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Website hosting

Website hosting lets you publish a website on the internet, so it can be seen online. No matter whether your website is for business or personal use, it’s really important to choose a website hosting company you can trust. Finding reliable, secure and flexible hosting is key to creating a successful website.

See also:

What to look for

FAQs

Jargon explained

Website hosting comparison chart for 2022

Displaying 1 to 10 of 14        Previous | Next

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Fat Cow
Go Daddy
Nativespace
iPage
Bluehost
Just Host
HostMonster
Yahoo Hosting
Inmotion Hosting
1&1 Web Hosting
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
Fat Cow has been awarded best buy Product image of fat cow Product image of go daddy Product image of nativespace Product image of ipage Product image of bluehost Product image of just host Product image of hostmonster Product image of yahoo hosting Product image of inmotion hosting Product image of 1&1 web hosting
 
 
Lowest price
per month
Ratings
Overall
fat cow has a rating of four  overall go daddy has a rating of five  overall nativespace has a rating of five  overall ipage has a rating of four  overall bluehost has a rating of four  overall just host has a rating of four  overall hostmonster has a rating of four  overall yahoo hosting has a rating of four  overall inmotion hosting has a rating of four  overall 1&1 web hosting has a rating of four  overall
Hosting
fat cow has a rating of three for hosting go daddy has a rating of four for hosting nativespace has a rating of four for hosting ipage has a rating of five for hosting bluehost has a rating of five for hosting just host has a rating of five for hosting hostmonster has a rating of three for hosting yahoo hosting has a rating of three for hosting inmotion hosting has a rating of three for hosting 1&1 web hosting has a rating of three for hosting
Domains
fat cow has a rating of four for domains go daddy has a rating of five for domains nativespace has a rating of five for domains ipage has a rating of four for domains bluehost has a rating of four for domains just host has a rating of four for domains hostmonster has a rating of four for domains yahoo hosting has a rating of four for domains inmotion hosting has a rating of four for domains 1&1 web hosting has a rating of three for domains
Email
fat cow has a rating of five for email go daddy has a rating of four for email nativespace has a rating of five for email ipage has a rating of five for email bluehost has a rating of four for email just host has a rating of four for email hostmonster has a rating of three for email yahoo hosting has a rating of four for email inmotion hosting has a rating of four for email 1&1 web hosting has a rating of three for email
Marketing & reporting
fat cow has a rating of four for marketing & reporting go daddy has a rating of four for marketing & reporting nativespace has a rating of four for marketing & reporting ipage has a rating of four for marketing & reporting bluehost has a rating of four for marketing & reporting just host has a rating of four for marketing & reporting hostmonster has a rating of three for marketing & reporting yahoo hosting has a rating of three for marketing & reporting inmotion hosting has a rating of four for marketing & reporting 1&1 web hosting has a rating of four for marketing & reporting
Ease of use
fat cow has a rating of four for ease of use go daddy has a rating of four for ease of use nativespace has a rating of four for ease of use ipage has a rating of five for ease of use bluehost has a rating of four for ease of use just host has a rating of four for ease of use hostmonster has a rating of four for ease of use yahoo hosting has a rating of three for ease of use inmotion hosting has a rating of three for ease of use 1&1 web hosting has a rating of four for ease of use
Help & support
fat cow has a rating of four for help & support go daddy has a rating of four for help & support nativespace has a rating of five for help & support ipage has a rating of four for help & support bluehost has a rating of four for help & support just host has a rating of four for help & support hostmonster has a rating of three for help & support yahoo hosting has a rating of four for help & support inmotion hosting has a rating of two for help & support 1&1 web hosting has a rating of three for help & support
Pricing
Yearly
$71.40 $47.88 $47.40 $42.00 $83.40 $83.40 $83.40 $89.52 $60.00 $47.88
Monthly
$5.50 $4.99 $3.95 $3.50 $6.95 $4.45 $5.95 $12.95 $5.95 $3.99
Set-up fee
Free Free Free Free Free Free Free
Money back guarantee
30 days 30 days 30 days Anytime 30 days Anytime 30 days 30 days 90 days 90 days
Hosting
Windows
