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Know about our services and products.
No. Most hosts are in business to make money and they would lose money hosting your site. They have to pay from $0.3 to $5 per GB of transfer to upstream providers themselves. Almost all hosts that have “unlimited” plans specify in their acceptable use policies that no site can use an “excessive” amount of resources. If you use too much disk space, bandwidth, or CPU time, these “unlimited” hosts will ask you to upgrade or leave.
You can figure out how much data transfer you will require by estimating your average page size (including graphics!) and multiplying it by the number of page views you expect to have in a month. For example: with an average page size of 50 KB, and around 2000 page views per day, you will transfer an average of 3 GB per month. In this case, you should get a plan with 4 to 5 GB of data transfer limit per month, so you don’t have to worry about overstepping your account’s limit, which may cause extra per GB transfer charges.
Uptime is the percentage of time that a web site is working. For example, if some host has an uptime average of 99.86%, this means that your site will be down for a total about 1 hour each month. We monitor uptime of customer websites of many web hosts and we display this data on the host’s details page. Some hosts also offer “uptime guarantees” but this is not as valuable as it might appear (see our gotchas page for more details).
The main method of uploading files to your site’s account is by using FTP. When you sign up with a host, you will probably get an FTP account that lets you access files in your account (usually ftp.yoursitename.com, your main account name and password). Then you can use a built-in Windows or Internet Explorer FTP client, or some other software that supports FTP such as CuteFTP, WS_FTP, or Total Commander, to transfer files from your hard drive to your account. If you don’t get an FTP account or if you prefer a Web interface, you can use your account control panel’s File Manager instead. Yet another method is to use an SSH or telnet client software, such as SecureCRT, to upload using Zmodem protocol (sz and rz commands).
All these methods will work fine, but we recommend using dedicated FTP programs as the preferred solution because these programs have the best user interfaces and support advanced options like setting file permissions and resuming aborted file transfers.
The methods of payment which are accepted depend on each individual host. Almost everybody accepts Paypal and Bank Transfer. Vast majority of plans require periodic (usually monthly up to yearly) payments.
Space is the amount of “stuff” you can put on your web site. Available space is usually listed in megabytes (MB, millions of bytes). Single letter takes up one byte. HTML files are usually rather small (this file is about 25,000 bytes) but pictures and programs can get quite big. Your scripts, emails and stats will also take up space on your host.
Transfer is the amount of “stuff” that visitors to your site can download before you reach your monthly limit. Transfer is usually listed in gigabytes (billions of bytes). After the transfer limit is reached for the month, you will need to pay extra for additional transfer at higher rates. For example, if an average visitor to your site views 3 HTML pages of 20 KB (thousands of bytes) each and 8 small embedded pictures of 10 KB each, and you get 500 visitors per day, you will require at least (3 * 20 + 8 * 10) * 500 * 30 = 2,100,000 KB = 2.1 GB of transfer per month.
Domain parking lets you cheaply reserve a domain name for future use and display an “under construction” default page on it. You can register a domain and not park it anywhere but then your site will simply be inaccessible until you get a web host. Some registrar let you park your domain for free.
There are services such as AspPhpdotNet.com do that. Please also see our Quick Start Guide.
No. None of the web hosts listed in our database force any kinds of ads on your site. In fact you can put your own ads if you’d like.
No. This will only make a difference if you develop scripts that you want to use without changes on your web site. FrontPage extensions can also be done on Unix (or Linux) servers.
Yes. We recommend that you register your domain name with a separate registrar before getting a hosting plan (please see our Domain Name Guide). Then, when you need to move to another host, you just need to point your domain’s name servers to this new host. If you registered your domain name with a host and now you want to move, you should find your registration records or contact this host and ask them how to control your domain name. If you have a problem, you can usually see the name of the registrar by performing a “Whois” query on your domain name and contact them.
Shared (or virtual) web hosting is the most fitting way of hosting for 99% of web sites. It means that a web hosting company will have one or more servers (computers constantly connected to the Internet that run a web server software such as Apache or IIS) that will be running multiple web sites (it will be shared). Unless a web site is exceptionally busy or requires a lot of bandwidth, this is the least expensive way to get a real web site. You can still have your own IP address with virtual hosting and the site won’t look any different to users. Other options are dedicated, co-location, or doing it yourself web hosting. In those options you have the whole computer to yourself and you can do things like install your own software.
Those acronyms refer to various features such as programming languages, databases, etc. that might be available with a hosting plan. Please check out our Glossary for definitions. To find plans that support these options, please use our Advanced Search page.
Web hosting refers to the process of publishing a web site so that it is available to the world on the Web. Paid web hosting also involves getting a domain name and not having forced ads displayed on your site. Please see our Quick Start Guide for info on how to get started with a paid web host.
A domain name is a sequence of letters and numbers which determine the address of your site. This site’s domain name is “WebHostingRatings.com.” You need to register a domain name before your web site becomes accessible at this address. Please see our Domain Name Guide for all the details.