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The most important things to care about choosing a hosting plan

Web hosting is needed because there are web sites to host and to make public to net surfers. Ok, it's a trivial observation so why bother with it?
Well, the important point to underline is that it is the web site which must be put at the center of the attention. The web site ready to be hosted is the real important thing from which every choice must be taken.
As a matter of fact, the absolutely perfect web hosting site in a general meaning doesn't exist, but there could exist the perfect hosting plan for a given web site.
There are some points to consider and some questions can arise in the mind. Is the web site to host a big site, is it built for a killer application which needs TBs of storage space and a lot of bandwidth/month, or is it a simple and not so resource expensive web site which could be stored even with few hundreds of MBs?
There are many web applications which don't need "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwith" and so one could analize other more important things to choose among.
A simple question arises about "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwidth": why double quotes have been used?
Well, the answer is quite simple and sounds like... what is infinite, "unlimited" in the world? It's not a philosophy disquisition, it's a real statement about the fact that a web hosting site which can give you unlimited storage space and bandwith simply can't exist. This is a real, rational thing.
Since all hard disks mounted in the various hosting servers have limited storage space, anybody who wants to host his website, will have limited storage space and, since other server resources are limited, he will have also limited bandwidth/month.
So why most web hosting companies talk about "unlimited" resources? What does "unlimited" mean about the hosting matter?
The term "unlimited" could be referred about the available resources on the hosting hardware where the web site will be hosted.
This leads to the consequence that, if on a given server there are few web sites hosted, then "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwith" mean a relatively amount of web space and bandwidth, else if there are just a lot of web site hosted, then it means little storage space.
All these observations lead to the main question of this article: what are the most important things to care about choosing a hosting plan?
They can be a lot, and among these, we can say that the price, the programming language support (PHP, ASP, Java), the stability of the hosting framework, the tools, the available libraries, the available "accessories", the additional services and the technical support quality are relevant.
In this optics, one should consider not necessarily the cheapest web hosting plan (and not necessarily the most expensive one, of course), choosing a hosting plan with a good price/quality ratio which can give to a given site stability, very low downtime occurrences and so on.
So let consider building and hosting a web site like a great investment which must be evaluated with attention from different points of view.

Does really size always matter?

When someone surfes the web searching for the best web hosting company which fulfills his needings, one of the most important things which he considers is how much space a hosting plan offers for a given price.
This is a natural thing to care about, but is really the storage space size so crucial in a hosting choice? And moreover, what about the amount of the maximun bandwith/month allowed?
Nowadays, the most hosting companies offer "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwidth", which seems to be a great thing.
A simple question arises about the "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwidth" terms: why double quotes have been used?
Well, the answer is quite simple and sounds like... what is infinite, "unlimited" in the world? It's not a philosophy disquisition, it's a real statement about the fact that a web hosting site which can give you unlimited storage space and/or bandwith/month simply can't exist. This is a real, rational thing.
Since all hard disks mounted in the various hosting servers have limited storage space, anybody who wants to host his website, will necessarily have limited storage space and limited bandwidth.
So why most web hosting sites, even cheap ones, talk about "unlimited" resources? What does "unlimited" mean about the hosting matter?
The term "unlimited" could be referred about the available resources on the hosting hardware where the web site will be hosted.
This leads to the consequence that, if on a given server there are few web sites hosted, then "unlimited web space" and "unlimited bandwith" mean a relatively big amount of web space and bandwidth, else if there are just a lot of web site hosted, then it means little space availability.
So the next question could be: what does happen when the web space (or the bandwidth) is over?
When this happens, there could be some warning signals like a slower response during the surfing process of the site, and the technical support could contact the site owner to ask him to upgrade his hosting plan for a higher price, and if no upgrade is made, the site will become soon unavailable. All these or similar situations could happen depending on the web hosting provider policies, of course.

What is the best affordable web hosting site ever?

