Domain Hosting Plans

Domain Hosting Plans
Domain Hosting Plans

 

Domain Hosting Plans and what to look for when shopping for a hosting provider.  This article supplements my other article Domain Hosting Types.  Quite frankly, this is not as serious as it was just a couple years ago.  The whole Web hosting industry has grown so large and gotten so competitive, that all of the well known hosts are offering as much as they can to get your business.  But, with that said, don’t assume every provider is going to give you the world to get you to signup with them.  You still need to be aware of what’s available and be sure that it is going to meet your individual requirements.  Below, I will discuss many of the things you should look for and what to expect.

 

Free Domain Hosting Plans

Many of the major Domain Hosting Plans now include a free domain.  This simply means that the hosting company will register a new domain for you at no cost to you.  Generally, as long as you continue to renew your hosting plan with them, they will continue to renew your domain name for free.  My personal preference is – I register/renew the domain name myself separate from the hosting service.  I just like the idea of keeping total control of things myself.

 

Disk Space

Simply put, this is the amount of storage (disk space) different Domain Hosting Plans allow you on the providers servers.  Previously, this was a number you needed to be aware of if your Web site was expected to grow, but recently most of the well known providers are offering “unlimited” disk space.  But do check!

 

Bandwidth

The bandwidth is the amount of traffic to you Web site.  Every time someone visits your Web site it uses bandwidth.  Every time you upload something, or a visitor downloads something it takes up bandwidth.  Especially critical if your operating something like an ebook store, or sharing lots of photos with friends and family.  However, just like with disk space, bandwidth too for the most part has become unlimited with most Domain Hosting Plans.  Again, check to be sure.

 

CPU Usage

This term “CPU usage”, probably won’t be listed anywhere in what’s included with a regular hosting plan.  If your Web site is for personal use or is a small business/store, you’ll probably never care about this term.  What you should be aware of is this:  although disk space and bandwidth are unlimited now days, if your Web site starts getting too big, with too many visitors using too much of the CPU, the provider could “kill” your site for over usage.  At this point you’ll have to upgrade your hosting plan to allow for higher CPU usage.  But again, this is not something to worry about until your site gets BIG!  And besides, this is a good thing.  If you’re getting that many visitors, it’s probably making enough money to justify an upgrade!

 

Domains Allowed

Your Domain Hosting Plans will always allow you to host one domain name, but most will also allow you to host additional domains on the same account.  Those are called “addon domains”.  Your original domain will remain the root domain, and although the other domains will be treated as addons, any one viewing one of those addons will have no idea if it is an independent domain or addon.  Most plans now come with unlimited addon domains, but be sure to check because this is not as widely offeres as disk space and bandwidth.  I personally have several addon domains on each of my hosting accounts.

 

cPanel

This is the utility within your hosting account where you manage everything.  There are several ways to manage an account but cPanel is the most common used with Domain Hosting Plans.  I highly prefer cPanel over the other and it is my personal recommendation.  This information should be somewhere in the specs of each hosting plan/provider.

 

Uptime

Uptime is the amount of time the hosts servers are properly functioning and will be expressed as a percentage.  This is not as important as it use to be simply because of the sophistication of hosting now.  Any one offering less than 99.9% uptime – stay away!

 

No Contract

Generally, the provider will give month-to-month service/payment plans, but you need to look at and compare rates for 1, 2, 3 year plans.  That’s where you get the lowest price.  I personally get a one year plan and if I’m pleased with the service of that particular Domain Hosting Plans, come renewal time I’ll sign-up for three additional years.

 

Money Back Guarantee

It’s pretty much accepted that a 30, 45, 60 day money back guarantee is going to come with any of the Domain Hosting Plans.  The fact is, almost everyone pays with a credit card and the bank will have a similar clause in their contract.  So, the providers just putting in a guarantee that’s already there!

 

Features

Most of the hosting features listed below should be included with the good Domain Hosting Plans, but don’t assume anything.  Check to be sure.

 

Email

Unlimited number of email accounts

Unlimited Email forwarding

Unlimited Email Auto-responders

 

Subdomains

Able to set up an unlimited number of subdomains for each domain on the account.

 

FTP

If you don’t know what or how to use File Transfer Protocol, check it out.  It’s a very handy way to load/update/edit your Web site.  You should be allowed an unlimited number of FTP accounts.

 

SQL Database

This is as the name implies, a database.  Depending on what you’re doing, you may never need this feature, but if you do, many hosts offer various options.  More common than not, Domain Hosting Plans will have a limit of 100 SQL databases, but a few offer unlimited.  Hint:  If you plan to run a blog on your Web site, it must have an SQL database.

 

Dedicated IP

The IP address is how your Web site can be found on the Internet.  When we say “shared” hosting, the IP address is what is being shared.  A story:  this has only happened to me once but I’ll mention it as an example.  Several years ago, I found that none of my customers in China could view one of my Web sites.  With some simple research I learned that the IP address had been blocked by the Chinese government.  We never found the exact reason but suspected that one of the other accounts on this shared IP was some sort of “adult content” site.  I solved the problem by changing to a dedicated (not shared) IP address.  A few bucks a month more, but worth it in this case.

 

SSL Certificate

No need to go into a long explanation.  You’ll know if you need it!

 

Site Builder

You may want to be sure they offer a Web site builder.  Usually rather generic, but most of them do the trick and have you visible in a mater of minutes.

 

Ecommerce/Online Store

Again, you know if you need this feature.  If yes, be sure it’s offered as a feature and check out how it looks and will work for your needs.  Generally, providers offering a Web store will have information about it and probably a demo you can view.

 

Back Ups

Again, pretty much an industry standard but do make sure your site is being backed up at the hosting providers side.  Nothing less than a daily back up.  One of my providers does instant back up of everything.

 

Support

If this is your first experience at hosting a domain, support is crucial.  A good provider will offer email support, usually in the form of a “support ticket”.  They should also have a “live chat” and toll free telephone support – both 24/7.

 

Conclusion For Domain Hosting Plans

I’ve told you what to look for and be aware of.  Now, it’s up to you to do a little research and find the right one.  In several other articles I will be doing a more in depth review of specific companies and their Domain Hosting Plans.
 
Don’t forget to have a look at my next article in this series, Free Domain Hosting.
Thanks for reading Domain Hosting Plans!