Web hosting offers you the opportunity to put your web site online, when you think about it; it's the only way you can do it. No matter how large or small in content your web site happens to be it has to go onto a web server. A web server is simply a larger and much more powerful computer than your own. Your internet content simply sits on this server for people to access and view your information. The web servers are stored within data centers, all you are simply doing is renting some space on the server.
Why use a web hosting service:
Firstly it's very affordable. Web hosting companies will look after and update all software required to maintain your site, they will also add all security patches making sure your content is safe from hackers/viruses and unwanted spam. Once you register your domain name (web site name) you have to have it hosted for the public to view your information. If you run into any difficulties you will have a full technical support team to help you out. To host your own will cost too much on hardware, bandwidth and ongoing software updates.
I hear of shared web hosting ? What is it?
When shopping around for a web host company you will find that many are offering shared web hosting. Shared web hosting is simply a server that has a number of different web sites sitting on it simultaneously. You will be allocated a certain amount of disk space on the server and this may allow you to have a number of web sites hosted on the one server. Shared web hosting is a very secure service even though you could be sharing the server with many different companies. No other company will have access to your files. Many people think that using a shared service will make the web site act very slowly, this is totally incorrect, the information will be displayed and downloaded equally as fast as if it where on the server on it's own. Web host companies offer shared hosting simply to use up all the space on the server, there is no benefit to you or them having empty hard disk space.
What makes a good web host site?
If you have developed a web site for business opportunity or to sell merchandise online you need reliability. Downtime costs you money so the less downtime you experience the better chance of making money. You need to compile a list of questions to ask the web host company when it comes to hosting your site. You need a guarantee response time if the unthinkable should happen and the site goes offline. You need 24 hour access to your files with 24 hour support if you intend selling products online, most of your sales could be made in the evening or night time so you have to have support for any issues that could arise. Statistics are also important; you need to know how many unique hits (people visiting your site) you are getting so you can see the trend of people just visiting to those who are buying. Some web host companies offer very substantial stats while others can be less informative, you should ask for a demonstration.
Word of mouth is a great way to hear as to who is a good host and a bad host. If you know somebody in a similar position to you, ask their opinion from their experience. There are plenty of good honest web host companies out there but like every market there are a few bad apples. Ask the questions and make sure you are confident with the replies before you join up.
Will it matter if I host my web site in my own country or in another?
Generally speaking no. If you are happy with your questions answered and the company have 24 hour support to allow for time differences you should have the same level service as if the web host company was based just down the road. Some people think that by hosting their website outside of their registered country they will lose their domain identity, this is false e.g. if I was based in Ireland and I had a computer website it would be something like www.computerparts.ie The .ie is the identity of Ireland but if I wanted this site hosted in the US I would still keep the .ie, there is no need to change to .com. That's the great thing about web hosting, the world is your oyster and you can shop online globally until your are truly happy with the service.
About the Author
Declan Tobin is a successful freelance writer providing advice to consumers on purchasing a variety of
Affordable Web Hosting and
Cheap web hosting, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.