After a year of relentless escalation, most shared web hosting plans now come with "Unlimited" disk space and bandwidth!
Don't fall for it! Many restrictions apply!
Of course, the terms & conditions of each hosting company and or hosting plan will vary, but most of the time, if you try to really go unlimited you will hit one of these limits:
NO, NOT REALLY!
Unless you're actually trying to run high traffic sites at virtually no cost, you should not really be concerned about this. Actually, the fact that everybody has aligned on "unlimited" will let you shift your focus on more interesting differentiating factors between software companies, such as:
For more info on choosing a webhost, check out our Web Hosting 101 »
So you're ready to have your own website?
Congratulations! Here's five easy steps to get started without wasting any time!
In order for your website to be available to anyone at anytime, you need to host it with a web host (i-e a web server leased to you by a web hosting company).
Also, in order for your visitor to easily access your site by name, you will need a domain name such as yourname.com.
Most hosting companies will offer you a package including a domain name with the hosting of your site.
Basically, there are 2 kinds of web sites:
Static sites (simple sites): you will build one or more web pages (called HTML pages) with software like FrontPage or DreamWeaver on your computer. You will then upload the pages to your host's server using FTP software like FileZilla for example.
Every time you will need to change something on your site, you will have to edit the pages on your computer and upload them again. The website never changes by itself. That's why it's called a "static" site.
Note: If you don't have any such software, don't worry: many web hosts will actually provide you with free "site builder" software to get you started.
Dynamic sites (blogs, forums, photo galleries...): you will install software (called a web application) on your web server. This software will let you add and edit content (text, pictures, videos...) at any time directly online without the need for any special tools on your computer. The software may also allow your visitors to leave comments or start discussions of their own if you let them.
Of course we recommend the b2evolution software to start your own blog and more but there's plenty of choice here. Other popular web apps include WordPress, phpBB and Gallery.
Note: If installing a web application sounds complicated, don't worry: many web hosts will automatically install the application of your choice for you. Their tech support should also be able to help you.
Here is how you can find out when logged in through SSH:
# uname -a
This generally won't tell you as much as you'd like.
# cat /proc/version
This will generally tell you more than you'd like.
Once you know that you are running Red Hat for example, you can get to the point with:
# cat /etc/redhat-release
Or on Debian:
# cat /etc/debian_version