Windows Windows Windows Windows Linux Windows Linux Windows Windows Windows
Linux
fat cow does not offer hosting for linux go daddy does not offer hosting for linux nativespace does not offer hosting for linux ipage does not offer hosting for linux bluehost offers hosting for linux just host does not offer hosting for linux hostmonster offers hosting for linux yahoo hosting does not offer hosting for linux inmotion hosting does not offer hosting for linux 1&1 web hosting does not offer hosting for linux
Apache
fat cow does not offer apache go daddy offers  apache nativespace offers  apache ipage does not offer apache bluehost offers  apache just host offers  apache hostmonster offers  apache yahoo hosting does not offer apache inmotion hosting does not offer apache 1&1 web hosting does not offer apache
IIS
fat cow does not offer iis go daddy does not offer iis nativespace does not offer iis ipage does not offer iis bluehost does not offer iis just host does not offer iis hostmonster does not offer iis yahoo hosting does not offer iis inmotion hosting does not offer iis 1&1 web hosting does not offer iis
Hosting space
1500 10 Unlimited Unlimited 2,500 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 200 MB 10
Bandwidth
Unlimited 30 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 2,000 Unlimited
Traffic statistics
fat cow offers traffic statistics go daddy offers traffic statistics nativespace offers traffic statistics ipage offers traffic statistics bluehost offers traffic statistics just host offers traffic statistics hostmonster offers traffic statistics yahoo hosting offers traffic statistics inmotion hosting offers traffic statistics 1&1 web hosting does not offer traffic statistics
Logfiles
fat cow offers logfiles go daddy offers logfiles nativespace offers logfiles ipage offers logfiles bluehost offers logfiles just host offers logfiles hostmonster offers logfiles yahoo hosting does not offer logfiles inmotion hosting offers logfiles 1&1 web hosting does not offer logfiles
Daily back-ups
fat cow offers daily back-ups go daddy offers daily back-ups nativespace offers daily back-ups ipage does not offer daily back-ups bluehost offers daily back-ups just host offers daily back-ups hostmonster offers daily back-ups yahoo hosting offers daily back-ups inmotion hosting does not offer daily back-ups 1&1 web hosting does not offer daily back-ups
FTP & Security
FTP
fat cow does not offer ftp go daddy does not offer ftp nativespace offers ftp ipage offers ftp bluehost offers ftp just host offers ftp hostmonster offers ftp yahoo hosting does not offer ftp inmotion hosting does not offer ftp 1&1 web hosting does not offer ftp
FTP accounts
Unlimited 50 1000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 1 1
Anonymous FTP
fat cow does not offer anonymous ftp go daddy does not offer anonymous ftp nativespace offers anonymous ftp ipage offers anonymous ftp bluehost offers anonymous ftp just host offers anonymous ftp hostmonster offers anonymous ftp yahoo hosting does not offer anonymous ftp inmotion hosting does not offer anonymous ftp 1&1 web hosting does not offer anonymous ftp
Password protected folders
fat cow does not offer password protected folders go daddy does not offer password protected folders nativespace offers password protected folders ipage does not offer password protected folders bluehost offers password protected folders just host offers password protected folders hostmonster offers password protected folders yahoo hosting does not offer password protected folders inmotion hosting offers password protected folders 1&1 web hosting does not offer password protected folders
SSL
fat cow offers ssl go daddy offers ssl nativespace offers ssl ipage offers ssl bluehost offers ssl just host offers ssl hostmonster offers ssl yahoo hosting offers ssl inmotion hosting offers ssl 1&1 web hosting does not offer ssl
SSH
fat cow does not offer ssh go daddy does not offer ssh nativespace does not offer ssh ipage does not offer ssh bluehost offers ssh just host does not offer ssh hostmonster offers ssh yahoo hosting does not offer ssh inmotion hosting does not offer ssh 1&1 web hosting does not offer ssh
Databases
MySQL
fat cow includes  mysql go daddy includes  mysql nativespace includes  mysql ipage includes  mysql bluehost includes  mysql just host includes  mysql hostmonster includes  mysql yahoo hosting includes  mysql inmotion hosting does not include mysql 1&1 web hosting includes  mysql
PostgreSQL
fat cow does not include postgresql go daddy does not include postgresql nativespace does not include postgresql ipage does not include postgresql bluehost includes  postgresql just host does not include postgresql hostmonster does not include postgresql yahoo hosting does not include postgresql inmotion hosting does not include postgresql 1&1 web hosting does not include postgresql
