A Basic Web Hosting Walkthrough

A Basic Web Hosting Walkthrough

A Newcomer’s Guide to Hosting your Website.

Are you thinking of starting your own website, but don’t know where to begin?  This article will help you understand some of the basic things you need to know.

To launch your own website, besides creating the website, you need a way to host it.  Hosting is what makes it visible to everyone on the internet.

I am going to give you an overview of the two main types of web hosting – dedicated hosting and shared hosting.

Let’s deal with some common terms around web hosting before I continue.

Bandwidth:  This is how much data your site transfers over the internet in a specified time-frame.  When people view your website online, everything that makes up your page is downloaded from the server which uses bandwidth.

Storage:  Storage is how much hard drive space is available for your website on the server.  Of course, the larger the website, the more storage you will need.  Some files take up more storage than others.  For most web pages, images take up the largest amount of storage.  Good webmasters optimize their images, so they take up less storage and less bandwidth with the page is requested.  This also helps the page load faster.

Now let’s get back to the main types of hosting: Dedicated hosting is, as the name implies, a single server that is dedicated to your own website.  Your site gets 100% of the server’s resources, memory, and storage.  For large high traffic websites dedicated hosting is the best option, but naturally, this type of hosting is much more expensive that shared hosting, which in some cases is even available for free.

Shared hosting is usually more than adequate for personal websites and even small to medium size business sites.  As the name suggests, shared hosting is just that.  the web hosting company uses one server to host websites from multiple customers and pass on the resulting savings.  To make the system work efficiently, limits are imposed on bandwidth and storage and the number of email accounts that may be associated with your website.  The downside to shared hosting is if the hosting company puts too many sites on one server, your site may get slow and unresponsive.

Free hosting is a type of shared hosting available from some providers, but with many limitations.  It can also be slow and may even inject their advertising into your website.  Sites hosted on free web hosts usually don’t rank very well in search results. Definitely not something to consider for any type of business site.

If you want to be taken seriously on the web, a paid shared hosting plan with your own custom domain name is the best option and  very affordable. You can easily get decent web hosting suitable for a small business for under $100 year.  You can always upgrade to a dedicated server if your site begins to get a ton of traffic.

Some hosting companies even include a free custom domain name, free set-up and a full money back guarantee.

Do take some time when choosing your web host.  Check reviews.  Give them a call or email them with any questions and see how responsive and helpful they are.  You certainly don’t want to get started with a poor hosting company and then have to move everything over to a different one.

Read up on how to choose a good domain name for your site too.

One last thing is to check and see what control panel and other tools for creating and managing your website are offered by the host.  If you don’t have the skills to create your own website, you may even want to consider a host that provides in-house website development as well.

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