Web Hosting FAQ

First time website builders are often intimidated when it comes time to obtain web hosting for their newly developed masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions


Our purpose in this guide will be to answer some of your questions and point you to some web hosts that provide great service at affordable prices.

Compare Some Popular Hosting Plans Here

Your widget here.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use free web hosting?
If the site is just for fun free web hosting is fine. If you are going to provide information or run a business from your website, pay the money. NEVER use FREE Hosting for serious purposes.
Free web hosting in most cases is an inferior product. Most load your site with advertisements and use sub standard connections to the internet. They also overload their servers which degrades website performance.
The trade off for free web hosting is usually advertisement. Ads are placed on your free web site by the free hosting provider. They can be banner ads and even annoying pop up ads. You have no control over the kind of ads that are placed on your web site. When you pay for web hosting, the only ads placed on your web pages are those that you put there.
Also, the resources for storage and bandwidth provided by free web hosts are often very limited. Most free hosts offer only 500mb to 5GB bandwidth. When you exceed your traffic limit your website will be suspended until the next month, or you'll be asked to upgrade to a paid package. There may also be limits on the size of pages that you can build.
There are free web hosts that advertise larger numbers for bandwidth and no ads. If your website is on their servers very long, you will soon realize that there are other factors like CPU usage that come into play.
Sorry folks - Free web hosting is an unreliable choice for serious webmasters.
If you are serious about your website's uptime, then go for commercial web hosting.
What's a content management system?
Content management systems are provided by most web hosts today. They are useful when building interactive websites. Most include built in features for membership sign up, polling and site search. They combine the use of PHP and MySQL or database storage. Content management systems are template driven and pages are dynamically generated upon the request of the user.
The CMS provided by most web hosts are opensource which means that they are still in development. Web hosts do not offer direct support for these tools. If you need help, you must visit the home page of the CMS and look for tutorials and forums.
The initial set up of the tool is usually automatic, but learning to use a CMS takes a little more time and patience than a conventional website building tool.
In most cases the latest version of a CMS is not provided by a web host. Updating the software to a current version is the responsibility of the user.
Some typical opensource CMS: Drupal , Joomla , Moodle
We recommend that newbies get grounded in HTML before attempting to use a content management system.
How much web space is enough?
Very few websites exceed 100 megabytes. The best web hosts now offer numbers like 1000 to 2000 megabytes. (1GB to 2GB) You'll never use a fraction of that much storage. 100 to 500 megabytes is sufficient to start a new website.
If the average file is 10k, 5 meg of web space would then accomodate 500 10k web pages and image files.
As the site grows you can upgrade to more storage space as it is needed.
If your web host provides error and access logs, these will also be hosted on your webspace. As the number of pages, and the number of visitors to your site grows, more space will be needed for these files.
NOTE: We host 8 websites at CaFW Web Hosting. We are allotted 2500mb (2.5GB) of storage space. One of our websites is over 900 pages. Our webstat files are substantial. We rarely exceed 200mb of storage, and without the webstats we only use about 72mb.
How much should I pay?
You can pay $2.49 to $500 a month or more for web space. In most cases a higher quality of service is not determined by an inflated price.
If possible, find websites hosted on the service that you are considering. If the pages on the site load slowly or you encounter other problems with the website, consider another web host.
Many web hosts don't limit the number of websites they host on their servers. Overloaded servers cause erratic and sluggish website performance.
There are free services available for testing the response time of hosting servers.
What if I need help?
The web hosting providers that thrive are those that provide the best support to their customers. Look for web hosts that go out of their way to accomodate and help their clients. The best will provide 24/7 TOLL FREE telephone support, 24/7 email support and even Live Chat help. They should also provide an assortment of detailed tutorials to help you.
Most complaints about a web host will be connected to their quality of customer support.
Check Client Testimonials for comments about the kind of support a web hosting company provides.
What is shared hosting?
Shared simply means that you share a webserver with other customers. Even VPS and semi-dedicated web hosting is shared.
On the most basic shared hosting accounts, you could be sharing the same server with 500 customers or more. Some web hosts are very bad about overselling their shared servers.
Shared hosting is the cheapest in price. It should be used only for plain vanilla websites with very limited interactive features.
What is dedicated hosting?
Dedicated hosting permits individuals and business to lease pre-configured, state-of-the-art equipment and connectivity from a web host, instead of simply sharing server space on a virtual server. This service gives you the opportunity to lease an entire server for your own exclusive use. With a dedicated server, you can exercise total control over your Web presence. You can choose the operating system and software you wish to use, and individualize settings for your multimedia and e-commerce requirements. This is a good choice for customers that require custom software or enhanced server control but do not want to make the significant up-front investment required in purchasing and housing their own server. It is a much more expensive option than shared hosting.
With the continued advance of streaming video on shared servers, dedicated servers are becoming more popular. Overuse of streaming video on shared servers, slows website performance for everyone else.
Warning! Dedicated web hosting is not for beginners. You must possess a knowledge of how to set up and run a server to use it.
What is bandwidth or data transfer rate?
Bandwidth determines how much traffic is allowed on your site during a given period of time. The more visitors to your site, the more bandwidth you'll consume. Most hosts measure bandwidth by the month. Shop around, especially if you are determined to build a high traffic website. 25 to 50 GB is enough for the average new website.
If you're going to use streaming video, offer downloads, require SSL, use large sound files or flash type videos you'll require more than the norm. Many web hosts now offer bandwidth measured in TERABYTES (1,000 gigabytes)
These huge numbers on shared hosting are only Sales Hype!! If a web host allowed one customer to use 15000GB of bandwidth on a shared server all of the other customer sites would cease to operate!! Many good web hosts have had to stoop to this deceptive tactic of selling to compete with the LIARS that started the fiasco.
NOTE: Our 5 websites average about 4000 visitors per day. We provide swf, audio and video presentations. Our bandwidth usually averages less than 600mb per day.
There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth on a shared hosting plan. Advertising of this sort is misleading and false. (See Article - Bandwidth)
What is CPU share?
Just like your computer, your web host's server has a Central Processing Unit. It's capacity is limited. On any shared web hosting account, even VPS or semi-dedicated, you are allotted a monthly limit on how much of the server's CPU you can use. On basic shared accounts your share can be as little as 4 to 5%. Exceed your limit and your website can be removed from your web host's server. You'll find this information in the fine print of your service agreement.
CMS applications like Joomla use a lot of CPU. Poorly written scripts and bulk email are also CPU hogs.
This is another reason why any claims to UNLIMITED web hosting on shared accounts are bogus.
Do I need a registered domain name?
If you are going to depend on search engines for your traffic, a domain name that includes carefully chosen keywords will add to your ranking. Some experts say this is a myth.
It has been our experience that websites using a domain name do get indexed by search engines faster than those carrying a URL like: http://www.mywebhost.com/myusername

