When you are about to create a blog or an arcade game site, the first thing you should consider is where your site will be hosted.
It’s something really important.
As your site popularity grows, your server will get more and more stressed, and this may affect the site itself.
An example: this blog generates about 10,000 pages/day, and every page is made by about 80kB html, 100kB images, 50kB files… that’s more than 2GB/day… not to mention all the MySql queries needed to generate every WordPress page.
The whole thing gets still more complicated if you want to set up an Arcade site: the average game ranges from 500kB to 2MB. Now imagine to serve 10,000 games/day (and that’s not an huge number…) and you’ll get an idea of what I am talking about.
It’s very important to choose the right hosting plan, and I am going to help you finding the one that can fit your needs.
Please note: These rules fit perfectly if you want to set up a blog or a small Arcade site (when I say “small” I mean 99% of the arcade sites in the world).
1) Forget Blogger.com, WordPress.com and all minor free offers
Having a domain name is the only way to look professional, and if you are going to try and monetize your blog/arcade, you must have your own domain name.
2) Hosting Vs Housing
There is no reason for having an housing plan until your hosting provider can’t handle the resources your site is asking for.
This means if you choose your hosting plan wisely, you won’t have to switch to an housing plan until you have a large amount of traffic (and revenues…)
3) Php Vs Asp
I hope this is an useless question nowadays, but there is really no reason for you to choose Asp.
Don’t listen to “programmers” saying Php is for small projects… NewGrounds is made with Php and if you aren’t developing next Expedia’s competitor you must choose Php
Moreover most of the most famous free resources (such as WordPress, Phpbb and so on) are made with Php.
So it’s time to choose…
4) Php version
Don’t trust hosting services that still offer Php 4.. it’s no longer under development nor will any security updates be released.
Php 5 was released more than four years ago… do you know how much are 4 years in internet? There is no reason why hosting services haven’t updated it until now… other than they will never update it.
So run away from Php 4 hostings. Choose a hosting plan with at least Php 5.2.2
5) Disk space usage: Don’t believe the “infinite” word you read on their offers: upload 10,000 DivX movies and you’ll understand what I mean. Choose an hosting plan with a specific amount of space, so you know that space is guaranteed. 500GB should be enough for a long, long time.
6) Monthly Bandwidth Transfer: In this case, look for “infinite” word. Again, it’s not true, and probably in case of big traffic the hosting company will slow down your site, but there is nothing worse than a “Oooops: Bandwidth exceeded for this month” when you land to a page.
Especially if that page is yours. Especially is it’s only the 15th day of the month and you aren’t able to upgrade your hosting plan in five minutes.
7) Email accounts: If you are an one man company, you will only need one email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hate when I have to write to email@example.com rathern than firstname.lastname@example.org when I know the site is mantained by one person.
Let’s say five email address are enough, so you can give one email to your little sister and make her happy. Anyway, she will continue using HotMail
8) MySql Databases: Choose a plan where you can define the name of your databases. Having databases called “Blog”, “Arcade” and so on is way better than “34524” and “gdfyrty_2”.
9) 24/24 customer support: Very important. There is an easy way to test it: open a ticket (or contact the support center by email) saying your can’t connect to your MySql database. It’s not true, but it’s just an “hello world” to see what time does it take for the support team to reply…
10) Memory management: From a cute little file called php.ini, that you won’t be able to edit, your hosting company can set an huge number of options such as memory management, maximum time to execute a script, and so on.
While only time (and traffic) will say if your hosting plan can handle enough work, you should at least be able to run the script published in Parsing MochiAds feed in a friendly way or you won’t be able to have your WordPress arcade site.
Where are you hosted? Are you happy? Do you need some more advices?