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A web host is where you rent space for the data of your website. It’s the place where your files will “physically” exist on a server computer.
The advertised “monthly” prices you’ll see for web hosting are based on the price of pre-paying for a year (or two), and dividing by the number of months. The actual month to month price , is considerably higher, and may include a set-up fee. When you are choosing a new host, you should not pre-pay.
You should expect to pay about $9 month-to-month for a reliable, reputable web host. You’ll see prices lower than this — be very careful….
Web Host Requirements
For our purposes here, we suggest the following server specifications:
Linux/Unix server with cPanel
For auto-installation of WordPress, get cPanel with Fantastico
5 MySQL databases (unlimited is better)
At least 200 Mb storage and 10Gb bandwidth. Bandwidth and storage are commodities, and the current standard is constantly increasing.
- phone support — rare and expensive
- email lists — many host have limits on amount of email
- more than one domain — there’s several ways to handle this
- command line access — an advanced feature
- discussion forums — use a huge amount of server resources
- large files (audio, video, high-res images) — you’ll need to shop for bandwidth
Choosing Web Host
Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to suggest what to watch out for when choosing a web host. A few warnings:
- Beware Top Ten Sites
Lists of “Top Ten Web Hosts” are almost always paid advertisements. Trust them as much as you’d trust a random flyer stuffed under the windshield wiper of your car.
- Beware Super Cheap Deals
You’ll get what you pay for. If someone is offering hosting for less than $7 month-to-month, there’s a reason. If you don’t know the reason, you’ll probably get screwed.
- Beware “Unlimited” Quota
There’s no such thing as unlimited bandwidth and storage. Eventually you’ll find out what real limits there are, perhaps when one of their overloaded servers finally implodes.
- Beware Long-Term Contracts
Most of the cheap prices you’ll see are based on pre-paying for a 1 or 2 year contract. Do not do this. Sign up for a month. In a few months, if you end up loving your web host, you might consider signing up long term.
A good place to search through all the available web hosts. Has user reviews.
A forum for professional web hosts. You’ll get a lot of opinions (for better or worse). Search for the host you’re considering and see what people have to say. If someone recommends a host to you, one test go here, search for the name and see what people are saying.
Based on reviews, these web hosts should probably be okay.
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