I’ve gotten a few emails over the past months from random visitors about starting a website out of their garage or room. It doesn’t cost that much, but the idea of hosting a website from your home is not for everyone. Here’s a little tutorial for anyone thinking of starting their own website.

You will definitely need to plan ahead. Ask yourself the following questions.

What is your site for? Will your website be for personal use? Is your website for a Business/Professional website? Are you going to have a Multi-User website? Which ever route you choose, here are some tips to help you make a decision.

Personal Use

It’s safe to assume that my own website is for personal use. Shared hosting is probably the most economical choice. Sure, a dedicated server is great, but for a personal site, it’s overkill. Shared hosting is what is offered by most hosting companies and could range from $6.00 to $80.00 per month. If your website is for a blog or a place to showcase some of your photos, I would go for plans that have a lower monthly payment. Be careful with shared hosting. Shared hosting may seem like a good deal at first, but if you intend to grow your site, shared hosting is only good for the short term. How this works is that there is this data warehouse that holds everyone’s account information. When someone logs onto your site, they are viewing content from that data warehouse. This implies that this large hard drive and bandwidth is always working to its full capacity. This full capacity is not just for your site. It’s accommodating the other domains as well. Here is another way to look at shared hosting. If a hosting company has one computer that hosts 20 websites, the resources of that computer is divided over the 20 websites. For personal sites, you may not notice performance issues with shared hosting.

Business/Professional and Multi-User

Business/Professional use falls on the border line of shared hosting and a dedicated server. If your business site is only meant for showing your potential customers what services you have to offer, then shared hosting is doable. However, if you intend of offer online services such as live chat or entertainment, then dedicated server is the way to go. Here is what you get with a dedicated server. You get a dedicated server. What this means is that you get a high performance computer to host your website. How does this help you? All of the computer’s resources are for your website only. Your bandwidth, hard drive, memory, etc., is only for your website. There is no accommodating for the domain next to you. Your website and database are in the same location. With shared hosting, most likely, your website is on one computer, while your database is on another. When a shared hosting company does this, it puts less stress on their resources, but you are left with a site that is a little laggy.

If you are building a multi-user website such as a facebook, eharmony, or ebay, the only decision to make is a dedicated server. Dedicated servers are not cheap, but it is the best decision to make in this situation. The initial setup of a dedicated server is more difficult than a shared host because you are really setting up a computer. With shared hosting, the computer is already set for you. Although resources are limited in the beginning, your provider can expand your server as you need.

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