Web Hosting Requirements

Pricing Packages Comparison
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When you're looking for a hosting provider there are a few things you should look for:

  • FTP Access
    • Some hosts will only provide access to your Web server via a Web form. But this limits your access and control over the pages. Plus it often requires more steps to get content up to the site through a form.
  • Adequate disk space
    • What's adequate can vary greatly from site to site, but if you find a hosting provider that can add space when you need it, you should be fine. When you're starting out, check how much space your site uses on your hard drive, and make sure you get more than that.
  • Reasonable bandwidth
    • Bandwidth is the measure of how much data flows across a network over a set period of time. So, if you have 10MB of Web page content and it's all viewed one time in a month, your bandwidth use would be 10MB. Since you want your pages to be viewed more than once, look for monthly bandwidth of at least 5GB.

Recommended Hosting Features

Once you have the above, you will have all you need for decent Web hosting. But there are some other features you can add that might make things even easier:

  • SSH access
    • This gives you access to your pages directly from the server. Plus it's a great way to test CGI scripts.
  • Control panel
    • Hosting control panels can help you maintain your website more efficiently by giving you access to administrative commands like permissions and dot-files.
  • PHP
    • This gives you some server-side scripting.
  • Database
    • With a database you can create more dynamic sites.
  • Email accounts
    • This gives you an email address (or several) from your site's domain.