Some web hosts will provide you with a free registered domain name. This service is usually covered in their setup fee. BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU PURCHASE YOUR DOMAIN NAME IN THIS MANNER.
( Be sure you have the option of purchasing the domain name if you leave the service!!)

A word to the wise: When you accept a free domain name it is registered to your web host. Technically they own your domain name. If a time comes that you want to transfer your web site to another host or move your domain name to a registrar where you have control it could take weeks or months to get the rights to it. We learned the hard way on this!!! We moved to a new web host and our old web host Featureprice.com kept our domain name. This mistake on our part cost us a year of traffic building and thousands of link partners.
Note: CaFW hosting offers a free domain name with a $4.19 hosting account. They provide the option of purchasing the domain name if you leave for a $9.95 transfer fee.
How much should I pay to register a domain name?
From $1.99 (Usually an introductory price) to $35. Shop around.
How do you register a domain name?
Most will require you to register for membership, which gives you access to a control panel where you can manage your account.
Important: In order to maintain complete control of your domain name, your name and your email address must appear on INIC under Tech and Contact.
You'll need information about DNS (Domain Name Servers) primary and secondary which you should receive from your web host. Server names look something like this: ns1.hostingserver.com ns2.hostingserver.com
Many domain name providers offer what is called Free Parking. That means that you can point your domain name at their default DNS until you obtain your web space and acquire the needed DNS information.
How do I put my web pages up on the internet?
A good web host will provide you with a Console that includes built in FTP software. You'll be provided with a username and password which will be used to log on to the console. Many offer FrontPage which includes an uploading tool. Then it's just a matter of clicking on a file in your PC's directory and hitting an upload button. We provide the free FTP software (freeware)CoreFTP, which actually out performs our commercial ftp client, CuteFTP. We also provide instructions on setting it up and using it.
What do I need to do credit card transactions on my website?
Shopping Cart ,Merchant Account , Payment Gateway Software and to do them in a credible manner digital certficate and SSL.
We recommend building online stores that accept credit cards using a service that specializes in the field. It is very difficult for first timers to add ecommerce features to a business or personal site package. Ecommerce packages are more costly, but the good ones include everything you need to sell online in a secure environment.
What is SSL?
Secure Socket Layer protects the communications between your internet site and web browsers from interception and eavesdropping. An encrypted link is established and sensitive information such as passwords and credit card information can be transferred back and forth. Evidence of activation can be use of the https: protocol in the URL, a blue color banner around the browser window or the unbroken key symbol at the bottom of the browser window. Use of SSL increases the rate of data transfer or bandwidth.
What are keys and digital certificates?
Keys are paired codes used to encrypt data in communication streams. One part of the key is kept private, while the other is transmitted to the web browser. Web browsers encrypt the data using the public portion of the key and the private portion is used for decrypting. The process is called public key encryption and is used in the SSL mechanism.
A digital certificate is an encrypted electronic document that verifies the authenticity of a service provider or vendor of a product. Prices vary from $49 to $900 per year. Installation of a key with a valid certificate is a prerequisite to SSL.
Pop Email accounts.
Post Office Protocol These are email accounts that you can setup that carry your domain name. For example support@myname.com or helpdesk@myname .com. The average is 5 accounts. Some hosts now allow unlimited accounts.
What is SMTP mail?
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is used for transferring mail between internet hosts. It is often used to upload mail directly from the client to an intermediate host. Can only be used on systems that maintain a constant connection to the internet.

Web Host Comparison Chart

Other Things to Look For

Equipment and Backbone Connections
A good web host won't be shy about providing this information. Look for servers that run in speeds of gigahertz. Look for terms like T3 and OC in their backbone connections. These are the lines that connect them to the internet.
Guaranteed Satisfaction
Some web hosts will let you try their service and withhold payment for a month. Others will refund your money after a month if you are not satisfied with their service.

And don't forget to check out our ...free ftp software CORE FTP .