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What is Web Hosting?

What is web hosting? This article will define web hosting, web hosts, free web hosting, cheap web hosting, and other types of web hosting such as ecommerce, dedicated hosting, and more. Keep reading to learn about hosting, building, and maintaining a website.

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When you have a business in today’s world, it is important to have a place on the Web. Indeed, many people go straight to the Internet when they are looking for information on a company. This is often the first place potential customers look - even for local companies. The ease of using search engines is driving many to switch to computers, choosing to Google a business, or look it up using Bing or Yahoo, before they even turn to the local phone book. This means that you need a Web site.

Setting up a business Web site online

In order to help people find you on the Internet, your business Web site needs to be stored somewhere that is connected to the World Wide Web. This means it needs to be stored on a server somewhere. A server is basically a computer without the monitor. The information is stored on a server in a retrievable manner, and if the server is hooked up to the Internet and has a recognizable address, then others can find your Web page. While it is possible to have your own server, many businesses turn to Web hosting. It is a little easier than maintaining your own server, and you receive a number of benefits and services.

What is a Web host?

A Web host is someone who owns a server and is willing to allow you to set up your Web site on that server. Basically, when you use Web hosting, you are renting space on a server for your business Web site. How much you pay depends on how much space and bandwidth you plan to use. Many Web hosting packages are broken down according to how much traffic you plan to get, as well as how much space you need. If you need a shopping cart, catalog, images and videos for your business Web site, you will be paying more than someone who just wants a Web hosting package to set up a few images and give basic information about a business.

Web hosting comes in a variety of guises, but it is important to realize that, very often, you get what you pay for. Here are the main types of domain hosting you are likely to run into:

  • Free Web hosting: You don’t pay anything to have your Web site hosted. However, you might be limited as to what you can do, and you may have to allow third-party ads on your Web site. Additionally, customer service can be slow and you might experience more down time.
  • Cheap Web hosting: Normally, this type of Web hosting requires that you pay between $2 and $25 a month. You usually get better service with this type of hosting, and you rarely have to have third-party ads displayed on your business Web site. You also have a few more options.
  • Other types of more expensive hosting: If you need more space and a specific range of options, you might consider other types of Web hosting. There are often special packages for ecommerce Web hosting, as well as dedicated hosting, in which you get your own server, or a larger chunk of a server. These types of Web hosting, though more expensive, come with more perks. Down time is usually non-existent most days, and you have a wide range of services to choose from, along with more available bandwidth and space.

Your Web host often takes care of most of the issues associated with maintaining a Web site online. Most Web hosting comes with some sort of a template that allows you to build a Web site fairly easily, as well maintain it. A control panel that helps you change things about your Web site is also accessible. Often, there is some sort of tech support to help you handle problems that come up related to the hosting of your Web site.

A Web host can be very useful. For most businesses, some sort of Web hosting is in order. It is usually less expensive than buying a server, or building your own. Additionally, it is usually less expensive than employing someone full time to take care of problems as they arise and to maintain hosting operations. In the end, most small to medium sized businesses benefit from professional Web hosting. If you decide that Web hosting could help your business Web site, shop around to get the best hosting deal for your money.

Related Article: Shared vs. Dedicated Web Hosting >>

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