Web hosting companies have large networks of high-powered computer servers in a place called data centre. Data centres will be connected to the Internet at very high speed. They will have backup power available and the location will be monitored for security. If you pay a monthly fee the web hosting companies will provide some disk space and bandwidth. This is a much more affordable option than running a server yourself. The web hosting companies will be in charge of maintaining all the hardware and software.
Web hosting may be shared, reseller or dedicated. In shared web hosting, a single server is shared by many websites. It is good if you want to minimise costs and do not get a large number of visitors. In reseller web hosting, the web hosting company will be reselling the disk space owned by a larger company for a monthly fee. Dedicated web hosting is suitable for busy websites. This type of hosting dedicates a whole server to a website without sharing the space with any other sites. This kind of web hosting provides a higher level of security. This is a better option if you have a large business.
Bandwidth is the amount of data your website can use per month. This will largely depend on the file size of your website and the number of visitors to the website. Each time someone visits your website, some amount of bandwidth will be used. Before purchasing a web hosting plan, you will need to consider the size of your website and the number of visitors you are expecting to your website.
There are companies that provide free web hosting services. They make this viable through the use of advertisements. When you make use of free web hosting, you will not get a top level domain name. It can be a great option when you are maintaining a website for personal purposes. However, it can look unprofessional if you choose it for business purposes. For instance, since you get a sub-domain, your site address will include the name of the web hosting company. Paid web hosting companies usually have a money back guarantee. This is most commonly for a thirty-day period. Unless you know that the web hosting company has an impeccable reputation in the field, this factor is very important when considering a company for hosting your website.
When accessing web hosting services for your needs, it is important to understand their customer support system. There are companies who provide customer support at all times of the day. However, some companies offer customer support only during certain hours of the day. This may not be fine when you are running a personal blog for leisure purposes. But when your earnings depend on your website, you will need to choose a company that provides customer support 24x7.
You will also need to consider the operating system used by the servers. In the case of dedicated web costing, you normally will be able to install in the server the OS of your choice. Linux and Windows are the most common OS used in web hosting. Linux has the reputation for being more stable than Windows. Understand the requirements of your website and choose wisely.
The data on the servers are regularly backed up by the web hosting company. Daily back up should be the minimum requirement when you pick a company for hosting your website. Web hosting control panels allow the customers to manage the services they use. It can help you keep the various aspects of your account under control and thus make sure that you do not exceed any limitations. It is essential that the interface is user friendly.
No website is available online all the time. There are many limitations caused by hardware, software and power supply. A good hosting company will have at least 99.5% uptime. Databases used for applications such as shopping carts and catalogues are usually used by advanced users of the web hosting services. If the web hosting company allows you to create more databases, it will be possible to use more applications for your website.
The choice of the web hosting company will always depend on the needs of your business and what you aim to achieve from your website. The needs of a personal website will always be different from those of a business website.