Web Hosting: A Beginner's Guide

I now work as an independent writer in the tech field, being a support for the IT support guy.
What You Need to Know when Searching for a Webhost Provider

Before you put your site online you've got to choose a web hosting provider. This is important because if your site is slow or unreliable, people will tend to leave quickly and never come back. To find the right host, you might want to take a look at this web hosting beginner guide.

Some Considerations

In most cases, particularly for small businesses, web pages don't take up a lot of memory. Your site is likely to be existing in the same disk space along dozens or even hundreds of other sites. That means that each site is competing for the server's physical resources: particularly RAM and bandwidth. You want to be certain you're getting the best services for your money.  

You may have other considerations, such as a host that will support certain web apps, or provide greater control or security. Others may feel environmentally conscious and focus their search on green energy hosting providers. These hosts utilize alternative energies and energy efficiency to have minimal impact on the environment. Before you start looking, you should have some idea of what may be crucial to your business plans. 


This is the amount of disk space you expect your total site will take up, including pages, databases, and system files. For most personal or small business sites, 5 to 10 GB is probably enough. If you're planning on starting out with something more intensive, like a file-sharing or large e-commerce site, you'll want more. Generally, more storage costs more money. Some hosts offer "unlimited" space, which may or may not be the case. Read the fine print.  


This is basically the data transfer rates your host's servers are capable of. If you reach a strictly enforced limit, your visitors could experience slow site responses when there's a spike in traffic. When you're serving up data-intensive pages to a high volume of users you need greater bandwidth. Some hosts may charge you more if you exceed bandwidth limits. A host may promise unlimited bandwidth, but this is another case for checking the fine print. 


This the ability of your host to increase your resources. You'll want more bandwidth during times of high traffic spikes, or your site may even crash. As you add new files and pages, your site will also grow and consume more disk space. The ideal alternative in the context of a web hosting beginner guide is to find a host that will let you scale up your service plan; if you need more, you simply pay for more.


In web hosting terms, this is the "uptime" you can expect your site to have. A site that's frequently down is a waste of money. You're paying for a website that isn't there. Some hosts will claim 99.99% uptime. Anything close to that is probably OK, but you may want to look at some online reviews and monitor your site's log files to be sure you're getting the uptime you paid for.

Backups and Security

You might want to consider file backup services so that you always have working copies even when disaster strikes. Data breaches were up by 40% in 2016 . To keep your files safe, you want to ensure that your host is providing adequate security measures. They may provide standard protection such as firewalls and anti-malware, but require payment for additional security measures. 

Technical Support

You're bound to have some site issues eventually, and even during the setup phase. You may need your host's help in sorting them out. Sometimes these issues will occur on a weekend or late at night, so you'll want a support team that's available 24/7. It can also be helpful if they provide multiple channels such as chat or SMS. You might want to check on their response times. Some hosts will even provide service level agreements.

Hosting services are typically spelled out in terms of different hosting packages available. Take the factors from this web hosting beginner guide and compare them with each package until you find one that's the right mix of cost and features to fit your needs.

I now work as an independent writer in the tech field, being a support for the IT support guy.

Comments (1)

Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.

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