When deciding on a web host, find a company that has flexible plans that can suit a variety of requirements. When your site is new you may not have a very good idea of the type of resources or services it will require. So there is no point in paying for more than you need. Be sure your host allows easy upgrading later on. If you need more storage space, or more bandwidth capacity, or add on features such as shopping carts or database capabilities, your host should be able to accommodate you without any downtime or the necessity of moving your site from one location to another. That way you only pay for services you actually need, and you will have the flexibility to expand your account as greater needs are required.
If you need additional services later, you can buy them then. **Personal Web Sites and Business Web Sites** Normally an entry level web hosting package will include up to 100MB of storage space and 10GB of monthly transfer capacity. This is more than enough for most personal sites or small business sites. Personal web hosting packages like this are available for as little as $1.
95/mo. with no initial setup fees. If you plan on uploading a lot of photo images, chances are you will need more space. In that case you should look at a more substantial hosting package.
Another thing often not included in a personal package is database support. You may intend to run a forum, shopping cart, photo gallery, or one or more of the hundreds of low cost programs you can add to your site. If so, be sure to check if it requires a database.
Often the database required is MySQL. In that case make sure your hosting package offers this feature. You may find it more beneficial to go with a Business hosting package. The cost is not that much more, and you will have the flexibility you need to expand your website as required. A Business hosting package is designed for more established projects and business web sites.
A business plan will include ample storage space, and a significantly larger monthly data transfer limit. It should also include MySQL (database) support. Good business hosting packages will include as much as 1000MB of storage space, and 50GB of monthly transfer. Business hosting packages should also allow you to create subdomains at no extra charge. You may not need this useful feature now, but chances are you will want to expand your site later, and using subdomains is a good way to do it.
Some also offer free utilities to help you design and build your site without having to use html. This eliminates the need to use clunky ftp programs to upload your pages every time you make a change. And you can access and work on your site from any computer with an internet connection.
Another important feature is a control panel to give you the ability to manage e-mail, FTP, databases and track visitors. This allows you to make changes to your website configuration without ever having to talk to your web host technical support department. The most widely used program for this purpose is cPanel.
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