What does website hosting mean?
When you design a website and you want to get it on the web for the entire world to see, you need a web hosting service. A web hosting service provides a medium that lets a personal website as well as a business website to be accessible on the web. The web hosting companies give the webmaster a space on their server which allows an internet connection. These servers are located in something called data centers. Or when web hosting companies do not own the servers then the servers are stored at a co-location.
There are hundreds and hundreds of web hosting companies out there today. With billions of websites already on the web, the companies are now a dime a dozen. There are many different types of web hosting plans out there. If you want to host a simple web page or a hundred page website, there is something for everyone.
If you have a basic webpage like you may see on MySpace, there is something called a FTP or a File Transfer Protocol. There is very little processing when you are dealing with only one web page. But when you are hosting a larger site, it becomes more difficult to choose a plan. Some of the plans that web hosting companies offer are Free Web Hosting, Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Web Hosting and Dedicated Hosting Services.
Free hosting is good for web pages but not great for larger sites. When you are considering a free hosting plan remember you get what you pay for? You may not get the best services but you will get adequate service. Shared Web Hosting is when more than one webmasters share a server. This is good in the way that it will save you money but if one person's site goes down then they all go down.
The Virtual Web Hosting is when the server is divided into virtual servers and each user is made to feel like they have their own server. Perhaps the best server for someone who has a big website or a product website is the Dedicated Server. This type of server is used by one person and one person only. The webmaster gets their own server and they control the server themselves. You have all of the admin control and access and you are responsible for security and maintenance.
When you are using web hosting you also want something called Hosting Reliability. This is extremely important when choosing a web hosting company. You want to choose a company that has at least 99.9 percent uptime. This will guarantee that your site will never go down. Though there may be times when a server is scheduled for planned restarts and maintenance. This is also where a dedicated server comes in handy. When you are reviewing a web hosting company, always look at the uptime before anything else. If they don't offer 99.9 percent uptime, move on, no matter how much you like the other features. Uptime is very important because you cannot make money off your site if there is no one to see it.
You will also want to ensure a backup service to go along with your web hosting. There may be some companies out there that will offer a back up service, take advantage of this service. If the web hosting does not offer it then find a company that does. A remote back up service is a service that offers their customers an online system that is used to back up your website and keep the files stored.
When a web hosting company's uptime is not guaranteed to be 99.9 percent and there is always a chance of a break down or a power outage, you want to make sure that you back up your website so if you happen to lose any information from your site you can simply put the site back up with the information that was there before the mishap.
There are 7 different types of service backups, the Opened File Backup, Multi Platform, Multi Site, Online Access to files, Data Compression, Differential Data Compression and Continuous back. Do some research and see which back up service is right for you.
When you want to purchase web hosting, you will have to pay a fee upfront. Now, each company offers a different packages and different prices. Prices can range from $3.95 and up; the idea is to get the hosting plan that will best serve your purpose. In a typical package you will get free set up which is very important because the average person is not going to know how to set up their own web hosting. You don't want to pay for the set up so try to find a hosting company that offers free set up.
You also want to choose a web hosting plan that offer great customer support as well. A company that has 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This way if there are any problems then you can get a hold of someone and get it taken care of the same night because time is money.
Then you want a hosting plan that offers a large amount of storage. This is essential for disk space. The next important thing is bandwidth; this is the amount of space that you can use for your website. Once you run out of bandwidth you site will no longer be accessible on the web. So you want to make sure that you have enough. You can always purchase more but it can get expensive, so figure out what you need and get it.