Domain names
Search
fat cow offers domain name  search go daddy offers domain name  search nativespace does not offer domain name  search ipage offers domain name  search bluehost offers domain name  search just host offers domain name  search hostmonster offers domain name  search yahoo hosting does not offer domain name  search inmotion hosting offers domain name  search 1&1 web hosting does not offer domain name  search
Registration
Free 1.99 Free Free Free Free $166.80 $179.04 $120.00 $95.76
Transfer
fat cow offers domain name  transfer go daddy does not offer domain name  transfer nativespace does not offer domain name  transfer ipage offers domain name  transfer bluehost offers domain name  transfer just host does not offer domain name  transfer hostmonster offers domain name  transfer yahoo hosting does not offer domain name  transfer inmotion hosting offers domain name  transfer 1&1 web hosting does not offer domain name  transfer
Sub-domains
fat cow offers sub-domains go daddy offers sub-domains nativespace offers sub-domains ipage offers sub-domains bluehost offers sub-domains just host offers sub-domains hostmonster offers sub-domains yahoo hosting offers sub-domains inmotion hosting offers sub-domains 1&1 web hosting offers sub-domains
Parked domains
fat cow offers parked domains go daddy does not offer parked domains nativespace offers parked domains ipage offers parked domains bluehost offers parked domains just host offers parked domains hostmonster offers parked domains yahoo hosting offers parked domains inmotion hosting offers parked domains 1&1 web hosting offers parked domains
Private registration
fat cow does not offer private registration go daddy does not offer private registration nativespace does not offer private registration ipage offers private registration bluehost does not offer private registration just host does not offer private registration hostmonster does not offer private registration yahoo hosting does not offer private registration inmotion hosting does not offer private registration 1&1 web hosting does not offer private registration
Email
POP3 addresses
1500 100 Unlimited Unlimited 2,500 Unlimited Unlimited 600
IMAP addresses
2,500 Unlimited Unlimited
SMTP email
fat cow offers smtp email go daddy does not offer smtp email nativespace does not offer smtp email ipage offers smtp email bluehost does not offer smtp email just host offers smtp email hostmonster does not offer smtp email yahoo hosting offers smtp email inmotion hosting offers smtp email 1&1 web hosting offers smtp email
Webmail
fat cow offers webmail go daddy offers webmail nativespace offers webmail ipage offers webmail bluehost offers webmail just host offers webmail hostmonster offers webmail yahoo hosting offers webmail inmotion hosting offers webmail 1&1 web hosting offers webmail
Spam filtering
fat cow offers spam filtering go daddy offers spam filtering nativespace offers spam filtering ipage offers spam filtering bluehost offers spam filtering just host offers spam filtering hostmonster offers spam filtering yahoo hosting offers spam filtering inmotion hosting offers spam filtering 1&1 web hosting offers spam filtering
Email forwarding
fat cow does not offer email forwarding go daddy offers email forwarding nativespace offers email forwarding ipage offers email forwarding bluehost offers email forwarding just host offers email forwarding hostmonster offers email forwarding yahoo hosting offers email forwarding inmotion hosting offers email forwarding 1&1 web hosting offers email forwarding
Auto responder
fat cow does not offer a auto responder go daddy offers a auto responder nativespace offers a auto responder ipage offers a auto responder bluehost offers a auto responder just host offers a auto responder hostmonster offers a auto responder yahoo hosting does not offer a auto responder inmotion hosting does not offer a auto responder 1&1 web hosting offers a auto responder
Catch all email set-up
fat cow does not offer catch all email set-up go daddy offers catch all email set-up nativespace does not offer catch all email set-up ipage does not offer catch all email set-up bluehost does not offer catch all email set-up just host does not offer catch all email set-up hostmonster does not offer catch all email set-up yahoo hosting does not offer catch all email set-up inmotion hosting does not offer catch all email set-up 1&1 web hosting offers catch all email set-up
CMS
B2Evolution
fat cow does not support b2evolution go daddy does not support b2evolution nativespace supports b2evolution ipage supports b2evolution bluehost supports b2evolution just host supports b2evolution hostmonster supports b2evolution yahoo hosting does not support b2evolution inmotion hosting supports b2evolution 1&1 web hosting does not support b2evolution
Drupal
