HTML and CSS Reference
Web host checklist
Some Web hosts offer a choice of these platforms. If you need
to integrate your Web site with your business systems, choose
the same operating system for both.
These two Web server applications are the most popular.
Apache usually runs on a UNIX or Linux operating system. IIS
(Internet Information Services) is bundled with selected versions
of Microsoft Windows.
_____ MB or GB
Some Web hosts carefully monitor your data transfer bandwidth
and charge you for overages. While unlimited bandwidth is great,
it is not always available. A typical low-traffic Web site varies
between 100 and 200MB per month. A medium-traffic site
should be okay with about 20GB of data transfer bandwidth per
_____ Charge for
Review the description of technical support on the Web host's
site. Is it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? E-mail or
phone a question to test it. If the organization is not responsive
to you as a prospective customer, be leery about the availability
of its technical support later.
❏ Uptime guarantee
A Web host that offers an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with an
uptime guarantee shows that they value service and reliability.
The use of automatic monitoring will inform the Web host techni-
cal support staff when a server is not functioning.
❏ _____ MB
❏ _____ GB
Many virtual hosts routinely offer 100MB + disk storage space. If
you have a small site that is not graphic-intensive you may never
even use 40MB of disk storage space.
❏ _____ Mailboxes
Most virtual hosts offer multiple e-mail mailboxes per site. These
can be used to filter messages—customer service, technical sup-
port, general inquiries, and so on.
A Web host that offers FTP access will allow you the most flexibil-
ity. Others only allow updates through a Web-based file manager
application. Some Web hosts offer both options.
Many Web hosts supply canned, pre-written scripts to process
If you plan to use server-side scripting on your site determine
which, if any, scripting is supported by your Web host.
❏ MS Access
❏ MS SQL
If you plan to access a database with your scripting, determine
which, if any, database is supported by your Web host.
If you plan to enter into e-commerce (see Chapter 12) it may be
easier if your Web host offers a shopping cart package. Check to
see if one is available.
You probably will choose a basic (low-end) plan for your first Web
site. Note the scalability of your Web host—are there other plans
with scripting, database, e-commerce packages, and additional
bandwidth or disk space available as your site grows?