Choosing a Web Host

Hosting Considerations

Availability, Storage space, Bandwidth, Support, Price, Features


Most hosts claim 99.99% uptime.

Storage space

The amount of space that the web host will allow you to store your files. Even free hosts offer 1GB or more of space.

For comparison: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare in plain text format is about 5.5MB.


Bandwidth is the amount of data that your web host will allow you to transfer each month.


Check to see if they have community forums, kowneldge base or wiki, and tech support.


All things being equal, less expensive is better than more expensive. You’ll want to keep within your personal budget.

Additional Features

  • Control Panel
  • Server Access
    • FTP/SFTP
    • WebFTP
    • Full Unix Shell
    • Secure Shell (SSH) Access
    • Access to Raw Log Files
    • Crontab Access
  • Scripting Features
    • Server Side Includes (SSI)
    • Full CGI Access and Canned CGI Scripts
    • Support for PHP, Rails, Python, Perl, and or other scripting languages
    • Databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.)


The following web hosts provide inexpensive shared hosting and are relatively well-rated:

The following web hosts are free, but may have restrictions or limitations:

Hosting Walk-throughs

These walk-throughs show you the basic steps involved in setting up an account at various providers.