Good question, isn't it?
The answer: it doesn't exist.
Bad answer, isn't it?
Don't worry, it's not a whisky drink consequence, it's only a provocative article which underlines that talking about web hosting should be done considering what the final purpose of a website host must be.
In other words, there could be various reasons to host a website. One could want to host a simple, personal site or instead could need to host a very complex, professional site.
Without knowing which needings has a web site project, the initial question could be a bit senseless.
Apart from the complexity of a web site project, it is very important to know technical needings like the programming language used in the web application; for example, if you have made a web project in php, you should consider a web site hosting which gives php support, of course.
So the initial question should be changed in one similar to this: "What could be the best affordable web hosting site, considering that I need this thing, this other thing etc.?".
This is a more complex, but even more realistic question and the answer could vary depending on which needings one has to host his particular, unique web project.

Why cheap web hosting and not free hosting?

This is one of the frequently asked question which one can ask himself when web hosting space is needed for a given web project.
There are a lot of companies which offer free hosting space and so sometimes it is a bit difficult to understand what plane to choose between a free plan and a cheap plan.
There is no doubt that the word "free" is one of the most searched in the Web, but who has had even a minimum experience with the Net knows that very often "free" does not mean good.
If a web hosting provider offers you something which has a high percentage of downtime, low connection and computation speed, bad technical support and so on, it could be better to avoid free web hosting in favour of cheap web hosting, the latter which can be achieved starting with $3-$4 per month.
Another thing to consider about free hosting is that, if you are going to host a good site, it is very important that the free space you get does not show banners or other ads, imposed by the service provider; for a professional (or even semi-professional) site, in fact, an ads free web space is necessary.
Don't forget even that hosting resources could be limited or poor with free plans and that you could really get what you pay for.
Talking about the cost factor of hosting, the first thing to say is that everybody should unserstand that what really matters is the total final cost of a service; if you want to host your site and a free web site host company offers you a free storage web space, you should be careful that the storage web space could be the only thing that they give you for free. In other words: are you sure that there aren't other costs to consider, apart from the free cost of the storage space?
Well, the point is that it is a common practice, for a free hosting company which doesn't show its own ads, to charge the customer for an "accessory" service like a domain registration or a domain transfer; in fact you need a domain to point to a web space and you could have to choose if register a new domain with the hosting company or transfer a domain that you just own to the hosting company, and the cost to register or transfer this domain is often higher than register or transfer a domain using another, not free, provider.
Another important thing to consider is that nowadays there is a great competition among the various web hosting companies which, for this reason, have to offer real cheap web hosting.
So it is important to underline the fact that discount hosting can be achieved not because of low quality hosting features, and that even cheap hosting companies can give discount plans with a lot of storage space, several tools, a large number of email accounts and so on.
All this doesn't mean that free hosting is bad, but that everyone should think about all the conditions implied in the hosting choice; for example, if you plan to host a personal site and you would accept third party ads on your web site, free hosting could be a great solution for you at real zero cost, but if you plan to build strong business with your site, think to other hosting solutions, even if cheap, to compare to free hosting ones.

VPS hosting

The VPS hosting account is the middle ground one can choose when he can't decide between a shared hosting account and a dedicated server. It fits in the middle both in terms of cost, performance and in the amount of control you get over your hosting. Instead of getting a small slice of a server or the entire server, you get a big slice of a server and you can run it like it was a real server, not just a small piece of it. You can restart your VPS, you can install things on it and so on. The amount of control you have over a VPS is definitely more than what you can expect on a shared hosting account.

The VPS term comes from virtual private server and you can use one as a sandbox which is isolated from the rest of the server. You can play with it and keep your site there and it will not influence the rest of the server. A site will use only the exact amount of memory and processing power that the VPS comes with, so the other VPS accounts are not influenced by a surge in traffic on one of the other accounts hosted on the same computer. You also have a dedicated IP of your own, so you're not seen by other people as being on the same computer as a spammer site. When you're a business, a small fact like this can be important. The VPS offers a much improved hosting experience and the visitors which go to your site are much more likely to enjoy the experience than if you had your site on a shared hosting account.

The VPS will do just fine as a hosting solution as long as you don't have a huge number of visitors. Even when the number of visitors proves to be too high for your current VPS package, there is usually the possibility to buy more RAM and processing power, so as long as there are better VPS packages than the one you currently have, there is no need to switch to a dedicated server, which would prove much more expensive.

The VPS hosting has as advantages over a shared hosting account the better safety for the date, a better loading speed, more control over your site and how it loads, plus many others. If you have at least a few hundred visitors per day, then going with a VPS account is the next logical step.

Server colocation

The reason why a lot of companies find server collocation useful is because they can use it to reduce the amount of money needed buy and maintain the hardware needed for a popular website. Smaller organizations will especially find server collocation an attractive proposition, since everything costs less and money is important when you're a small firm trying to grow. Below are some of the reasons why collocation works well for a lot of companies.

First of all, let me explain how it works. Server collocation means that a company outsources the work of maintenance of hosting servers to a business or organization which is specialized on it. While a company can have her own servers, it can prove expensive to keep a big website hosted at their own offices. Besides the increasing number of servers needed by a popular site, there is also a need for a good Internet connection, for people to take care of the servers, the costs of energy, the need for backup servers and generators in case of power outages. There are many costs associated with keeping a dedicated server running constantly, without periods of downtime. With collocation, a business keeps their servers in a place where it can be taken care of, a place which was built specifically to keep servers running. The firm pays rent in return for the space they're getting, or they pay rent for the servers they are using. Both variants are possible and the business can own or rent the server which stays at the collocation facility.

When it comes to this type of server, there are plenty of advantages, especially if you give up running your own hosting servers and renting them from a hosting company instead.

One of the biggest things that convince companies to make this step is that it allows them to cut costs. When keeping the web site running costs you less, it means that your profit is bigger. It doesn't get any simpler than that. While server collocation has its disadvantages, the considerable cost reduction will usually be worth it for any small business.

Another thing that counts is the fact that the bandwidth you consume costs you less. A huge facility with servers pays less for the bandwidth because it buys in bulk. A company with a few servers will not be able to get heavily discounted prices, so it ends up paying more for the bandwidth consumed by its site.

Cheap web hosting advantages and disadvantages

These days, if you have a business, you probably have a website online as well. Being visible online is a must, even if people need to visit your store personally anyway. A lot of people use the Internet to find out the hours when you're open, to find out your phone number so they know if you have a certain product on stock and so on. Even if it's 3 AM, if someone needs a bit of information about your business he can learn about it online. Having a web site is quite cheap these days and in most cases you only need a basic understanding of how computers and the Internet work, in order to get a web site and learn how to use it.

Thanks to the hundreds of millions of web sites which are available these days, the cost of web hosting has decreased considerably as well. You don't need to buy or rent an entire server to keep your site going. You only need a small slice of that server, for which you pay a couple of dollars per month.

Cheap hosting is just that, cheap. You can pay just a couple of dollars per month for a shared hosting account, which also comes with limited support. The hosting space which is provided to you usually varies between 5 and 1000 GB, which is more than enough for a small business. As for the bandwidth which is offered, it will usually start from 10GB and go up to 1000GB, so once again more than enough for a small business which doesn't expect more than a few thousand visitors per day. Since these web hosting plans use Linux operating systems, they are quite cheap. If you need a Windows based hosting plan, prepare to pay extra, since paid licenses are needed in this case.

The biggest advantage of a cheap web hosting plan is that you pay for just what you need. As long as you only require minimum amount of bandwidth of web space, paying a lot of money for a hosting account is not a good idea, especially for a small business or for someone with a personal blog.

The thing with cheap hosting is that it's cheap for a reason. Companies need to cut costs in order to remain competitive and you might get a bit of downtime from time to time, support personnel that aren't always properly prepared and so on.

