Website Hosting Information for Beginners and even some Professionals
WHAT IS WEBSITE HOSTING?
To begin with, it helps to understand what website hosting
is. Website Hosting is basically a specialized service where you rent out
a space to store your website data.
In somewhat more technical terms, the website hosting company houses the files for a website on a computer, known as a server. When you host your site, you actually make your site live on the internet. Once your site is hosted, when a potential customer types in your URL, the customer's computer will talk to your hosting company's computers and display your website.
Before you get a website hosted, you will need to register a domain and have a web designer design it. For more on domain name registration read here.
We recommend Rack Alley for website hosting.
SORTING OUT THE OPTIONS
There are many different kinds of hosting companies,
and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. There are companies
who call themselves hosting companies who are actually resellers.
They use an affiliate program and sell services from other companies.
Of course, just because a company is “reselling” space doesn't mean
it's not a viable option for some. Resellers can be reputable and
sometimes you can get a better price with a reseller and more 1-on-1
support than with a larger company.
If you are not doing your own backend programming and all you need is a basic site, then this choice probably doesn't make a huge difference. If you have a web designer, you should ask him which package to go for. The difference is just the backend programming, some programmers prefer one to the other or are only familiar with one or the other. This will be huge factor if you have an E-commerce site.
That said, ecommerce sites will need certain extras. Usually they are known as E-commerce Hosting. Ecommerce sites need special software such as shopping carts, databases and support for various programming languages such as PHP or ASP.
FINDING A REPUTABLE WEB HOST
Determining site requirements is one of the reasons many
experts suggest finding a hosting company through the person, or people,
who developed the site.
Another way to find a hosting company is the old-fashioned method: word-of-mouth. If you have some friends that run websites, find out who they use and if they are happy with them. Another option to consider is online forums.
Finding the best hosting company would depend on your needs. Do a lot of research and don't get locked in in annual plans. A lot of hosting companies offer month-to-month plans.
Here are some recommended solutions: