If you want to have your own website you need to host it on a Web Server. Whilst it is possible to do this yourself there are a number of issues that you need to overcome. For almost everyone is is preferable to use a web hosting company to provide this service.
What is involved in Web Hosting?
You usually have
Forms of Web Hosting
- Shared Web Hosting – The most common form of hosting in which many users (and their sites) are run on each server. There are disadvantages to this but it does mean that hosting can be offered at a remarkably low price. You will frequently see shared hosting sold with “Unlimited” resources such as storage, domains, bandwidth and databases. This has the benefit of simplicity and for most users is fine but “Unlimited” is, of course, meaningless because a host has to avoid one user on a shared server taking resources to the detriment of others. So there will always be some restrictions.
- VPS Hosting – In this case software is used to divide a physical server into a number of virtual servers. To users it appears as though they have their own server with its own resources and there is much better security than with shared hosting.
- Dedicated Server Hosting – Here users really do have a physical server for their own use. There is therefore total separation from other users and you can take control of the server. Of course this option implies you know what you are doing.
- Cloud Hosting – This is the newest form of web hosting where a site is hosting in the “cloud” rather than on any physical server. Cloud resources can be purchased as required so it is good for larger sites where requirements may change quickly. However this flexibility has to be balanced against the lack of control involved.
- Reseller Web Hosting – There are many people selling web hosting who are simply reselling the services of another company. In most cases the reseller can set their price levels and deals with payments and is responsible for supporting their customers. It is this later aspect you need to be careful about if you buy from a reseller. Resellers can provide good value hosting but normally cannot offer 24/7 support like the big hosting companies so be clear what you are buying.
- Ecommerce Web Hosting – This is usually an addon to other services for sites that are directly selling things. This can be help with site design, shopping carts and payments.
- SEO Web Hosting – This is a service provided by some hosts for people who have multiple sites that they want to rank on the search engines. Basically links between sites on the same IP address do not count for SEO purposes. SEO hosting enables multiple sites to be hosted on multiple IP addresses.
Hosting suppliers offer a range of different packages and services. Some such
as Bluehost offer just one shared linux package. Offers such as HostGator offer
a range of services which provides an upgrade path if your site becomes
If you look through user comments about web hosts you will see that the majority of complaints are support related. A good reputation for support is the key element to look for.
For more information read The Website Hosting