The bandwidth matter

The first question which could be made is: what is bandwidth? Almost all hosting companies write with big font size about unlimited bandwidth per month, in their home pages, but what is the bandwidth and, above all, is it really so important?
The answer is simply "yes", because the bandwidth allowed for a website in a month is the max amount of data that can transit through the website in a month.
In fact, the more bandwidth/month a hosting company offers in a hosting plan, the more connections by internet surfers are allowed, if the other conditions are the same.
Having a big bandwidth for a given site gives the advantage of more users who can visit and navigate the site, even with heavy contents, like video files.
There are 2 important things to care of talking about bandwidth: the first is that unlimited bandwidth doesn't really exists, as well explained in another hosting article; the second is that the needings of high bandwidth are very different depending on the web site you are going to host. In fact, if the site hasn't too many visits/month and/or if the site doesn't offer too many heavy files like video files, even a low amount of bandwidth could be sufficient.
As an example about the bandwidth usage of a website, let consider a simple web site with a file of 100 MB hosted in it and available for download.
Now, if in a given month the site gets 20 visits and all these 20 site visitors download the file, the bandwidth spent for the download is of:
100 MB(dimension of the file) * 20(number of downloads) = 2000 MB = 2 GB (to be more precise 1 GB = 1024 MB).
At this amount of 2 GB, you will have to add other components of bandwidth usage, for every object in the website accessed by visitors, of course, and you have to count even the simple access to images (like jpgs, gifs and so on) and other basic objects which are accessed without any explicit download.

Linux servers vs Windows servers

Just like in the real world, when it comes to choosing dedicated servers, there are people which choose the safe route and pick Windows and there are people that like to get their hands dirty and they pick Linux, which is usually a bit more work if you want to have control over every single thing it has to offer. The fact that it's open source software certainly makes Linux attractive and it's the reason why most web sites these days are powered by it. Below are some of the things which are different between the two types of operating systems. Take a look and hopefully this comparison will help you pick the operating system which is best in your case.

The Linux servers will actually have different versions of Linux, like openSUSE, Fedora or Ubuntu, among many others. There is not a single version of Linux to use, since the open source environment produced quite a few different versions. While on personal computers Linux hasn't managed to become a big competitor to Windows, when it comes to web hosting servers, Linux has the big part of the pie. Because of the considerable costs of a Windows server license, most companies choose the open source route. Thanks to the many administrators which are familiar with Linux, it is possible for Linux to get a huge share of the server market, even though the percentage of Windows users is considerably smaller.

The first thing which should be compared is the cost. This is a huge part of the decision of a business or even a regular webmaster, so the fact that Linux doesn't cost anything makes most people go for this route.

The second thing which should be discussed is the amount of flexibility offered by the operating system. Thanks to its open source roots, Linux can be heavily modified and customized, though not everyone can do it. While Windows is much more closed, it does feel a bit easier to use, especially if you're using a Windows OS on a daily basis. While it's still not something that a regular Windows user would find easy to learn, it's certainly easier than learning a Linux OS from scratch. An amateur will find it easier to install a server with Windows on it, though there is always the matter of just how secure a installation can be when it's done by a beginner.

Dedicated server hosting

Most webmasters have sites which aren't very visited, so they can't always afford having a dedicated server on which to keep their sites. It's common knowledge that a dedicated server is usually quite expensive, but as years go by, prices continue to drop and these days many more people can afford getting a plan which ensures that their site will load quickly. While it is cheaper than ever to have a dedicated server, it's still something that is available to people with a budget of at least $100 per month.

For this reason, in most cases dedicated hosting is used by companies and webmasters which have sites that get quite a bit of traffic, so they also require more computing power to support the database and the rest of the site. If you can imagine hundreds of people connecting to a computer at a same time and requesting information, you can understand how a dedicated hosting server can help the webmaster of a popular website to support that kind of load.

There are other advantages to dedicated hosting, like the fact that you have your hands on and if you know how to enhance its security you are safer from hacker attacks than if you relied on some company you found online. You have no idea just how good the employees of that company is, so having your own dedicated server allows you to protect your web site much better, as long as you have a clue of what needs to be done. You get a huge increase in performance, extra security and the ability to load pages faster. All these advantages can mean more money for a business which relies on its website to attract customers.

The budget at your disposal will decide just how powerful your server will be and how much support and additional options you can pay. While on a regular hosting account you are neighbor with hundreds of other webmasters on the same server, a dedicated server is yours alone, so you don't risk being on the same IP as a spam site. If you're a business you want to know that your reputation is a good one and sharing hosting space with spammers will certainly be bad for your reputation if anyone figures it out.

There are two types of dedicated servers, the unmanaged and the managed ones. If you know exactly what to do, an unmanaged server will offer you much more control over your website.

