Web hosting is, more or less, an agreement between you and a web hosting service provider that you will pay a monthly lease to own and operate a portion of their massive web servers. These are computers that will house all of your data, and will allow others to get a good look at the content you so painstakingly create. Think of it as a storage unit with windows that other Internet users will drive by and take a peep through.
In order to operate a web site you absolutely need a web hosting account, as no site can just live on the Internet without a web server. Since web server usually costs thousands of dollars it is much more affordable to simply lease one from a web hosting provider. Web hosting services give you the opportunity to reach the world wide web without making a significant investment.
Before you begin your comparison journey, you have to decide what type of web hosting will fit your needs as a webmaster. Your basic choices are shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
If you are just starting out online and you don't have a lot of websites, then you may want to begin comparing cheap shared hosting plans. If you want more freedom over your hosting account, then you may want to choose a more powerful VPS hosting plan instead. Finally, if you're extremely serious about being successful online and you want the best of the best, then you should being comparing dedicated hosting plans.
The web hosting industry is extremely competitive, with almost 25 thousand web hosting providers competing for your business at any given point in time. To grab your attention, many of them will offer extremely low prices, while some will simply add more features and benefits to the plans. While price comparisons are generally simple to conduct in other industries, in web hosting, it can be quite confusing, considering all of the plan features that must be compared as well. Many people also fail to realize the differences in payment structure, as well as other pricing factors, such as fees and startup costs.
Web hosting pricing has become very confusing over the last several years, with many web hosting companies changing the way they advertise their plan pricing. It can be discouraging after purchasing a web hosting plan, only to find out that the monthly cost is much higher than was expected. Many web hosting companies are using deceptive marketing tactics to attract new customers without actually lowering the price. It is important to know the various aspects of web hosting pricing before comparing plans. When comparing plans it is best to consider the cost of all the features and the amount of features offered.
Before you pick a web hosting plan based on price, make sure you have a solid understanding of the pricing structure. Try to compare plans of equal value in order to conduct the most accurate and useful comparison possible.
The first thing you need to consider when comparing two similarly priced plans is the payment structure. Some plans require you to pay a year in advance, while others will let you pay on a monthly basis. This can be the biggest difference in regards to startup cost. Plan A may cost $7 per month; however, you may be required to pay one year in advance, which would make the startup cost about $84 (plus applicable fees).
On the other hand, Plan B may cost $15 per month, but without annual payments. In this example, even though Plan B costs twice as much per month, it would be possible to get started for a fraction of the cost without the obligation of a yearly contract.
It is important to note that the more you pay in advance, the lower your monthly rate will be. In other words, you may be able to get Plan A for $3/month instead of $7/month if you pay for it for three years in advance. The type of plan you purchase should depend entirely upon your preferences and your budget. If you are operating on a strict budget and you need to save money now, then you may want to consider a plan that does not require yearly payments. However, if you have a more liberal budget and you need to save money in the long term, then you may want to consider a plan with lower monthly payments under an annual contract.
In the web hosting industry, pricing is not always what it seems, especially for the novice webmaster. Make sure you investigate the true cost of prospective hosting plans before making any commitments.
Unexpected or hidden fees is an another pricing factor to consider when purchasing a hosting plan. The first fee to look for is the setup fee. Many hosting plans charge around $50 for a setup fee when you first purchase the plan. In some cases, the hosting company may offer a rebate on this setup fee; however, you should know that you will receive the money at a later date, and you will still need to pay the fee when purchasing the plan.
Another fee to look for is excessive usage fees. This is especially important when shopping for plans that claim to offer unlimited features. In reality, every web hosting plan has its limitations, so it is important to note what the monetary repercussions are for exceeding those limits. In some cases, you may be able to find a hosting plan that will only charge you for the amount of server resources you used over the limit, instead of charging you a set fee. In other cases, you may be required to upgrade or pay a fee for exceeding your limitations.
Domain transferring fees are also often overlooked. If you already have websites that you will be transferring to your new web hosting account, make sure you don't have to pay any fees to do so.
If you need a cheap web hosting plan to get started with your online endeavor, then you may want to consider a shared hosting plan. Shared web hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting, with plans starting at less than ten dollars per month. In fact, it is possible to find a shared web hosting plan for only $3 per month in some cases.
Many shared web hosting plans offer unlimited features, such as unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and even the ability to host unlimited domains. Plans that have contracts for more than a year are usually cheaper on a monthly basis. If you are in need of a quick start in the hosting industry then you should purchase a cheap VPS or shared hosting account that allows monthly payments. Using shared hosting has its advantages and disadvantages, however it is always the most affordable solution, regardless of the situation.
However, it is important to note that many of these unlimited features are not exactly infinite. As in other industries, you'll generally receive what you pay for.
Web servers are critical elements of the internet, as every web site needs one in order to function. Essentially, web servers are computers that are responsible for transmitting data from a web site to the site visitor's computer. Without a web server your web site could not exist, because there would not be anywhere to store the data and send it to a visitors computer.
There is a variety of web servers available on the market, with each one designed to accommodate a different range of client needs. If you want your site to perform optimally, then you will need a capable web server. Make sure you become familiar with web servers and their uses before you proceed with your online endeavors.
Server uptime is a term used to describe the amount of time that a web server is fully functional and online. When a server crashes or goes offline, all of the web sites hosted on it are also rendered useless until it the problem is repaired. Thus, server uptime is direct indicator of the reliability and consistency of a web hosting provider.
Most web hosting providers have a seal posted on their web site that guarantees more than 99 percent uptime. While this may seem appealing, the truth is, most companies do not live up to this promise. If you have been experiencing frequent downtime then you may want to switch web hosting providers. Every time your site crashes you are potentially losing money. This is especially true if you are operating an eCommerce web site.
Most major web hosting providers have their own private datacenters, in which all of their web servers are stored. Datacenters are specially designed to accommodate the environmental needs of a web server. The temperature, humidity, dust content, lighting, cleanliness and security of the datacenter is meticulously upheld by on site staff that is responsible for keeping all of the web servers in perfect condition. The floors are air-cooled, all rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art fire extinguishing systems, and there is a 24 hour maintenance staff on duty 7 days out of every week.