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Website Hosting Parameters

Here are some more details about the key hosting parameters that you should be considering when choosing a hosting company for your affiliate or internet marketing web site.

Disk Space Requirements

This is simply the hard disk space required to store all your web site pages. If your web site has say 100 pages and they are approx 25 KB each then you need at least 100 x 25 KB = 2.5 MB. Even if they were 100 KB in size you would still only need 10 MB. Since most hosting plans allow at least 25 MB this is usually not an issue unless you have hundreds of pages.

Monthly Bandwidth Allowance

This is the amount of data transfer from your web site that the hosting company allows each month. The way to calculate this is:

Average page size x page views/day x 30

Note, it is page views that are used here in this calculation and not unique hits. This is because one unique user could surf through your entire site and view all your pages, and each time a page is viewed a page transfer of data occurs.

For example if your average page size is 50 KB and you're getting 1000 page view per day the monthly data transfer would be:

50 Kb x 1000 x 30 = 1.5 GB per month

Your bandwidth allowance is reset each month and as long as it is not exceeded you would not incur any extra charges. The above calculate is only an estimate and could easily vary by +/- 50% but it will give you an approximate idea. Most Hosting plans include at least 10 GB of transfer each month so again this should not be a problem unless you have a super successful site.

One point to note is that if you offer some free or even paid for files that are very large then you may start to generate very large data transfers. For example if you are supplying mp3 audio files or video files, which are say 5 MB each, then you may need to find a special hosting plan if a lot of people are downloading the data.

Help Desk & Support System

It is almost certain that at some point you will either have a question or a problem with your hosting account. Having good online documentation id the 1st system that the hosting company should provide so you can quickly find an answer to your question. failing that it is vital that you can call a 1-800 support number and talk to a support engineer. I have learnt the hard way that telephone support is a major must have. Fortunately all of the best companies provide this and it is only the sub $5 per month services that tend to skimp on this and should be avoided.

High Reliability

This is basically the % of time that the hosting company promises that your web site will be available. It is hard to both measure or pin down a hosting company to a figure because there are a lot of variables involved, some of which will be outside the control of the company. The best policy is simply to select the larger and more established companies as these tend to be more professional, have backup systems and respond faster when problems do arise.

FrontPage Extensions

If you are using Frontage to design and publish your web site then the hosting company needs to install special software on your hosting account in order for it to work. This is a routine and automatic process but you just need to make sure that they are offered with your hosting plan.