Blog hosting

If you're really serious about your blog and if you're starting to see a bit of traffic, you might want to consider finding your own blog hosting. You can always use free blog hosting, like WordPress or Blogger, but it's advisable that you begin with paid blog hosting or you switch to it as soon as possible. While for a beginner it might make sense to use something that is free, ideally you should choose something paid, since moving from a free platform can be quite difficult later. Having your own blog hosting allows you to take advantage of a number of things, including more features, the ability to install any themes and plugins you want, improving the SEO of the site, adding image galleries and forums and so on. The list of improvements which are possible when you have your own blog hosting is huge. It's also considered much more professional to have your own hosting account. Using a free host instead of spending a few dollars per month is only OK as long as you have a small blog which is visited just by friends and family.

A huge disadvantage that you have when you go with free blog hosting like Blogger or WordPress is that you're not in control. They can decide to delete your blog or take it down whenever they want, if they don't like some photo you uploaded or something you wrote.

Paid blog hosting allows you to be your own master and it's great to have that kind of liberty when you're expressing your opinions. Even if you started with free hosting, you can always move to a paid hosting, though the sooner you do it the better. Once your blog becomes popular you risk losing some of that traffic and influence if you make the move too late.

Blog hosting is usually offered by companies which specialize in offering servers and services which are aimed at owners of WordPress blogs. They will optimize servers for blogs which use WordPress and they will have trained staff which can answer questions and solve issues related to this blog platform. Thanks to this focus on blog hosting, these companies often provide better service than companies which have servers optimized for pretty much everything. Because they expect you to offer images and videos, you usually get quite a bit of hosting space and bandwidth to use. Since you pay for your own hosting, you can use that space as you want, instead of obeying the rules from or all the time.

Web hosting service

These days, both people and businesses have a web site online, either a professional one or something hosted on free blog hosts. The Internet presence is quite useful, allowing others to find you faster and giving them information about a business or about a person. The one thing which is needed if you want something professional is your own hosting account, which is a must if you use a domain and not a free subdomain. Having your own hosting account and domain shows the world that you mean business and that you're serious and professional. Most people tend to distrust companies that use subdomains, free hosting accounts and email addresses which are based on free email services.

Having an online service is not that hard though, with only two things needed to make it happen. Besides the web site, which can be replaced by a CMS like WordPress, the only things which are needed are the domain for your business and a hosting account.

The topic for this article is the web hosting service, which can be thought of in terms of free or paid. The free hosting services are usually low quality and you should never try to base the site of a business on a free service. The service you're getting in return is usually terrible and some free hosting companies place ads on your site so they can make money. That wouldn't be professional at all.

As for paid hosting, there are three main types of packages that you can go after: the shared hosting account, the VPS hosting and the dedicated server.

With the shared hosting account, your site stays on a server together with hundreds of other sites. When one of these sites has a surge in traffic, there is a chance that the rest of the sites on the server will have longer loading times, making the experience slower. Hosting of this type should be avoided if you have more than a few hundred visitors per day.

The second one is the VPS, which allows you to own a certain amount of processing power and RAM on a server. You will know exactly how much traffic your site can take and you have access to much more options when it comes to configuration.

Finally, you have the dedicated server, where you actually rent an entire computer just for your use. For large sites this is the preferred type of hosting, since it offers the most performance and the most options when it comes to its configuration.

Server side programming languages

As a brief introduction, we say that every website needs web pages to be hosted through a hosting provider. These pages can be grouped in two great categories: static and dynamic pages.
Static pages can have the classic .html or .htm extension and they could be considered (from a point of view) as the simplest kind of possible web pages because they haven't a programming logic in them; there isn't programming code in them and no webserver is needed to make them work.
Dynamic pages can have different extensions (for example .php, .asp, .jsp) and they are programmed with code written in various languages.
So let analyse their main characteristics.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is one of the most popular programming languages. Almost every web hosting site has php support and so it is easy to find a lot of web hosting companies among which to choose a hosting plan wich supports php.
PHP can run either in Unix based systems or in Windows systems even if it is usually better to choose a Unix based server to host php web sites.
ASP (Active Server Pages) is the Microsoft offer for development on Windows systems. It is a programming language similar to Visual Basic and it is relatively simple to learn it.
JSP (Java Server Pages) is the extension of web pages based on the Java language. A Java application has a lot of advantages in the presence of server-side operation utilities and enterprise solutions; it is considered a very powerful and professional programming language.
However, note that finding web hosting sites which offer Java support is not as simple and cheap like finding web hosting sites which offer PHP and/or ASP support.

