Do You Understand What Web Hosting is?
If you are planning on having a website, even just a personal blog, you’re going to need a web host. But just what is a web host? A web host is a company that has many extremely large and powerful servers that are connected to the Internet; and when you choose to set up your website, you’re going to need a space on that server in order to get your site onto the Internet. Think of a web hosting company as an actual host — a gateway into the behind-the-scenes online world.
When many people, and businesses, are just starting out with their website and are looking for their first web host, they often choose a shared web host. A shared web hosting company will have a shared server. That server is divided up into many different compartments and each is allocated for one website or one customer. If you choose shared web hosting, you’ll need to share the resources that are on that server, including the bandwidth and disk space. And because you’ll be sharing, the actual resources available to you will be somewhat limited.
If you know that your website is going to have an extremely large amount of traffic, or that it’s going to be very involved and complex, you might want to choose a web host that offers dedicated servers. Just as the name implies, these servers are dedicated to just one client, regardless of how many websites they have. In fact, being able to have multiple websites as well as having all resources available at all times is just a few of the benefits that come with dedicated servers.
In addition to shared servers and dedicated servers, web hosting companies offer virtual private servers, cloud hosting, and co-location services, to name just a few. Before you choose the one that’s right for your needs, you’ll need to fully understand what each entails so you get what you need right from the start.
Web hosting companies range in price from being free of charge to costing hundreds of dollars a month. The price you ultimately pay will depend on the type of web hosting that you choose, and the web hosting company that you choose. However if you’re a business, it’s highly recommended that you don’t choose a free web hosting plan. These packages can have some drawbacks, such as unrelated ads on your site and a URL that’s not all your own that can make your website look unprofessional.
Before signing up with any web host, you must make sure not only that they offer the type of hosting you need, but also that they’ll allow you to build your website the way you want. Some companies restrict the use of certain scripts that allow you to perform certain functions such as guest books, forums, and bulletin boards; and depending on the plan, they often have their own software, too.
It does seem at first like there are a lot of things to know about web hosting. However once you start looking around at what’s available, it becomes much easier to understand what you need, and what different web hosts offer.