A Website Hosting Guide for Beginners
In this day and age there’s no excuse for your business to run without a website. It’s a crucial marketing tool to ensure that you can engage with the widest possible audience. And, thankfully, a business without a website is becoming a very rare beast.
However, what many businesses fail to grasp is the importance of good website hosting. It’s an area where you can’t afford to take any shortcuts, so let’s take a look at what you need to know about website hosting.
What is Website Hosting?
In a nutshell, website hosting is a service which allows the pages of your website to be served up to visitors all over the world.
And the way this operates is pretty similar to how you access files on your PC. Say, for example, you want to view the photos from last year’s summer vacation. All these photos will be stored on your PC’s hard drive, so you just need to click on them to access them.
Now, when someone wants to visit your website they just have to click on a link to access it. However, rather than having all your website files hosted on your PC (which wouldn’t be able to cope with the demand), your files will be hosted on a website hosting service.
How Does Website Hosting Work?
Website hosting uses very powerful PCs to store your website files on what’s known as a web server; this is where visitors will access the pages which make up your website. A web server is much more preferable to running your site off your own PC due to the following:
- Web servers are capable of high speed connections to ensure content can be downloaded and uploaded quickly.
- Website hosting companies are able to offer excellent backup power facilities to ensure your website is available 24/7 even when power shortages occur.
- Maintenance teams are available to regularly care for and upgrade the web servers to guarantee smooth delivery of websites.
What Do You Get With Website Hosting?
There are a number of different features available through different website hosting companies, but the main areas a beginner needs to look out for are:
- How much web space? Website hosts may have a huge amount of digital real estate, but it’s not infinite, so they tend to offer different price plans depending on the amount of space your website needs. Most websites are less than 100MB, so this should be suitable for most small to medium businesses.
- Bandwidth capabilities? The busier your website gets, the more data it’s going to start transmitting. And once you run out of bandwidth then that’s it for the month, you either have to pay extra costs or leave your website down. That’s why you need to make sure you pick a website hosting plan with an adequate amount of bandwidth for your website’s needs.
- How many email addresses? Let’s face it, a Gmail or Yahoo email address doesn’t look very professional, does it? What you need is an email address linked into your website’s address, so it’s crucial that you check out how many email addresses come with your website hosting package. As a rule of thumb, small to medium businesses may need between 10 – 100 depending on their operations.