Shared hosting vs dedicated hosting

Any business out there can benefit from using the Internet, either as a platform to sell their goods directly or at the least, as a way to tell people what they're all about, to tell them when they're open and to provide phone numbers and emails, so that people can contact them if they want to order something. A web site can be invaluable and even for a site that doesn't sell things directly online, it takes just one large customer to find them online and the web site and hosting would pay for themselves if the order is large enough. When you consider this, using a web site is a natural step for any business, especially since the majority of the Western world uses the Internet at least once a week.

The one thing that makes it a bit harder is that a lot of businesses don't have people which can take care of a web site. One example would be the hosting of the site, which can be as simple as a shared hosting account, which could just be paid on a monthly basis, or it could be a dedicated hosting account, which would require an administrator to take care of it at least as a part time job, if not full time.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of hosting, but when all things are considered, what it matters is how much traffic you're expecting on your site and what type of site it is. If it's just a site which is used as a virtual business card, to present to the world your company and how you can be contacted, then a shared hosting account is more than enough if you expect a maximum of a few hundred visitors per day.

If your company receives a lot of traffic on your web site, then a dedicated hosting plan can be considered. In the end, it depends on your budget and just how much money does that traffic make you. If you get a lot of traffic but you make very little money from it, you can use a static site, which allows you to use a shared hosting account, even though you get a lot of visitors.

The dedicated hosting plan is clearly the way to go for a big company, but for a small business, the shared hosting solution is a better idea in most cases. If the traffic which you're receiving is too much for your shared hosting account, then a dedicated server is the clear way to go.

Email hosting

There are a lot of businesses out there and they are the most common reason why email hosting exists. If you're a single person, you can use your hosting account to receive email, but if you're a company with hundreds or thousands of employees, things are a bit trickier than that. Having your own email hosting means that you need dedicated computers for that purpose, it means that you need people to administer those computer, you need solutions to fight spam, you need security against prying eyes and so on. Offering your own email address to all your employees can quickly become costly when we're talking about things on that kind of scale. While a factory will not need to offer email address to all its employees, things change when we talk about insurance companies or any other firm which has a lot of sales people. When you have thousands of people which offer their email addresses to clients in order to get a deal, you want that email service to be of very good quality. You don't want to be hacked, since that would mean that hackers could send emails with viruses to your partners. You don't want your email servers to be down, since that would mean that all emails sent while they were down would be lost. Clients which sent you email while servers were down would not receive a reply and business would be lost.

When you think of all the things which could go wrong, you will quickly understand why a business would want a lot of security and peace of mind when it comes to its email communications. Companies which offer email hosting offer just that piece of mind. They already have the expensive equipment and the specialized personnel to take care of the email needs of a business, so they will do it cheaper than it would be for the business to create that email infrastructure from the ground up.

These days, email is used for everything. It's quite hard actually to find a salesman or any other business person which doesn't have an email address on his business card, right next to the phone and the address of the company. Everyone has an email address already, a personal one usually, but that can't be used for official purposes, since a business would want to maintain contact with clients from their own official addresses, not from some anonymous account which doesn't look professional.

Shared hosting vs VPS hosting

If you have a business and you want to expand beyond the local market, the best way to advertise what you have to offer is by creating a web site, which will represent your business in front of people from all over the country. In the past you needed a huge budget if you wanted that many people to see the name of your company and what you had to offer, but these days if you know what you're doing online, then you will only need a good web site and a plan to promote it effectively.

All those people that visit your site need to have a good experience while they're looking at it. First of all, the site needs to be available all the time, with as little downtime as possible. If a new visitor looks for your site and he finds it offline then he will probably not return later. You only get one chance in most cases and if your site is down when a potential customer comes, you can lose business. Having a hosting account which does not provide a proper uptime can prove detrimental to your business.