fat cow does not support drupal go daddy does not support drupal nativespace does not support drupal ipage supports drupal bluehost supports drupal just host does not support drupal hostmonster supports drupal yahoo hosting supports drupal inmotion hosting does not support drupal 1&1 web hosting does not support drupal
Joomla
fat cow supports joomla go daddy supports joomla nativespace supports joomla ipage supports joomla bluehost supports joomla just host supports joomla hostmonster supports joomla yahoo hosting does not support joomla inmotion hosting supports joomla 1&1 web hosting does not support joomla
phpBB
fat cow supports phpbb go daddy does not support phpbb nativespace does not support phpbb ipage supports phpbb bluehost supports phpbb just host does not support phpbb hostmonster does not support phpbb yahoo hosting does not support phpbb inmotion hosting does not support phpbb 1&1 web hosting does not support phpbb
Photo gallery
fat cow supports photo gallery go daddy supports photo gallery nativespace supports photo gallery ipage supports photo gallery bluehost supports photo gallery just host supports photo gallery hostmonster supports photo gallery yahoo hosting supports photo gallery inmotion hosting supports photo gallery 1&1 web hosting supports photo gallery
Wordpress
fat cow supports wordpress go daddy supports wordpress nativespace supports wordpress ipage supports wordpress bluehost supports wordpress just host supports wordpress hostmonster supports wordpress yahoo hosting supports wordpress inmotion hosting supports wordpress 1&1 web hosting does not support wordpress
Ecommerce
CubeCart
fat cow does not support cubecart go daddy does not support cubecart nativespace does not support cubecart ipage does not support cubecart bluehost supports cubecart just host does not support cubecart hostmonster does not support cubecart yahoo hosting does not support cubecart inmotion hosting does not support cubecart 1&1 web hosting supports cubecart
osCommerce
fat cow does not support oscommerce go daddy does not support oscommerce nativespace supports oscommerce ipage supports oscommerce bluehost supports oscommerce just host supports oscommerce hostmonster supports oscommerce yahoo hosting does not support oscommerce inmotion hosting supports oscommerce 1&1 web hosting supports oscommerce
Magento
fat cow does not support magento go daddy does not support magento nativespace does not support magento ipage does not support magento bluehost does not support magento just host does not support magento hostmonster does not support magento yahoo hosting does not support magento inmotion hosting does not support magento 1&1 web hosting does not support magento
ShopSite
fat cow supports shopsite go daddy does not support shopsite nativespace does not support shopsite ipage supports shopsite bluehost does not support shopsite just host does not support shopsite hostmonster does not support shopsite yahoo hosting does not support shopsite inmotion hosting does not support shopsite 1&1 web hosting does not support shopsite
Zen Cart
fat cow does not support zen cart go daddy supports zen cart nativespace does not support zen cart ipage does not support zen cart bluehost supports zen cart just host does not support zen cart hostmonster does not support zen cart yahoo hosting does not support zen cart inmotion hosting does not support zen cart 1&1 web hosting supports zen cart
Programming languages
.htaccess
fat cow does not support .htaccess go daddy does not support .htaccess nativespace supports .htaccess ipage supports .htaccess bluehost supports .htaccess just host supports .htaccess hostmonster supports .htaccess yahoo hosting does not support .htaccess inmotion hosting supports .htaccess 1&1 web hosting does not support .htaccess
ASP
fat cow does not support asp go daddy supports asp nativespace does not support asp ipage does not support asp bluehost does not support asp just host does not support asp hostmonster does not support asp yahoo hosting does not support asp inmotion hosting does not support asp 1&1 web hosting does not support asp
Asp.Net
fat cow does not support asp.net go daddy supports asp.net nativespace supports asp.net ipage supports asp.net bluehost supports asp.net just host does not support asp.net hostmonster supports asp.net yahoo hosting does not support asp.net inmotion hosting does not support asp.net 1&1 web hosting does not support asp.net
CGI
fat cow does not support cgi go daddy does not support cgi nativespace supports cgi ipage supports cgi bluehost supports cgi just host supports cgi hostmonster supports cgi yahoo hosting does not support cgi inmotion hosting does not support cgi 1&1 web hosting supports cgi
CSS
