Once you have figured out what you want to name your website and you have registered your name, it is time to consider web hosting. The type of host and the level of expense directly relates to just what you want your presence on the web to signify. If you are running a personal or family based page you are not going to need a lot of space or features. If, however, you are running an online business which needs to buy and sell materials, organize orders and provide accurate information about your inventory, you need something much more comprehensive. Companies like LunarPages have both.
Shared hosting is a practice whereby many websites are present in one server. Each site has its own section or partition to prevent the sites from interacting. This is an economical option. These systems include system administration, which is useful for those who don’t want to have to deal with such details, but restrict flexibility for those wanting or needing more control.
In dedicated hosting the company or individual leases an entire server. This provides more flexibility than a shared hosting situation, since the leaser has full control over the unit and its functions. Often held in data centers, dedicated hosting servers may have better support, based on the agreement made. Bandwidth on a dedicated server is likely to be higher as well.
Another variable is that of a shared IP address or a dedicated IP address. In a shared situation the IP address is shared by several websites. Entering the web address will bring users to a general page and then they select where they wish to proceed. A dedicated IP address serves only one site. Whether the user types in the numerical identification of that site or types out the name, they will always end up at the same location. Most people are served well enough by a shared IP address, but if you are running a business and need to process secure transactions a dedicated IP address is the way to go.
Hosting companies routinely offer a number of products at various price levels. A simple hosting contract will cost approximately $5-10 a month. The more services you wish the company to provide, the higher the cost. Things like customizable error pages, sub pages and compatibility with popular programs are fairly common. Dedicated servers begin around $80 a month and quickly climb into the hundreds, again depending heavily on what kind of additional services you want. If you want to have significant amounts of space or duplication you are going to pay a lot more. Linux hosting tends to be cheaper than Windows hosting.
When selecting a hosting company you need to check on a number of things. Firstly you want to know that the company is reliable and reputable. You are about to hand over your credit card number; make sure the information is secure. Questions to ask include the size of the facility, the speed of download on pages, support staff availability and whether or not the company will assist you in building your site. Monster Hosting is a hosting company that offers many of these services with even the most basic contract as well as an online demo to make thing easier. You want to avoid regrets after you sign your contract.
There are some sites that offer free web hosting. To pay for the free funding the hosting companies run banner ads on your page. The last thing you want as a new company is competition. Free hosts rarely offer good support. They have few features and frequently overload their servers resulting in slow response and potential shut downs. Remember that your presence on the web is your calling card when you are in business. You are competing with dozens of other sites potentially offering the same thing; you want to be quick, efficient and user friendly.
In the end, though, the process of choosing a hosting company isn’t that hard. Check out the host to ensure their reliability and security. Pick a dedicated host if you need more security, speed and space or a shared host if you are running a small website without a need for financial concerns. Read your contract thoroughly so you don’t encounter any unpleasant surprises, and finally, if you are in any way unsure of your intention to stay with the company, take the shortest contract reasonable. Now get out there and join the growing community of the World Wide Web.
If your wondering about how people get around on your website check our more info on website navigation.
TIP: Visit Every Business in your Neighborhood and introduce yourself, don’t forget to hand out your business card and get their web address.