In most cases companies will pay hosting companies to rent some space on their servers, since having your own hosting infrastructure is usually too expensive for a company. Few companies can afford to create a department to take care of their web site and to make sure it's up and running all the time.

You have three main options when it comes to the hosting of your site. Assuming that you don't make a living selling things on your site, chances are that you will not need the most expensive option, the one with a dedicated server. The two cheaper options are the shared hosting account and the VPS hosting and these are the options which should be considered by a small company.

In both cases, the hosting is likely to be up for at least 99.9% of the time, if the hosting company knows what it's doing. The difference between the two is in the control that you're getting over your hosting account and in the processing power behind it. The VPS option offers you more control and more power for the site, so you can have more visitors on it. The downside is that it is more expensive than a shared hosting account and it will also require a bit more technical knowledge to use. For an absolute beginner, a shared hosting account will probably be easier to learn.

A brief story about affordable web hosting

Since Information Technology has grown in time, the requirement of web resources to publish websites has grown too.
Time ago, almost only IT experts had the privilege to care about web applications, with a professional interest towards the potential power detained by web sites.
Nowadays, the importance in building strong business in Internet has become a needing of a larger audience. Almost everybody can think about web sites to build his own commercial activity.
Moreover, even people who haven't commercial interests, now can project a website for personal purposes.
In this way, the requests of hosting storage space has grown dramatically; this fact has lead to a greater competitiveness of the web hosting sites which now have to share the requests of a lot of users interested to have a web site.
The natural consequence of this schema is that, among all the various web hosting companies which offer storage for site hosting purposes, a lot of web hosting sites have decided, during these last years, to give their customers very cheap hosting plans, even thanks to a great competition which leads to a strong discount hosting concept.
So the final key for 90% (or even more) Net users who need hosting is to find affordable web hosting.
Affordable web hosting is not to be considered as cheap, low quality web hosting, but as discount hosting given with quality plans, with accessories and tools helping users in building their web sites, simple or even very complex web sites.
Cheap web hosting has now to be intended as a primal choice to follow for almost everybody. Unless one needs the power of dedicated systems or other similar professional things affordable shared hosting could be the right choice.
In fact, good web hosting sites can give you even professional plans with shared hosting for a few dollars a month and they eventually are able tu upgrade your hosting plan if it needs to be better.

Affordable web hosting? Why not free web hosting?

Affordable web hosting seems to be a good statement to deal with; it gives to everybody the chance to own a web site without spending lots of money.
However, even the free web hosting statement sounds very good, indeed it sounds even better than the former one; Apparently the word free is better then the word affordable, isn't it?
So why should a webmaster better consider affordable web hosting instead of free web hosting?
The answer to this question is probably not so obvious as one could think.
The first consideration to do is that free web hosting companies usually put their own banners and other advertisement staff on your web pages; sometimes they don't put ads but they ask you money for other services which you have to subscribe together with the free web hosting plan which they offer. For example they could ask you an expensive registration or transfer cost for your domain name to be associated with their hosting plan.
Moreover, free web hosting sites often don't give you much storage space and/or they don't allow so much bandwith/mo for your site.
All these considerations lead to the simple fact that it is usually better to spend few money on an affordable web hosting plan, which gives you a third party advertisement free storage space, with a reasonable amount of storage space and a good bandwidth/mo; usually cheap web hosting companies give both unlimited.
Moreover, affordable web companies usually give you even a more stable framework, with good tools which you can use to build your website, with some accessories which could help you in the project building process and so on. They also give different programming languages support for you to project a website in the language which you prefer and, not less important, they usually have a good technical support for their customers.
For all these reasons, the answer to the first question could be that free web hosting sites could be considered for projects which aren't too important or complex; in general free web hosting it is not good for commercial purposes or similar objectives.
Affordable web hosting sites are instead highly recommended for important projects in which, for example, you can't accept third party advertisement and various limitations which free hosting sites could give in their hosting plans.
In this way, for even less than $5/mo, you could have a professional site to be proud of.

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