fat cow does not support css go daddy supports css nativespace does not support css ipage does not support css bluehost does not support css just host does not support css hostmonster does not support css yahoo hosting does not support css inmotion hosting does not support css 1&1 web hosting does not support css
HTML
fat cow does not support html go daddy does not support html nativespace does not support html ipage does not support html bluehost does not support html just host does not support html hostmonster does not support html yahoo hosting does not support html inmotion hosting does not support html 1&1 web hosting does not support html
Perl
fat cow does not support perl go daddy does not support perl nativespace supports perl ipage supports perl bluehost supports perl just host supports perl hostmonster supports perl yahoo hosting supports perl inmotion hosting supports perl 1&1 web hosting supports perl
PHP
fat cow supports php go daddy supports php nativespace supports php ipage supports php bluehost supports php just host supports php hostmonster supports php yahoo hosting supports php inmotion hosting supports php 1&1 web hosting does not support php
Python
fat cow supports python go daddy does not support python nativespace supports python ipage supports python bluehost supports python just host supports python hostmonster supports python yahoo hosting does not support python inmotion hosting does not support python 1&1 web hosting does not support python
Ruby on rails
fat cow does not support ruby on rails go daddy supports ruby on rails nativespace supports ruby on rails ipage supports ruby on rails bluehost supports ruby on rails just host does not support ruby on rails hostmonster supports ruby on rails yahoo hosting supports ruby on rails inmotion hosting does not support ruby on rails 1&1 web hosting does not support ruby on rails
SSI
fat cow does not support ssi go daddy does not support ssi nativespace supports ssi ipage supports ssi bluehost supports ssi just host supports ssi hostmonster supports ssi yahoo hosting does not support ssi inmotion hosting supports ssi 1&1 web hosting does not support ssi
Marketing
SEO services
fat cow offers seo services go daddy offers seo services nativespace does not offer seo services ipage offers seo services bluehost does not offer seo services just host does not offer seo services hostmonster does not offer seo services yahoo hosting offers seo services inmotion hosting does not offer seo services 1&1 web hosting does not offer seo services
Search engine submission
fat cow offers search engine submission go daddy offers search engine submission nativespace does not offer search engine submission ipage offers search engine submission bluehost offers search engine submission just host does not offer search engine submission hostmonster offers search engine submission yahoo hosting offers search engine submission inmotion hosting does not offer search engine submission 1&1 web hosting does not offer search engine submission
Help & support
Telephone support
fat cow offers telephone support go daddy offers telephone support nativespace offers telephone support ipage offers telephone support bluehost offers telephone support just host offers telephone support hostmonster offers telephone support yahoo hosting offers telephone support inmotion hosting offers telephone support 1&1 web hosting offers telephone support
Email support
fat cow offers email support go daddy offers email support nativespace offers email support ipage offers email support bluehost offers email support just host offers email support hostmonster offers email support yahoo hosting offers email support inmotion hosting offers email support 1&1 web hosting offers email support
Live chat
fat cow offers live chat go daddy does not offer live chat nativespace does not offer live chat ipage offers live chat bluehost does not offer live chat just host does not offer live chat hostmonster does not offer live chat yahoo hosting does not offer live chat inmotion hosting offers live chat 1&1 web hosting does not offer live chat
Tutorials
fat cow offers tutorials go daddy does not offer tutorials nativespace offers tutorials ipage offers tutorials bluehost offers tutorials just host offers tutorials hostmonster offers tutorials yahoo hosting offers tutorials inmotion hosting offers tutorials 1&1 web hosting offers tutorials
Forums
fat cow does not offer forums go daddy offers forums nativespace does not offer forums ipage does not offer forums bluehost offers forums just host does not offer forums hostmonster does not offer forums yahoo hosting does not offer forums inmotion hosting offers forums 1&1 web hosting offers forums
FAQs
fat cow offers faqs go daddy offers faqs nativespace offers faqs ipage offers faqs bluehost offers faqs just host offers faqs hostmonster offers faqs yahoo hosting offers faqs inmotion hosting offers faqs 1&1 web hosting offers faqs

