Web hosts vary in size, function, performance, and cost. Today we look at several aspects of what they offer, as well as how to move files from your local machine to your host.
A web host runs (usually) multiple computers each serving up web sites. They might run multiple sites from each computer, or if the site is large, run multiple computers for a site.
Most sites only need a small portion of a computer’s resources, but how much you get of them, differentiates the service:
- disk space (how much space you have on the computer to store your site files),
- network bandwidth (affects how much traffic you can have),
- RAM (more important for web applications which process data), and
- processing power (more important for web applications which process data).
Consider the following hosting company: http://www.awardspace.com/web_hosting.html Each time the price goes up, so does your access to the resources.
Even with the higher costs, odds are you’ll never need most of the services they offer, so as most companies do, the oversell their systems. If everyone ran their account at the maximum level, only a dozen or so might be on the computer. However, most barely touch the system, and therefore they can put hundreds to thousands of web sites on a single computer. (I’m not saying this particular company does, just what is common in the industry.)
Here is what a common site needs (these are averages, not particular numbers). This also assumes that the site is well designed and efficient – large downloads will throw off these numbers.
- disk space:<1 meg per page average – so 20-50 megs, (if you store your PSD source files as well) for a 12-15 page site.
- bandwidth: most sites average a dozen visitors or less a day, and most visitors view < 10 pages. So, using are averages, 10 visitors * 10 pages @ 1 meg/page * 30 days in a month yields = 3,000 megs (AKA 3 gigs) of bandwidth.
|needs||Max Pack Plus ($7/mo)||Easy Starter (free)|
|50 MB||200 GB||200 MB|
|3 GB/mo||3000 GB/mo||5 GB/mo|
Remember that almost all hosts will allow you to upgrade your hosting plan, if you need more space/bandwidth.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Transferring information and files through the Internet uses different methods. Each of these methods is called a protocol. Some common ones include:
- http – web traffic
- https – encrypted web traffic
- pop3/smtp/imap – 3 different email protocols
- ftp – transferring of files
- etc. Others exist for P2P, Instant Messaging, games, and more.
For an FTP you have to have a login account on the server, or the server has to allow anonymous access. If you are signing in with an account, you have to have:
- The Server Address (may be a name like ftp.scc-fl.edu or an IP numeric address)
- Account Name
- Account Password
- Starting Directory (optional – most of the time you will be taken to a directory – you can choose a different directory if you have rights to it)