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Hosting Packages And The Terms You Need To Know

Feb 10, 2008
Man oh man, are there a lot of strange terms that you have to learn when it comes to web hosting packages. If you're a first time web user you might not know the difference between a FTP and a HTTP but not to worry. In this article we're going to walk you through some of the most common terms your likely to run across in your excellent internet adventure. Or if not excellent at least satisfactory. You have to start somewhere.

Price is as good a place to start as any I suppose, and with several different pricing tiers and pricing structures to choose from web hosting providers don't make it easy. Do you need high bandwidth lots of storage space and high guaranteed uptime?

Then you're going to be looking at managed data hosting, which can carry a price tag ranging from tens of dollars a month to thousands depending on your sites size and traffic. You don't need that many hands on help with your site?

No problem. A completely vanilla, middle of the road hosting service will run you anywhere from six dollars to thirty dollars per month. Discounts are often available if you opt out of monthly payments and sign up for a yearly contract. Much like cell phone providers hosting companies are willing to wheel and deal with you the longer you're willing to sign a contract for.

A good rule of thumb is to never sign a deal lasting longer than two years. And even then only do it if you receive an amazing price reduction. The speed with which advances takes place not only in speed but in storage, bandwidth and reliability mean you never want to be tied to a service provider who is not staying on top of the latest advancements.

The next major consideration is storage and bandwidth which were tackling together. These two while not dependant on each other all the time are usually marching in lockstep from a need perspective. Disk storage is the term your provider will use to discuss the amount of space your website takes up on their server, while data transfer covers the amount of information you move from your server to your users on a monthly basis.

Data storage as a general rule is not that large a consideration since most websites rarely exceed 100MB. However bandwidth can kill you since it is treated, again, like cell phone service. Once you hit the limit of what you pay for you are then charged by the byte. This is also known in financial circles as getting bent over the barrel.

Especially with a data or media intensive site too much traffic can kill you from a financial standpoint. For instance, if your website is media heavy and serves up 50MB of data to every user that comes to the site, you're going to burn through a 20GB bandwidth cap on your 400th visitor. That's 13 people per day and you're busted!
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