Choosing a Web Hosting Company

The criteria for choosing either a free web host or a commercial web hosting company are slightly different. For example, free web hosts impose advertising on your website to cover the costs of providing your site the free web space and services. They limit the amount of web space, i.e., 5MB and can also limit the size on the files you upload and/or restrict the file types you can upload. They can also set a limit on the amount of traffic your website can use per day or month and will disable it if it goes beyond the limit. Additionally, free web hosts don’t always have the best reliability or speed. A site that is frequently down or is slow to load will cause your website to lose visitors.

When choosing a paid reputable web host company, these are things to look for:

  • It should be reliable and fast and guarantee a minimum of 99.5% uptime. Check their policy about how much you’ll be charged if you exceed the data transfer limit.
  • There should be 24x7 technical support (including holidays).
  • The web host should allow all the various software and tools used to build your website, i.e., HTML, JavaScript, FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, SSH, MySQL, etc.
  • Control Panel to self-manage your site.
  • If you are planning on doing any sort of e-commerce through your website, the host should provide Shopping Cart functionality.
  • The hosting company should provide Security Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates. Google is flagging websites that don't have a SSL Certificate.
  • Provide email addresses at your own domain, like, if you choose to do so.
If your Internet Service Provider allows it, you can run your own web server, but it’s a lot of work and can be very expensive because a server’s hardware capacity needs to be able to handle a large number of requests (website traffic) occurring simultaneously without affecting the quick response time. For this reason, more popular websites require a good server to fulfill its needs. Professional web hosting companies can run a hosting service cheaper than you can, serve pages faster and do it more reliably at an optimum cost.

NOTE: Domain registration and domain hosting are two different things. Your domain name is the name of your website or your URL ( and can be purchased by going to a domain name registrar (as mentioned above). But in order for your website to appear on the internet, the files (code) need to be uploaded to a server and hosted at a hosting company such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting and dozens of others.

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