Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol by Peter Frost 

Web Hosting

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Web hosting is basically about the hardware that runs your site. Free hosting is available but has some disadvantages.

The chargeable options fall into two categories.

Rack Mounted Servers Maintained Sites: Where you get someone else, perhaps the web page designer to supply a package to supply web hosting and download your pages on to the site.

After you go live, if you change the site you go through them and usually have to pay for it. Together with an annual or monthly fee to cover hardware costs.

DIY: To organise the web hosting yourself, you will need to -

there is a huge amount of competition. Have a look through the web hosting suppliers help pages for this information, probably under the frequently asked questions section.

Disk Space, Usage and Domain Names

Web hosting has 3 elements: -

  1. Disk Space - based on the size of the files you put on the server running your site.
  2. Usage or Bandwidth Used - based on how heavily the web site is used and the size of web pages. For example: 1Mb of usage would be generated by 1 view of a 1Mb page or 10 views of a 100Kb page.
  3. Domain Name - an annual rental fee for the use of your site name on the web.
For a UK site, its marginally better (with slightly quicker response times) to use UK based web hosting that actually say 'UK Servers', however some non UK websites may be cheaper. This website is run from a German server for example.

You pay a monthly or annual fee for disk space and band width. Unless you develop a very popular site or heavily use multimedia files (video or audio) the cheapest 'Basic' or 'Start-up' packages will be likely to meet your needs.

Site (or Domain) Names can be bundled in with the monthly fee or may cost cost extra, something around from £3.00 p.a. + VAT is a reasonable price to pay. Note that domain names ending in .com are likely to be more expensive.


Each site you set-up will usually have the option of a number of e-mail addresses for the site. Some useful features, like e-mail auto-responders and e-mail re-direction are quite common too.

To set this up see the web host suppliers frequently asked questions.

Free Hosting Alternatives

There are free alternatives.
  1. Advertising Based Sites: They have adverts added and usually don't give you the option of your own site name, this will reduce search engine traffic. The 'This is ' network do a lot of these, like the Gloucestershire Beehive: -

  2. Bundled Hosting: You frequently get free web hosting, bundled with a broadband supply. Although this may be restricted to personal or non commercial use.

    Some of the broadband suppliers for a fee also let you choose your site name.

  3. Sharing Web Sites: If you can live with any guidelines or restrictions the site owner places on you, this may be a good option.

    Often the domain name may be unsuitable for the use you intend. It will also make it a little harder to get traffic from search engines.

Next: Maintaining the Site >>