What is web hosting?
Web hosting refers to the process of publishing a web site so that it is available to the world on the Web. Paid web hosting also involves getting a domain name and not having forced ads displayed on your site.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is a sequence of letters and numbers which determine the address of your site. This site's domain name is "WebHostingRatings.com." You need to register a domain name before your web site becomes accessible at this address. Please see our Domain Name Guide for all the details.
Do I have to use a certain ISP (Internet Service Provider) to host my site?
No. Web hosting and ISPs are separate entities; neither has any influence or effect on the other. As far as ISPs go, our only concern is that you have the best service available for getting online and receiving e-mail. If you need help finding the best ISP for your needs, we're here for you.
What are ASP, .NET, HTML, PHP, SQL, Java, IP, etc.?
Those acronyms refer to various features such as programming languages, databases, etc. that might be available with a hosting plan. Please check out our WEB SERVICES section for definitions. To find plans that support these options, please use our Advanced Search page.
What is shared (virtual) web hosting?
Shared (or virtual) web hosting is the most fitting way of hosting for 99% of web sites. It means that a web hosting company will have one or more servers (computers constantly connected to the Internet that run a web server software such as Apache or IIS) that will be running multiple web sites (it will be shared). Unless a web site is exceptionally busy or requires a lot of bandwidth, this is the least expensive way to get a real web site. At SelfNet, you can still have your own IP address with virtual hosting and the site won't look any different to users. Other options are dedicated, co-location, or doing it yourself web hosting. In those options you have the whole computer to yourself and you can do things like install your own software.
Can I keep my domain name when I change a host?
Yes. We recommend that you register your domain name with a separate registrar before getting a hosting plan (please see our Domain Name Guide). Then, when you need to move to another host, you just need to point your domain's name servers to this new host. If you registered your domain name with a host and now you want to move, you should find your registration records or contact this host and ask them how to control your domain name. If you have a problem, you can usually see the name of the registrar by performing a "Whois" query on your domain name and contact them.
Does it make a difference what type of desktop computer I use?
No. This will only make a difference if you develop scripts that you want to use without changes on your web site. FrontPage extensions can also be done on Unix (or Linux) servers.
Will I have forced advertising on my site like I do on Geocities, etc.?
No. None of the web hosts listed in our database force any kinds of ads on your site. In fact you can put your own ads if you'd like.
I don't have any experience in creating a site. Who can help me create and host my site?
There are tens of thousands of web design companies and individual programmers that do that. However, the fastest, cheapest and easiest way is to use our DotNetNuke® hosting plan with the built-in content management system. You can create, edit and publish web pages without any web design or programming skills - it's as easy as using a word processor.
What is domain parking?
Domain parking lets you cheaply reserve a domain name for future use and display an "under construction" default page on it. You can register a domain and not park it anywhere but then your site will simply be inaccessible until you get a web host. Some registrar let you park your domain for free.
What is full-service web hosting?
"Full-service" can refer to a variety of services offered in addition to providing web space, transfer, and emails for a web site. For example, it could be 24/7 toll free phone support, web design services, or web site content maintenance services.
What are the numbers listed under "space" and "transfer"?
Space is the amount of "stuff" you can put on your web site. Available space is usually listed in megabytes (MB, millions of bytes). Single letter takes up one byte. HTML files are usually rather small (this file is about 25,000 bytes) but pictures and programs can get quite big. Your scripts, emails and stats will also take up space on your host.Transfer is the amount of "stuff" that visitors to your site can download before you reach your monthly limit. Transfer is usually listed in gigabytes (billions of bytes). After the transfer limit is reached for the month, you will need to pay extra for additional transfer at higher rates. For example, if an average visitor to your site views 3 HTML pages of 20 KB (thousands of bytes) each and 8 small embedded pictures of 10 KB each, and you get 500 visitors per day, you will require at least (3 * 20 + 8 * 10) * 500 * 30 = 2,100,000 KB = 2.1 GB of transfer per month. At SelfNet, your transfers are UNLIMITED, you won't have to worry about paying for it.
How do I upload my site?
The main method of uploading files to your site's account is by using FTP. When you sign up with a host, you will get an FTP account that lets you access files in your account (usually ftp.yoursitename.com, your main account name and password). Then you can use a built-in Windows or Internet Explorer FTP client, or some other software that supports FTP such as CuteFTP, WS_FTP, or Total Commander, to transfer files from your hard drive to your account. In additon, some of our hosting plans offer a full-featured content management system, where you design your pages and publish them immediately online.
What is uptime?
Uptime is the percentage of time that a web site is working. For example, if some host has an uptime average of 99.86%, this means that your site will be down for a total about 1 hour each month. We monitor uptime of customer websites of many web hosts and we display this data on the host's details page. Some hosts also offer "uptime guarantees" but this is not as valuable as it might appear.
Yes. Those are client-side technologies, so the host doesn't have to do anything to support or enable them. Any browser (such as Internet Explorer or FireFox) that supports them is enough, so any host will do. It doesn't matter whether Java or Flash are listed among the plan's features, they are supported by default.
What are Web Stats?
Web stats are crazy sets of numbers that, when decoded and deciphered, provide valuable insight into how your site is used, viewed, navigated, and more. Our analytical experts translate and e-mail site stats on a regular basis or upon request, giving you a clear idea of how your site performs. This information is even more worthwhile for an online marketing campaign.
What about database-driven sites?
Database-driven sites, specially programmed to display information stored from a central location (the database), provide site features such as shopping carts, content management systems, inventory management, and more. Some hosting services don't have the means to effectively host these types of sites, but not us. Not only can we offer the best custom hosting solution for your database-driven site, but we can help you build one, too. In fact, the majority of the sites we have developed, programmed, and currently host are database-driven - including this one.