such as home addresses or credit card information you will want a server that supports encryption.
  • You may also want to ask for recommendations from friends or other WAHMs by posting on the message board. If you are going to have someone design your site, they will likely have suggestions too.

Also, when you're starting out dealing with things like choosing a web host or domain name, can be super complicated.  If you're new to this, and need a simple way to get started please take a look at the how to build a website section.

By the Way......A note about free web hosting

As tempting as it is to start out using a free hosting service, we advise against doing so. Free hosting is supported by advertising that you will have no control over. Additionally, those ads are often delivered via annoying pop-ups. Free hosting does not give you the professional appearance you need to succeed online. The monthly cost of hosting is very affordable and well worth the investment.

Next in our tutorial: --> Designing your Website

 

 

 

 

 

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