Websites don’t just appear on your computer magically. Instead, the person who creates the site has to find someone with a server connected to the internet who will “host” the site so that the world can access it. If you have a website you want to get onto the net, it is your job to find a web host to help you achieve this goal. This article will prime you with the information you need to know.
What kind of web hosts are there? The main distinction is free versus paid. Free hosts give you a limited amount of space and bandwidth and, in return for hosting your site, put their ads on your pages. They make money off your site and that is how they pay for their services. There is no recourse if your website goes down, nor can you get any sort of customer service. You get what you pay for.
Paid hosting gives you much more flexibility. There are no ads on your site unless you put them there yourself. Most hosts offer multiple avenues of contact, be it live chat online, email or by phone. If your website goes offline, it is their job to help you get it back up, as long as the problem is on their end. They also offer great features, such as control panels to make administering your account simple and forums so you can talk to other customers.
When choosing a paid web host, there are different levels of service you can choose from. For example, the cheapest options will be virtual servers. This is a situation where you share a server with other websites, so you will have a chunk of the hard drive for yourself, but the RAM and bandwidth will be shared between everyone. This is a great choice for those with a small website with few visitors.
The next step up, which comes with a large price jump, is to have a server all to yourself. That means you don’t share anything with anyone else. If you plan to resell hosting services to others, such as a web designer who offers to host his clients’ websites for a fee, then this is a great option. It is also the best choice for popular websites, those which need a lot of bandwidth due to uploading or downloading by users, and stores which need to be online all the time.
A new service available is cloud servers. These services are scalable and pay-as-you-go, meaning if your site’s popularity has a sudden surge, your site won’t go down due to not having enough bandwidth available. Instead, the cloud will scale up your server situation automatically, although your bill will go up along with it. One great perk of this choice is that you pay less on slow days and more on busy days, so it often works out to be cheaper than other options. It is always more reliable!
If you want people to visit your site, you have to host it somewhere. Whether you choose free, paid, virtual, private server or cloud hosting, you know what your options are and understand each. Start doing your research on the companies who offer the services you need and find someone to partner with today.