One of the first things you got to do when you want your own stand alone blog is to go look for a web host. In the Philippines alone, there are a lot of web hosting companies that you can choose from and you have to choose carefully which web hosting company you wish to purchase from.
Personally, I only compared two web hosts. The only thing I compared between them is their prices. ^_^ I did not do enough research before making the purchase so I’m currently suffering from blog downtimes.
There are three things you should consider when looking for a web hosting.
This is the first thing that we should consider when “shopping” for a web hosting solution. We always want the cheapest option but this is not the only thing we should consider. Although you can say that you have gotten a bargain because of its low low price but it also has special features as poor customer support and frequent downtimes. Take note also that Linux Hosting is cheaper compared to Windows Hosting. (I’m not sure why it is cheaper though, my guess is that Linux is free but Windows is not?)
This is the technical aspect in which you need to consider. The following are some of the common features:
- Storage/Space – This is the storage alloted for your files (100mb? 200mb? 500mb? 1gb) For example, the default wordpress installation takes up about 4mb only but it will grow when you start to add templates and plug-ins.
- Bandwidth per month – Every time your pages get visited “bandwidth” is getting used. Basically, it is also an important resource you need to look at since if you run out of bandwidth, your site will be unavailable. Bandwidth usage resets every month usually.
- Subdomains – You can understand this better if you have tried free hosting such as wordpress and blogspot. Each of your blogs there are a subdomain of wordpress or blogspot. For example, in blog1.wordpress.com and blog2.wordpress.com, blog1 and blog2 are the subdomains under the domain wordpress.com. Usually, web hosts give you the power to make as many subdomains as you want. ^_^
- Linux or Windows – You will have to choose the operating system of you web host. The installed programs, databases and other features are based from the operating system you pick. For example, your control panel when you pick Linux is Cpanel while in Windows it is Plesk. This is different from the operating system of your computer. Do not have the misconception of “Oh I’m running under Windows so I should also use Windows“.
- Email – Does it offer email services such as email@example.com? 😀
- Server Software – This will differ depending on which OS your choose for your OS. Examples of these softwares are PHP, Perl, MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, MSSQL and ASP. I noticed that Linux hosting has more server softwares that Windows Hosting.
Take note that I only scratched the tip of the iceberg for the features you need to consider. ^_^
The first two, (price and features) can be found on the web hosting company’s homepage. They do their best to make you purchase from them. They only show you their good qualities while hiding their bad qualities. However, one thing you should also consider is the testimonials from their current and past clients. You can start by asking your friends which web hosting company did they purchase from and if they are satisfied. Did they come upon any problems? How fast were the services such as activation of your account, billing, and customer support? Also, ask them if they have experienced downtimes in their hosting and how often do they experience it.
So there you have it, 3 things you need to consider before choosing your web host. If only I knew this before I bought mine. I hope you do not do the same mistake that I did, choosing only the cheapest option. ^_^