$5.45/m (Free Setup)
* Unlimited disk space
* Unlimited bandwidth
$3.95/m (Free Setup)
* Unlimited disk space
* Unlimited bandwidth
$1.99/m (Free Setup)
* Unlimited disk space
* Unlimited bandwidth
$4.00/m (Free Setup)
* Unlimited disk space
* Unlimited bandwidth
$3.95/m (Free Setup)
* 50 GB disk space
* Unlimited bandwidth
What are the basic hosting features that you need to know? This article outlines the entry-level hosting features that can be found in most of the web
- Disk Space, Bandwidth, Host Addon Domains, Password Protected Directory
||Server Side Functionality
- CGI Scripts, JSP, ASP, PHP, SSI
- FTP Accounts, Anonymous FTP
- Email Accounts, Email Forwarding/Alias, Autoresponders, Mailing List,
||Platform & Software
- Server Platform, Control Panel, Website Statistic
- MySQL database, PhpMyAdmin
-Subdomain, Domain Redirection
- Shared SSL, Shopping Cart
Disk space is the amount of disk storage provided to you to store
your website on the web server. Generally, it is ranging from 1,000 MB
to 10 GB (1 GB = 1,024 MB). To put that into perspective, assume that
each web page with HTML files and images is approximately 30K in
size, you can store about 33,000 static web pages for 1,000 MB disk
space. The average website uses approximately 5-50 MB of
Normally, the disk space provided is not only allocated for web
pages alone but also count into the emails storage, archived web
log files and database files. Due to the low hard disk price
today, most of the web hosting providers can afford to give out
sizeable disk space for you. For example, disk space of 10,000 MB is
not uncommon for the hosting plan of only US$7.95 per month. Unless
you have a 'big' website with a lot of video, mp3 or picture
files, otherwise 500MB - 800MB of disk space is adequate for most
of the websites. Should you overuse your disk space in any case,
you can always purchase extra storage. Typically, the charge for
extra storage is $2/month per 25MB.
Bandwidth or data transfer allocated by web host is the amount of allowable data transfer
per month for a website. When an online user visit your website, your web page is transferred
from the web server to the user's web browser. The higher the number of visitors to your website,
the more data is transferred from the web server. Obviously, high traffic website will need very
high bandwidth requirements.
Some web hosting service providers claim to allocate unlimited amount of
bandwidth. You have to be careful and make sure you read the 'Terms of Service' thoroughly.
Think about it, bandwidth is an expensive resources (Typically, a T1 Internet connection can
costs around US$1200 per month). Therefore, web hosting providers
have very limited resources at their disposal. As such, there are
restrictions to qualify for 'unlimited' bandwidth. For example, your website
will only be qualified to enjoy unlimited bandwidth if it does not provide huge audio/video/images download.
shared hosting, 'unlimited' bandwidth is made possible based on the statistical fact
that not all websites on a web server use up to the limit of the
bandwidth. As a result, the 'unused' bandwidth will be allocated
to other high traffic websites, thereby, achieving the claim of
unlimited amount of bandwidth. However, only reputable web
hosting providers can live up to that promise. For small web
hosting providers or
reseller hosting, you must be careful not to fall into such marketing trick.
On average, bandwidth provided by web hosting providers can range from 20 GB (1 Giga Bytes = 1024 MB)
to 300 GB per month. How much bandwidth you need will depend on the size of your web pages and the
traffic to your website. For example, if you estimate that you have 10,000 visitors per month to your
website and average each visitor browses 10 web pages and average size of a web page is 30K. Then,
your bandwidth requirement will be 10,000 x 10 x 30K = 3,000,000 KB or approximately 3.0
GB per month.
If your website overuse the bandwidth, you will risk your website being shut down or alternatively
you will be charged additional fees for the extra bandwidth that you used (for example, $3.95 per
extra GB). In most cases, a bandwidth of 20 ĘC 40 GB per month is more than enough for majority of small and
medium business websites.
