As more and more people want to establish their presence on the internet, personal web hosting is growing by leaps and bounds. Personal web sites are used for personal home pages, blogs, video and audio files, digital photo albums and so on – everything you want to put on the internet. Personal web hosting can be obtained for free, from advertising supported services. While these services are genuinely free, the catch is that ads tend to appear all over your personal web page and can ruin the appeal. Also, cases of “adult” ads appearing on a family web page are not unknown.
Paid personal web hosting is not expensive and this is the best way to go. A typical paid personal web page hosting service should cost you less that $5 a month, which is very reasonable. And most of them are full featured and convenient to use. You will normally have a control panel that allows you to manage your emails, statistics and other web site operations. Most of the personal web page hosts also offer a lot of ready made features like digital photo albums etc. that allow you to get up and running with your web page in no time at all.
The key is to use a personal web page hosting service that meets your requirements. For example, if all you want to do is start a blog, then the best way for you is to go to a specialized blog web hosting site. If you want to build your own website but have never done anything like that before, you should be using a personal web hosting service that contains a web site building tool. This should be simple enough for a beginner to use. A really good website building tool can create professional looking results with little or no hassles.
To find the right kind of host for your personal web site, look up online reviews of the hosting services and read what the users have to say. Since personal web hosting is the most “personal” form of web presence, the feedback that other users have to offer will be very helpful to you in understanding both, the type and reliability of the service that a company offers but also if their attitude towards their clients is one that you are comfortable with.
Make sure that the support being offered to you is what you need. Since it is a personal web site and your payments are low, do not expect 24/7 phone support, unless you are very lucky. Email support is fine as long as there is a set time in which you will receive a response. Try this out by sending the support section an email at 2 AM (have you ever wondered why problems always occur at the oddest times?) and see how long they take to get back to you.
Also, with personal web hosting it will be unrealistic to expect the kind of uptime that commercial websites expect and get. Many of the personal web hosting services may offer 99% uptime, but it will be unrealistic to expect it. For this application, even 95% uptime should be enough.
Remember that companies that guarantee 99.9% uptime for their data centers or networks are NOT guaranteeing that same amount of uptime for their servers.
What You Need To Know While Choosing A Web Hosting Plan
Web hosting is a jungle and there are thousands of different packages available, all claiming to be the one that is best suited for YOU. Each web hosting company will word its descriptions to make what it offers, sound unique. Each one will highlight the features that they think will be important to their target market. You can spend weeks, if not months, checking out the various packages on offer and the permutations and combinations available. And in the end you may be no better off than when you began.
The best way to go about choosing a web hosting plan is to understand the three basic types of web hosting that are available and decide which one is best for you. Once you have done that, the number of options you need to search through will have reduced to a manageable amount and finding what’s right for you becomes much easier.
The Free Hosting Package
As the name says, the hosting service is free once you have bought your domain name from them. But remember that since you are not paying, these companies need to make their money in some other way and most of them usually do it through advertising. You will have no control on the nature and volume of ads placed on your site. While most companies try to keep the amount reasonable so that they don’t drive away customers, the fact remains that visitors to your site may be put off by the ads. If you are launching your website on a tight budget, use this type of plan to get your self started and iron out any chinks in your site. But try to shift to a paid server as soon as possible. The initial visitors who were put off by the ads may not return later.
The Shared Hosting Package
This option is okay for small sites that operate on a limited budget. Here, several small sites are placed on one server so they share the cost. There will be no ads here and you will get a domain name that includes the web hosting company’s name. The service and support here will be up to the mark. But unless you plan to keep you site small this can only be an interim option. Once your site gets to big, you will have to move on to the third option.
The Paid Hosting Package
This is the best of all the options available, but also the most expensive. You will get the highest levels of support and service here – after all you are paying for it! But keep in mind that the competition among these web hosting companies is huge and prices can vary considerably. It’s worthwhile spending some time shopping around. But, do not let price be your only concern. Check out the history and reputation of the companies you are considering – paying a bit more for reliability is worth it. Also check on the amount of space that will be given to you and the space you can take later as your site grows. Its important to check on the bandwidth that will be available – if you have a lot of audio and video on you site, limited bandwidth can affect access speeds. And finally, make sure that your domain name is a stand alone.