How To Buy Hosting
How To Buy Hosting
If you're setting up a website, you'll need to buy hosting so people can access your files. This film tells you how.
Buying hosting is the easiest thing in the world. It's just like buying a pair of shoes or Back to the Future Special Edition DVDs off The Internet, but instead of an actual, physical thing arriving in the post 3-5 working days later, you're buying a share of someone else's computer for a bit.
Companies have huge ‘servers' perpetually connected to The Internet, and by buying hosting they're letting you upload whatever files you like to their hard drive so that, even when you go to bed and switch off your own PC, someone on the other side of the world can view the files necessary to read your website.
Several companies exist from which you can buy hosting; it's simply a case of rooting out a good deal.
Step 1: What to Look At
Bandwidth - one of the main things to look at is your bandwidth allowance. If you're hoping to get a hundred million visitors each and every day, that's an awful lot of megabytes whipping back and forth from the server to their PC.
Most companies offer about the same – that's up to about 3500GB per month. Unless you're hosting large files and extraordinarily high-res photos, it's not something you really need to worry about. Most websites won't even touch that, but massive sites like VideoJug use ‘dedicated' servers because you lot watching our videos uses up an outrageous amount of information each month.
Webspace – this is the amount of physical space your files take up. It's exactly the same as your hard drive at home. Typically, hosting companies will let you ‘host' about 350GB of files, of which the files for an image-heavy site will probably only take up about 300mB. You'll be hard pushed to fill it all.
Specialist stuff – if you want to host forums or use a Wordpress blog template, the servers need to be the right sort to accommodate that. If you're very jittery about handing over money, it's worth firing off an email to check if your chosen hosting company can handle things like mySQL and php.
Downtime- all servers go down and crash every once in a while. It's worth doing a quick Google to see what people are saying about a particular hosting company, to make sure they're reliable. Put shortly: if their servers are down, so's your website. So a company with a poor track record will probably wind up doing you more harm than good.
Company Policy – if you're going to be setting up even a mildly risqué site, you should have a good read of the company's policy as to what you can and can't do. Some hosts won't let you write anything offensive, some are jittery about dirty stuff, and most won't let you host anything illegal. Which is fair enough.
Domain Name- watch VideoJug's How to Buy a Domain Name first, but it's generally a good idea to register the domain at the same time as buying your hosting. If everything's in the same place, it'll make things much easier in the long run. You can often get a good deal on domain names; it may well be free if you're buying hosting.
Step 2: Blag A Freebie
If you know someone who has an account with a hosting company, there might be a special prize for referral. Both you and they might be able to blag more bandwidth or disk space if you sign up with a promotional code that they've got. So look into it; you can also ask them about their experience with that company.
Step 3: Buy The Hosting
When you've picked a company and you're happy that your website will look spiffing on their servers, it's time to spend the money. Fill in your name, address, credit card details and all that, and you're set to go.
Bear in mind it might take a few hours before you can start uploading.
They'll give you information on how to go about uploading your files via FTP – for more on that you can watch VideoJug's film on FTP and uploading.