Host Addon Domains
When you signup a hosting account, most of the web hosting providers only allow you to host one
website (that is one domain only)
per hosting account. Of late, numerous web hosting providers are offering multiple domain hosting where
you can host multiple domains (or so called Addon Domain) in a single web hosting account. Now, you simply
add your various websites onto one user account. Each website of different domain are independent from
each other. Each website has it's own FTP access, email accounts, CGI/Perl, SSI, PHP, mySQL
database and etc. In a nutshell, with purchase of one hosting
account, you can now host all your websites. Think about it,
it's a lot of saving! Here are web hosting providers that offer
unlimited Addon domains.
Password Protected Directory
By password protecting specified directories, general web users
are prevented from gaining access to directories selected unless
they have an assigned user ID and password. Usually, getting a
directory to be protected can be done easily within the Control Panel.
However, some web hosting providers require you to go down
to low level configuration to get your directory password
protected, this include creating and modifying ".htaccess"
and ".htpasswd" files.
Server-side functionality, as its name implies, are applications that
executed or performed on the web server. These server-side technologies
including CGI scripts, ASP, JSP, PHP, and SSI which executed on the server
will generate the HTML contents dynamically. In contrast, client-side
application is downloaded and run on the web browser. Examples of
animation and DHTML.
One of the main problem with client-side applications
is the web browser incompatibilities problem. Different web browsers
(Microsoft IE, Netscape) will behave differently hence making client-side
applications a less favorable choice compare to server-side application.
However, if server-side
application is overuse, it will consume valuable server processing power
and increase the load of the server. Nevertheless, this should not be your
concern as a website owner, it is the responsibility of the web hosting
providers to handle server overload issues. The flexibility of generate
dynamic web content hence reduce your website maintenance load is often
the main reason server-side applications are used extensively nowadays.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programs and scripts are
commonly written using either Perl (one of the most widely used CGI scripting
languages), C, C++ or any programming
language. A CGI script commonly uses either the GET or POST
method in send web users information from client browser to the
web server. Therefore, CGI has been used to handle form
processing such as surveys forms, counter, guest books, feedback and etc.
JSP (Java Server Pages) is a Java technology created by Sun
Microsystems that allows scripting securely executed on the server
side and dynamic HTML page is then send back to the client browser.
When a server that includes a JSP engine comes across a web page
with a .jsp extension, it translates the page into a Java servlet;
then forwards the dynamic page to the web client. The client then
views the page as an ordinary HTML file. This translation occurs in
the background through the JSP engine, which is an add-on for web
JSP is a key part of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)
specification where extensive features of the Java language can be
used. The latest version of JSP also include comprehensive XML
support. JSP is similar in concept and appearance to Microsoft
technology, ASPs (to be explained below). If you are planning
on adding basic features onto your website, JSP may not be a good
option especially for non-programmers as Java takes time to learn.
ASP (Active Server Page) is a Microsoft technology that has been
widely used by many web businesses. Similar to JSP, PHP or CGI, it enables a
dynamic HTML page to be displayed from the server when the page is
requested from the client browser. With ASP, developers can combine
HTML pages, script commands and COM components to generate dynamic
and interactive web server application. ASP can be developed using
default scripting language, VBScript, or any language that support
ASP has been integrated with the
Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) platform. The ASP engine
is started on the web server when a file with an .asp extension is
used. This engine resides in a DLL file called asp.dll that runs in
memory along with IIS. You can develop ASP pages through Microsoft FrontPage and test
your ASP pages on IIS running on a local Windows NT or Windows 2000
workstation before you upload them to the server.
ASP .NET is a Microsoft programming framework that built on the
common language runtime on the web server to build powerful web
applications. Both ASP and ASP .NET applications can run together on
a server independently because they have different file extension
(.asp and .aspx) and different configuration models (registry versus
XML-based configuration files). In additional, these two systems
have totally separate processing engines. If you want to learn
more about Visual Basic, ASP .NET and other technologies related to
the .NET platform, there is an online video tutorials website
with over 500 video tutorials that you can watch to build your
skills on .NET at
Since ASP and ASP .NET are Microsoft technology, you will need to find a web host that provides
Windows/ASP hosting which support Microsoft Window Server in order to host your website
created in ASP .NET or ASP. But, you can run ASP applications on
Linux-based server environment too. Application such as "Sun
ChiliSoft ASP for Linux" if installed on the Linux server will
be able to support ASP application.
PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular open-source scripting language
with specific PHP
tags that can be used together with HTML pages to generate
dynamic content. Therefore, it is similar to other server-side
technologies that generate dynamic contents such as SSI and Perl.
The syntax used for PHP is quite compact when compared to either
JSP or ASP because it is not based on a specific language.
Files that contain PHP coding normally will have an extension of either
.php (if using PHP 4), .phtml or .php3. Using PHP, you can track and
authenticate users, serve up XML pages, add additional functionality to forms,
and much more. Likewise, PHP is also popular to support a wide range of
databases. A popular database that is used with PHP is MySQL.
Server Side Includes (SSI)
Server Side Includes is a group of simple comment tags that can be
placed directly in the HTML pages. So that the server can include variable values in
the HTML file before it sends it to the requestor, thereby send out the
web pages dynamically. SSI commands allow you to
perform functions not available through HTML.
For example, with SSI you can embed another web page into your main web page, the date a file was last
modified or the current date and time. It can even work with CGI
program. Typically, html pages that include SSI tags will have the
file extension of .shtml. This unique file extension will
effectively instruct the server to parse the SSI tags in the
page. The "
Cheap Web Hosting Reviews" website that
you are reading now was developed using SSI. We find that the main
advantage of SSI is that it helps to cut down the website
maintenance time. By modifying just a HTML file, for example the
header navigator file, you can reflect that changes to all the web
Usually, you create your website (HTML files, images) on your personal computer. When you are done,
you need to upload these HTML files, images and so forth to your web server using FTP (File Transfer
Protocol) software. Some popular FTP program include
CuteFTP and WS-FTP.
The web hosting providers will supply a user ID and password to you for accessing your
FTP account. If they support 'Multiple FTP Accounts', in that case you can setup multiple ftp access accounts as you
wish for other users. Normally, one FTP accounts is enough unless you have more than one
person managing your website.
When you run the FTP software, you have to fill in your website domain name, user ID and password
provided by the web hosts. Once you are connected to the web server, you can start uploading files
to the web server.
FTP is not the only method to upload files to web server. If the web hosts
also support FrontPage Extension,
you can actually use Microsoft FrontPage instead of FTP to upload or
download files directly within
Some web hosts also support anonymous FTP, where your website visitors can download
or upload files to your website without a password. Due to security concerns, some web hosts do not
support this feature.
For every web hosting account that you sign up, range from 400 to unlimited number of email accounts
will be provided with your unique website domain name in it, for example,
email@example.com. In general, this email system also supports POP3 access where emails can be
downloaded directly into your Microsoft Outlook or Eudora. Alternatively, you can access these email
accounts using web browser through the Web-based Email feature. Even though web hosting providers
with unlimited email accounts sounds a lot better than 400 email accounts,
but in reality, you can hardly use more than 20 email accounts from our experiences.
Email Forwarding / Alias
If you have a large number of email addresses and don't want
to check all of them separately, you can use the email forwarding feature
to forward all your incoming email messages at various email addresses to
a single email address that you specify. This
is similar to forwarding for your phone calls.
An autoresponder is a specific email address that has two functions. First, any user sending an
email to that address will receive an automated response. Second, the original incoming message
is forwarded to another specified email address.
Capturing a customer email address is important in Internet business. Once you legitimately obtain
the permission to email the customers, you can regularly send them product information, company news
or newsletter. All the email addresses captured through the website sign-up form will become your
mailing list. The mailing list feature provided can be used to send out any messages you want to all your
customers. You can send out your email messages at fix interval or whenever you want.
With so many junk email received today, some web hosting providers
offer spam filtering software, which designed to help you
remove junk mail from your in-box. This is a valuable tool to give you more
time to deal with your web business instead of spam emails.
