Last modified on 15 July 2014, at 10:35

Starting A Website/Choosing a Hosting Service

Choosing a hosting service for a website without any prior experience can be difficult owing to lack of knowledge about what reasonable prices are or what is needed for a particular set of skills or objectives. In this chapter, we will discuss what services are necessary or desirable, depending on one's current skill level and needs.

Types of ServicesEdit

Hosting providers generally fall into two categories.

  1. Free hosts. Free hosting service providers allow users to host their web content for free, usually with ads displayed from the hosting service provider. These services generally don't provide any server-side features, but provide free hosting of client-side code while displaying their advertising on the user's page. Any type of client-side feature (HTML, JavaScript, CSS, images) can generally be used on these services, although some hosting providers may limit what functionality users can use. For example, if we're willing to think of MySpace as a hosting service provider (a bit of a leap, but feasible), MySpace only allows users to use CSS, basic HTML, and no JavaScript on their profiles. Angelfire is one free hosting provider that allows users to fully use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  2. Paid hosts. Paid hosts offer users limited bandwidth, storage space, processing power, and server-side services in exchange for a monthly or yearly fee. Depending on what services a user needs, these services are more or less expensive. Server-side services include programming languages such as PHP, ASP, Ruby On Rails, Perl, ColdFusion, or Python; databases services such as MySQL and PostgreSQL; secure shell access (to execute commands on the server itself); version control via Git, SVN, or CVS; and server management features (FTP access, e-mail, in-browser file management, et cetera). Virtually all paid services will not limit what features of HTML, CSS, and Javascript the user may use.

How To Find A HostEdit

To find a host, it is generally beneficial to use a service such as FindMyHosting.com, which conglomerates information and reviews of various online web hosts. In finding a web host, consider the following:

  • Skills. What skills do you have? If you are just trying to learn a programming language such as PHP, it is probably a better idea to install PHP on your computer using a service such as XAMPP, rather than paying money for somebody else to do the configuration for you. If you're trying to learn a client-side programming language, such as HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, you don't really need a host since all of these are processed in your browser. All you need to do is open your HTML file in your browser.
  • Purpose. What do you want to use this site for? If you are looking to create a website to give your business an online presence, consider what functionality you want that site to have. Many interactive features - for example, contact forms - will require a little bit of PHP knowledge. If you just want to have a basic informational website, though, you probably won't need these services (at least at first). Paid hosting services generally charge more for the additional functionality of service-side programming languages.
  • For personal use? If you're just created a personal website to put up information about yourself, you probably don't need to have your own hosting service provider.

Hosting Service Comparison ChartEdit

Provider Plan Name Price Bandwidth Storage Domains allowed Shell access PHP Perl Python Ruby On Rails E-mail FTP MySQL PostgreSQL SVN CVS
RoseHosting SSD 1 VPS $19.95/mo. 2000 GB 30 GB SSD Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MilesWeb Beginner Rs.180 INR/mo. 500 MB 5 GB Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unlimited Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes
FusionHost Fusion Starter $3.95/mo. Unlimited Unlimited 1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FusionHost Fusion Business $5.95/mo. Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
MediaTemple Gridserver $20.00/mo. 100 GB 1 TB 100 Yes Yes No Unknown Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
MediaTemple Dedicated Virtual Starts at $50/mo. 1 TB 20 GB Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Unlimited Unlimited Yes Yes Yes Can be installed
HasWeb HW1 $7.00/mo. 500 GB Unlimited 1 No Yes Yes Unknown No Unlimited Unlimited Yes No No No
HasWeb HW2 $10.00/mo. 1000 GB Unlimited Unlimited No Yes Yes Unknown No Unlimited Unlimited Yes No No No
HasWeb HW3 $15.00/mo. 1500 GB Unlimited Unlimited No Yes Yes Unknown No Unlimited Unlimited Yes No No No
Angelfire Free hosting Free 1 GB 20 MB Hosted on angelfire.com No No No No No No Yes No No No No
Angelfire Angelfire Elements Neon $4.95 + $10.00 setup 100 GB 1 GB Hosted on angelfire.com No No Yes No No No Yes No No No No
Angelfire Angelfire Elements Argon $8.95/mo. + $15.00 setup 300 GB 3 GB 1 (included) No No Yes No No 5 accounts (15 MB each) Yes No No No No
Angelfire Angelfire Elements Xenon $11.95/mo. + $15.00 setup 500 GB 5 GB 1 (included) No No Yes No No 10 accounts (15 MB each) Yes No No No No
Angelfire Angelfire Elements Krypton $14.95/mo. + $15.00 setup 1000 GB 10 GB 1 (included) No No Yes No No 15 (15 MB each) Yes No No No No