Understanding web hosting
To be accessible on the internet, your website needs to be stored on a server with special internet connectivity. For most small businesses, this is best accomplished by using a web hosting service. Several types of hosting servers are available in a wide range of costs. The type of hosting server you select depends on the size and complexity of your website.
Some of the things to keep in mind when selecting a web hosting solutions are:
How much bandwidth (data traffic capacity) do you need?
How much server space do you expect to use?
Will you allow external advertising to appear on your pages?
The following are common types of web hosting services:
Free hosting services: Some limited website hosting is often provided by your internet service provider (ISP). This type of service generally has a small bandwidth allotment, limited server space for storing files and might require you to allow advertising banners to appear on your pages. Because the service is free, this is the least costly hosting option available. However, the limitations in bandwidth and server space offered by most free hosting services might mean fewer customers are able to visit your website.
Shared hosting services: Shared hosts store multiple websites on a single server. Each website holder rents a pre-determined amount of server memory and bandwidth from the host. In return, the host keeps the website running and available. Next to free web hosting, shared hosting is the least expensive option available.
Dedicated hosting services: Dedicated hosts provide you with private servers and connectivity, giving you complete control over your website. You get to use all of the server space and bandwidth available for that server; however, you must also do all maintenance and support on your own website. The cost of this type of service is usually negotiated based on the server size and bandwidth you require. Prices for this service tend to be higher than shared hosting services.
Managed hosting services: Managed hosts provide you with servers and connectivity, as well as maintenance and support for your website. Like dedicated hosting services, the cost of this type of service is negotiated based on your specific needs. This is the most expensive hosting option. However, the services might be worth the added expense, especially if you don't have a web manager on your staff.
Now that you know what to look for in a web hosting service, you need to think about some other things when creating your own website.