Web Hosts

 

What is a Web Host?  The computer files that provide an internet site are stored on a fileserver that is connected to the internet - a web server.  A business may maintain its own web server or use the services of a Web Host that provides a service to host Websites.

Types of Web Hosting include Shared Hosting or Dedicated HostingShared Hosting stores your website on a fileserver alongside various other websites.  Dedicated Hosting stores your Website or Websites on a web server that is only used for your sites.  Most personal and small business websites use Shared Hosting.

Basic Shared Hosting services can be obtained for "free".  Your Internet Service Provider (or ISP) will possibly provide a Basic Web Hosting service as part of your package.  Other "free" services are funded through advertising that is automatically incorporated by the Host.  Free Hosting may be useful whilst you learn what you are doing - or for a personal or hobby site - it is not generally suitable for a serious business site.

Shared Hosting packages are widely available and are the most common packages used by small business websites.  They cannot provide the level of security that Dedicated Hosting can provide, but for most sites, the security provide should be adequate.  Shared Hosting packages are available at a range of different prices.  Price will be affected by such issues as the amount of storage space and bandwidth you require.  Storage space relates to the size of your site; bandwidth relates to the amount of traffic your site will support.  Web Hosting packages are normally charged by the month with a minimum period of a year or two.

You will need to select a site that supports your chosen means of file transfer and web development tools.  Other considerations may include reliability - if the host site is offline so is your website.

Dedicated Hosting and be performed by businesses "in house" if they have the resources - suitable fileservers and expertise.  Alternatively, Managed Dedicated Hosting services are available.  Dedicated Hosting may be appropriate if your site has a high volume of traffic, or if it stores, say, personal or financial data that needs a higher degree of security.

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