Choosing the right web host can make a big difference in how much money you spend. But how do you know what you’re paying for, when you look for someone to host your website? There are several things you’ll want to understand before you form a partnership with a web hosting site.
Before you begin your search for a web host, decide on how much disk space you’ll need. Most websites without a lot of graphics will require only about 50kb of disk space. When you contract for space, you’ll need to allow for a bit of growth so as not to be stuck with an overage bill at the end of the month. Most host sites will charge for disk space that goes over your plan. Web hosting costs change as the industry grows and changes, but this charge for disk space should be a small amount each month, perhaps as little as $1 per 10MB of space.
The next thing you’ll need to look at is bandwidth. Bandwidth measures the amount of data that can be transferred from the web host through the website to the customer’s computer. When you’re looking at a web hosting plan, allow for spikes and overages in bandwidth use. If you believe your website will use 10GB of bandwidth per month, you’ll need to purchase at least 10-12GB of bandwidth to ensure you’ll have enough to meet your needs. You should expect to pay about $3 per GB of bandwidth.
You’ll need to understand the pricing plan of your web host in terms of overage charges. Some web hosts only allow you to buy overages in blocks, say 5GB of bandwidth or 10MB of disk space. If you only need 1 or 2GB more of bandwidth, you might have to buy more. Understanding your purchasing options before you commit to a web host is very important in keeping your bill at manageable level. Also, it’s a good idea to understand the policies and practices of the web host in terms of notifying you about your usage plans and possible overages. A web host who keeps you advised of your use and the possibility that you will exceed your limits is an excellent choice when choosing to form a partnership that is beneficial to both parties involved.
Be sure that your web host will meet your email needs. Email is very important in many businesses and making sure your web host can meet your requirements in this area is important. Many web hosts offer email services as part of their basic packages now, so this is an item that you should not pay extra for. Also be sure that your web host can support your database and any applications used by your website.
Many web hosts will offer discounts for buying blocks of time at once. Locking yourself in at a discounted price for six months or a year can have monetary advantages, but you’re also doing just that – locking yourself in. It’s difficult to understand the long term relationship you’ll have with a web host until you have a few months of partnership under you belt. Resisting a long-term contract until you have an established relationship with a web host is preferable to breaking a long-term contract with an unreliable web host.