Web hosting together with a domain name and a content management system platform, are the three elements needed to begin, operate, and maintain a website. This article focuses on web hosting and explains why it is needed if you are planning to start your own website.
Web Hosting and Servers
The key aspect to remember about the web is that all of the information is stored on servers. Servers are computers which are connected to the web. When you access a website, download, or upload a file, or simply read information, all of this is stored on a server. Web hosting is the term used for storing the content management system and web design on the server.
When a website is created it is stored on a web server. The amount of space the website will utilise is known as server space. For many websites this will expand over time as more content is added to the site. As websites vary in design and purpose, the amount of server space required is unique to each site.
Web Hosting Companies
As the web has evolved so have businesses associated with the web. As a result web hosting companies have sprung up and charge website owners fees to host their website. This is normally a monthly cost, though it is possible to pay annually. As well as hosting a site, web hosting companies may offer other services such as monitoring when your site is offline, and sell additional space as a site expands.
Web hosting companies are generally judged on the following aspects:
- Up time – How reliable are their web hosting services? If your web server crashes your site will be offline. If you rely on it for business, this can be disastrous. At the very least it is annoying.
- Price – Which varies greatly from one company to the next. One must keep in mind that with all good things in life, beware of hosting advertised as cheap or “unlimited hosting” as these usually are not suitable for companies that are serious about their web presence.
- Security – Just how secure is the web server? Some web hosting companies offer better security for an increased price.
- Backup – Backup is important for every server. Problems happen (hardware issues, data corruption, virus infections, malware attacks and hacking) so it’s important to have a layer of protection for when something goes wrong. Serious web hosting companies offer monthly, weekly or even daily data backups to make sure that hosting services can be restored quickly.
Web Hosting Server Types
If you are considering starting a website, then choosing the right web hosting solution is important. The type of site you are planning to launch will determine what kind of web hosting you need. If you require e-commerce facilities, i.e. you are planning to take payments online and store customer information on a database, your web hosting requirements will be pretty complex. If you are planning to start a site to showcase a portfolio, then you are requirements are quite straight forward.
Most web hosting companies break their services down into plans. This helps considerably when choosing the right web hosting provider.
Web hosting is fundamental to operating a website. If you require more information please get in touch.