Website hosting explained

It can be a big mistake to opt for the cheapest website hosting. The price may reflect the quality – and cutting corners with website hosting is a bad idea. It may lead to website downtime, poor quality technical support and other problems.

Instead, it’s really important that you can depend on your hosting. Unreliable hosting can lead to your website being unavailable at times – this is annoying in any situation, but particularly frustrating if you’re trying to run a business or your site receives lots of traffic.

Look for good security too. Hackers often target website hosting services with poor security, and this can result in data being stolen or your site being deleted or altered.

Types of website hosting

There are two main types of website hosting: Linux (usually for PHP-based websites) and Windows (usually for ASP-based websites). Most hosting companies offer both, so just make sure you pick the right one if given a choice.

Website hosting packages tend to be billed on a monthly basis, but you can usually sign up for a year (or more) to qualify for a discount. If you decide to do this, make sure you can accommodate website growth by upgrading without penalty, if necessary.

Extra hosting services

Many website hosting companies offer a range of services in addition to basic hosting. These can include domain name registration, email and search engine optimization (SEO). If you need these services, it’s usually cheaper to buy a hosting package which includes them, rather than purchasing them separately.

Most website hosting packages also include one or more apps. These include content management systems (CMS) and blogging tools to help you create common types of website.


What to look for in website hosting

To find the right website hosting, consider these key areas.

Website hosting capacity

Make sure the space available with your website hosting is more than the total size of your website files.

Most packages also limit the amount of data you can transfer each month (sometimes called the bandwidth). How much of this you will use depends on how many visitors your website receives.

Even entry level packages offer adequate capacity for starter websites, but if you plan on hosting lots of images, sound or video content, you may need extra space and bandwidth.

Cost and contract length

Most website hosting packages are charged monthly, but offer a discount if you pay upfront for a year or more.

You may have to pay a one-off set up fee when you first buy hosting. Some companies also offer money back guarantees, effectively allowing you to try their service at no risk.

Operating system

Just like your own computer, website hosting packages have an operating system. There are two main options: Windows or Linux. Your choice isn’t dictated by the operating system on your own computer – it depends on what technology you have used to build your website.

Most people use Linux hosting. It’s a good choice unless you know you’re already committed to Windows.

Databases and scripting

It’s easy to pick the wrong type of server when you buy your hosting. Most websites are built in either the ASP or PHP scripting language.

If your website is built in PHP then you will probably need Linux hosting with the Apache web server installed. If your website is built in ASP, you will probably need Windows hosting and the IIS web server.

Reporting and statistics

Look for a statistics package or facility to show information about how many people have visited your website. You should also be able to see how they found your site, which pages they visited, and how long they spent on your site.

These functions are often called ‘web analytics’ or an ‘analytics package’.

Security and reliability

Ask your web hosting company to explain how it guards against hacking attempts. They should have a firewall, and should perform regular backups of your website.

If having your website offline would cause major disruption, look for a package with a service level agreement (SLA). This guarantees your website’s availability and should explain what compensation you’ll be entitled to in the event of problems.

Content management systems

Website hosting packages usually include one of more content management systems (‘CMS’) like Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla. These help you create common types of website – like a blog, online forum or photo gallery.

Although useful, you’ll probably still need basic technical knowledge to use the CMS features of your website hosting.

Ease of use

You will need at least some technical knowledge in order to use any web hosting service. However, some packages offer well-designed control panels which help you get your hosting set up properly. Check for a demo or screenshots.

Help and support

It’s really important your website hosting comes with adequate help and support in case you need advice or things go wrong. Because problems never happen at convenient times, look for a company offering round-the-clock assistance.

Many web hosts deal efficiently with support requests via email, but a telephone number where you can actually speak to someone is invaluable in an emergency.


FAQs

Here are our answers to the most common questions about website hosting.

Q. What is website hosting?

A. Website hosting enables you to publish a website on the internet. You have to upload a copy of your website to a server which is permanently connected to the internet.

