Join Jess Chadwick for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing and signing up for web hosting, part of Up and Running with WebMatrix and ASP.NET.
When it comes to getting your website out onto the web, there are literally thousands of web hosting companies available and ready to host your site. No matter what your technical or budget requirements dictate, there is a host out there with a plan that is right for you. The hardest part is figuring out exactly what your requirements are. Here are some things to consider when selecting a web host. First of all, the most basic requirement for your new web host is that it must support ASP.net version 4.0 or above. Many web hosts will advertise that they have WebMatrix support or something similar.
What this really means is that they simply support ASP.net 4.0 websites. The next thing you'll need to consider is how much space where your site requires. Think about how many pages your site will have and whether they'll be physical files or if they will be stored in a database. Also, will you be uploading images or other files to your site? Keep in mind that many host let you increase your storage requirements later on. Next, consider how much bandwidth your site will use? Some hosts offer unlimited bandwidth but most don't.
To figure out a rough number for your bandwidth usage, try to guess what your average page size will be then multiply that by the number of views you expect to get per month. Then think about whether or not you need a database. For instance, did you use the Database Helper anywhere in your WebMatrix site? If so, how many databases will you need? If you're not sure, one will probably suffice. Next, what kind of database do you need, a Microsoft SQL Server database or MySQL database? Here's a hint, WebMatrix uses SQL Server as its default database.
So if you use the database and didn't change this default that's probably what you're using. In some cases, the size of your database counts against your total website storage space, so be sure to check the fine print to see if this is the case. And finally, what is your budget? Chances are once you've answered the questions we've discussed and narrow down the list of hosts that offer what you're looking for that list will still be rather large. At this stage, the best thing you can do is try to look at customer reviews and select the best one based on reputation, uptime, customer service, and price.
Once you've determined your requirements, it's time to start looking. Though you're free to look for these companies on your own, try clicking the Find Web Hosting link under the Publish drop-down in the WebMatrix toolbar. This will bring you to a list of Web Hosting offers cultivated by Microsoft. What's nice about this site is that it lets you filter by various criteria so you can quickly find the host that suits your needs. For example, you can filter the list down to hosts that support the ASP.NET 4.0 framework.
You can also adjust the price range you're looking to pay per month, your storage requirements, the number of SQL databases, the number of e-mail accounts the host offers, and your bandwidth requirements per month. Optionally, you can filter the list down to the host that offer 24x7 support or 99.9% uptime. As you adjust these filters, the page updates in real-time.
As you filter the list, you can see which hosts have gotten positive reviews. Once you've found the host that you like, you can click the Sign Up button to begin their registration process. Choosing between the many hosting options available to you is perhaps the most difficult step in getting your website onto the Internet. Once you've chosen and registered with your new hosting plan, check out the next video to find out how to publish your website to your new web host.
- Exploring the WebMatrix integrated development environment
- Inspecting the server environment
- Installing WordPress, Joomla! and nopCommerce templates
- Declaring and using variables and collections of values
- Using helper methods
- Creating a content page that uses a layout file
- Adding sections of content
- Creating reusable components
- Integrating social media with the Web Helpers Library
- Displaying data in a grid or chart
- Using CAPTCHA to protect forms
- Executing code before every page loads
- Configuring an email server and sending email
- Allowing users to create accounts and log in
- Caching data, pages, and resources in the browser to increase speed
- Adding live site analysis with Google Analytics
- Deploying a web site