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Determine Your Needs Before Choosing A Hosting Service

Written By: Nancy Casseur

Determine your needs BEFORE choosing a hosting service

Choosing a hosting company for your web site can be very confusing given the multitude of companies available on the Internet today. Do not choose a service by price alone. The very cheapest is not necessarily the best. You can get a good hosting service for under $10.00, but first determine your requirements.

Before going into any more detail, let’s look at some definitions:

Hosting service – A hosting service or company is an Internet company that provides hundreds or even thousands of computers like yours with service by “renting” you space. With this service your web site is now on the Internet and can be viewed by millions of others. Sure you could be your own host, but it would be very expensive because you would need to buy a server, house it in the proper environment, maintain it 24 hours a day, and put up with all the other headaches that come with hosting. Wouldn’t you rather concentrate on selling your product? Server A server is a large computer, which can service many other computers. Sometimes a large software package on a host’s server (like a mail software package) is also referred to as a server. Have you seen scenes on TV which show rooms wall-to-wall with big computers busily working and flashing their lights? These are servers.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. If you started your web site from scratch, you will need to upload your web pages to the host you selected. To do this you use a FTP software package. There are some excellent tutorials on FTP at http://www.pageresource.com/putweb/ftptut1.htm CGI CGI means Common Gateway Interface. While CGI primarily refers to the way a server communicates with other software on the server, CGI scripts are a popular way programmers install counters, forms, and other interactive items on a web site. If you see cgi-bin, the “bin” refers to binary from a time long ago when most programs were referred to as binary. Now cgi-bin refers to the location in the server where cgi scripts are stored. Now, let’s go back to the hosting service. When you surf the net and “go” to a particular site, you are not actually going to that site. The hosting company’s server (in this case your ISP) receives your request, searches the web, finds your requested site, and downloads it to your computer. So you see, you don’t go to a site, the site comes to you, courtesy of a server. How do you go about choosing a hosting service? It is pretty much up to you based on the size of your website, the number of visitors you expect, and, of course, the state of your wallet. If you are just starting out, a free or low cost service is all you will need, but as your business grows you might want to consider a service that gives you more storage and more transfer room. Storage is the amount of room your web site takes up on the hosting company’s server, “Transfer” refers to network transfer space. If you have a large web site and a lot of visitors you will need more storage or disc space and more network transfer space. The more people accessing your site; the higher the volume of data being transferred. How to calculate your disk space:

1.Count the number of pages in your web site and add a buffer for future expansion. 2.Determine the average number of characters per page – not the number of words. The number of characters includes everything, letters, spaces, and, punctuation. Most word processing programs such as MS Word will count the number of characters for you. 3.Multiply the average number of characters times the number of pages in step 1. 4.Now: one character = 1 Byte, and 8 Bytes = 1 bit, so divide the total number of characters determined in step 3 by 8. This gives you the total number of bits. 5.1000 bits = 1 KB; 1000 KB = 1 MB, and 1000 MB = 1 GB. Note: For the technical minded 1 GB actually equals 1024 MB, but there is really no necessity to get that picky in this case. 6.Divide the total number of bits by 1,000,000 and your answer will be the number of MB of disk space you need to rent from the hosting service.

Determining the amount of transfer space you will require is largely an approximation based on the number of visitors you expect per day. Most of the better hosting services provide you with about 3 GB, which is ample for the average web site. If you expect more than a thousand visitors a day, you will, of course, need more transfer space.

The top ten hosting companies are listed conveniently at http://www.webhostinginspector.com/index.php?from=1 along with their rankings, disk space offered, bandwidth (transfer space), and reviews.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ About the author: Nancy Casseur is a Team Leader with Strong Future International Marketing Group (SFI Marketing Group). SFI is considered to be the largest and most successful affiliate program in the world. To find out more about SFI go to http://www.moreinfo247.com/8459751.35/FREE. Nancy is also the Webmaster of two websites; http://www.newsiteinfo.net and http://www.notreallyretired.com . Copyright 2005 by Nancy Casseur.
About the Author

Nancy Casseur, a retired journalist, is currently a Team Leader with SFI Marketing Group and the Webmaster of two web sites – http://www.newsiteinfo.net and http://www.notreally retired.com. SFI Marketing group is considered to be the largest and most successful affiliate program in the world. See http://www.moreinfo247.com/8459751.36/FREE

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