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What Are Your Web Hosting Requirements

Published on 8/11/2010 by

Are you confused about all the varied options presented when searching for a web hosting package?  Do words like unlimited email accounts and control panel confuse you?  Let's take a look at some of the extras you can purchase with your web hosting plan and whether or not you'll really need them.

Nightly backups

Some web hosting companies offer nightly backups.  There are two types of backups:

  • Offsite backups:  This is where your data is backed up somewhere other than your web hosting server.
  • Nightly backups:  Your website is backed up to your web hosting server for you.

Having a host who offers backups is nice, but not a necessity.  As a client, you can manually or automatically backup your website at any time by FTP or through your control panel.   Nightly backups are free with some hosts and a paid service with others.

Account migration

Account migration is the moving of data from your old web hosting account to your new account.  If you’ve recently changed hosting companies, you will either have to manually move your website or entrust your new web host to do it for you.  Account migration is sometimes included free of charge in web hosting plans, though it is by no means the norm.  If you’re moving an especially large database or an important website, and you’re unsure of your technical abilities, account migration might be a good fit for you.  Web hosting companies who do not offer free account migration will sometimes do it for a onetime fee.

Multiple domain hosting

With multiple domains hosting, you’re able to put several domains on the same hosting account.  So, instead of buying three separate hosting accounts for abc.com, def.com and ghi.com, you can consolidate, and get all the domains online, paying for only one web hosting account.  All the domains are then managed through a single control panel.  Multiple domain hosting can be a cost effective solution for those with many domains to manage.  Multiple domain hosting is not standard, but can be an included feature in many larger sized hosting plans.

Instant account activation

Many web hosts advertise instant account activation or instant account setup.  Basically, this means that your account setup is at least partially automated, and once you’ve paid for your hosting account, you’ll be able to begin immediately working on your new domain.  Some web hosting companies prefer to verify the details of your credit card and identity before giving you access to your web hosting plan, and those hosts do not offer instant activation.  Automated setup is not standard, but if you’re in a hurry to get your domain online, you’ll want to look for it.

SSL certificates

SSL certificates verify the identity of a website and secure data that is passed to and from that site.  When you make a purchase online, there’s an SSL certificate working behind the scenes to protect your credit card information.  SSL certificates won’t be needed by everyone, but if you plan to sell goods or services through your domain, you’ll want to purchase one.  SSL certificates come with a monthly fee.

Account offerings vary greatly from host to host, so be sure to spend some time identifying what your hosting needs are before trying to find a web hosting company that will be a good fit for you.