All commercial web servers required to run on an operating system
or so called server platform. The popular server platforms are
UNIX and Microsoft Windows NT/ 2000. Unix is a proven,
multitasking, multi-user operating system that has been popular as
a low cost alternative to Windows operating system running on
Intel-based processor. Unix has been commercially available in the
market for many years in various versions, AIX, BSD, HP-UX, SCO
UNIX ...etc. It is the open-source version of UNIX varieties that
are popular with web hosts, including FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,
and Linux version. Of the open-source UNIX, BSD has been available
for the longest period of time and many web hosts consider BSD
implementations to be among the most stable and
has the most installations.
Microsoft continues to gain ground as a server platform for the
web hosting market because of the familiar GUI Windows interface,
enhanced scalability (especially Windows 2000) and the inroads it
has made in the business world. Web hosting with Windows NT/2000
typically is more expensive than Intel-based implementations of
Unix such as Linux and FreeBSD because of site licensing and
Control panels are a popular tool to help you to manage your web account details like create/protect
specific directories, manage subdomains, create/delete email accounts, access site statistics,
access/configure log files and add numerous optional functions onto your website. The control panels
features vary from web hosting providers because different control panels software packages are used.
The popular control panels for Unix system including
While popular Windows control panel are
In addition, you can also find customized version control panels
that are specific to certain web hosting providers.
Whenever web visitors visit your website, all their browsing
activities will be tracked inside a server log file. It is
very difficult to interpret and analyze these vast number of low
level log records.
Therefore, most of the web hosting providers offer website
statistic analysis tool. Some of the most common packages
(Advance Web Statistics), FastStats, HitList and WebTrends. This website statistic software allow you
number of unique visitors to a website by
hour, day, week, month and year
where are the visitors location
how well a website is performing with search engines
where are the external links to the website
which web pages are the most popular
MySQL database, the world's most popular open source database,
is a relational database management system which is extremely fast
and easy to customize due to its architecture. It uses a subset of
ANSI SQL (Structured Query Language), which is the most common
language used to access databases. Website with dynamic pages
and/or shopping cart software often use MySQL as an underlying
phpMyAdmin is a written in PHP to administer MySQL database over the web. Using phpMyAdmin,
you can create/drop databases, create/drop/alter tables in the database, delete/edit/add fields
in the database, execute any SQL statement and etc.
In DNS hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain name.
A subdomain, also known as a 'third-level' domain as it appears before
the main domain in the URL. For example, if you have a website URL address of "www.yourwebsite.com"
and you have a subfolder in your website called articles to store all your articles,
"www.yourwebsite.com/articles/". Then, you can create a subdomain name,
"articles.yourwebsite.com" without the prefix of "www". This way, your web visitors
could reach this articles folder by just typing "articles.yourwebsite.com" instead of
having to type in the longer URL. Hence, subdomain is a excellent
technique to create memorable web addresses for various areas in
your web site.
Domain redirection, also called domain pointer, allows you to set
up a redirection where the user types in one URL will
automatically be redirected to another URL. For example, when a
web user browses the URL of "cheapest-computer.com" or
"low-cost-computer.com", his/her web browser will be
pointed to "cheap-computer.com". That is to say, you
have redirected the two additional domain names to the same
content. This is an excellent way to increase your visibility on
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security technology that is commonly used to secure server to
browser transactions. This generally includes the securing of any information passed by a browser
(such as a customer's credit card number or password) to a web
server (such as an online store).
SSL protects data submitted over the Internet from being intercepted and viewed by unintended
Whenever a browser connects to a web server (website) over https:// - this signifies that the
communication will be encrypted and secure. In order to get SSL for your website you first need
an SSL Certificate. Your SSL Certificate is installed onto your web
server and allows you to access
the security functionality of your web server and ultimately let your customers know that your site
To use this feature you need a merchant account. There is no need to make this a priority if you have no merchant account because you can use a third party
payment processor such as PayPal.
A shopping cart is an e-commerce software that allows you to implement an online shopping store.
Web visitors can browse through your virtual storefront and add or remove product items from the
'virtual' shopping cart. The e-commerce software handles order information, billing information,
shipping information as well as process secure online payment. Some of the common shopping cart
software provided by web hosting companies, include
Agora shopping cart.