Q. Do I need website hosting?

A. Yes, assuming you want to create and run a website. However, if you plan to create your website from templates by using a ‘site builder’ package, or have access to another tool to help you create a website, it may come with hosting already included. If that’s the case, you will not need to purchase separate hosting.

Q. How much technical knowledge do I need to use website hosting?

A. You will need some technical knowledge. At the very least, you will need to know how to upload your website files. If you don’t have any technical knowledge and lack the time or inclination to learn, you may prefer to use a ‘site builder’ package. Alternatively, you can ask a web developer to set up hosting for you.

Q. Will my website hosting include everything I need to publish a website?

A. Probably, but what’s included does vary from package to package. In particular, you may need to purchase a separate domain name (like www.yourwebsitename.com) before you can publish your site.

Q. Some website hosting features sound technical. How do I know what I need?

A. It’s vital you understand how your own website is built, or is planned to be built. Then you can check the technical features of the hosting match your requirements.

If you’re not sure about this or haven’t decided yet, a good option can be to plump for a mid-range Linux hosting package which includes at least one database and a content management system (CMS). This will give you flexibility without breaking the bank.

If someone else is building a website for you, ask them for a list of requirements.

Q. How do I tell how much hosting space I need?

A. You can get a rough idea by checking the total size of all the files that make up your website. Allow some extra space to expand into.

In practice, even entry-level packages offer far more hosting space than you are likely to require for a basic website, so if you’re unsure, pick a basic package and make sure you can upgrade it if you need to.

Q. How much bandwidth will my website use each month?

A. It’s very hard to tell unless your website is already up-and-running. So it’s best to save money and start small. Choose an entry-level package which you can upgrade easily when you need to.

Q. Lots of website hosting packages look very similar. How do I decide which is best?

A. Check what levels of support and service the website hosting company offers. These vary vastly. The cheapest hosting companies tend to offer minimal support and take longer to solve problems. That’s fine if you know what you’re doing, but if you think you’ll need help, pay a bit more for extra support.


Jargon explained

Website hosting is a jargon-heavy area. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s our guide to the key terms.

Apache

A type of web server software. Every website hosting package comes with web server software – it allows you to upload files and do useful things with your hosting. If your website has been built using PHP, you will probably need Apache in order for it to work with your hosting.

Bandwidth

A measure of how much information is transferred to and from your website. Most website hosting packages limit how much bandwidth you can use each month. The busier your website, the more bandwidth you will use.

Content management system (CMS)

A tool providing a framework within which you can create your website. A CMS is a good way to create a website with advanced features, relatively quickly. There are many different types of CMS, designed to help you build different types of website. For instance, Wordpress is a CMS that makes it easier to create a blog.

File transfer protocol (FTP)

The standard method of uploading files to your website hosting. To use FTP, you need to install ‘FTP software’ on your computer (you can get this free).

Hosting space

The amount of space available for your to upload your website files. All the files which make up your website must fit into this space. Hosting space is usually measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB, equal to about 1,000MB). Believe it or not, although many hosting packages offer 1,000MB or more, a simple website will take up less than 10MB.

IIS

A type of web server software produced by Microsoft. IIS stands for ‘Internet Information Services’. Every website hosting package comes with web server software – it allows you to upload files and do useful things with your hosting. If your website has been built with ASP, you will probably need IIS in order for it to work with your hosting.

IMAP address

A type of email address. With an IMAP address, messages are stored on a central email server so you can log in from different computers and still see all your messages.

MySQL

A type of database. Many websites have a MySQL database at their heart – it contains the content of the website and information about how it should be displayed. You will probably need MySQL if you plan to install and use a content management system (CMS) or other applications.

POP3 address

A type of email address. With a POP3 address, messages are downloaded onto your own computer when you check your email. They are then deleted from the email server, so you can only view those messages on that one computer.

Programming language

Many websites are, effectively, small computer programs that perform specific tasks for website visitors. They use programming languages to do this.

SMTP

Allows you to send email from your computer via your website hosting service. If your website hosting company offers SMTP, it means they run a server which you can connect to in order to send email. SMTP stands for ‘simple mail transfer protocol’ and is the most common method of sending email.

SQL

SQL is a computer programming language used to edit, delete and extract information held in a database. SQL is used with website hosting because many websites are built with a database at their core.


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