What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service provided by web hosting companies that puts your website on a computer with a connection to the Internet. This allows people browsing the Internet to view your site. Normally, a web hosting computer is much like your home computer, except it is dedicated towards hosting websites. These computers are known as ‘servers.’
Types of Web Hosting
Sometimes, you can get website hosting for free. These are good if your website is smaller, but you will usually have to put up with banner ads at the top of pages. This allows the web host to generate some revenue from your website. Some free hosts allow you to use your own domain name or tag your domain name onto the end of their website address.
Free small business website hosting may be for you if you don’t care about ads being placed on your website, or you plan to have a small website that will not grow.
This is the type of web hosting account that most people have today. It can be very inexpensive, with a small monthly hosting fee that gets your website space on a good server. However, your total disk space and bandwidth may be limited. Since bandwidth is usually not a concern for most small businesses, this should be fine. The performance and reliability of shared hosting varies widely, so shop around first for web hosting providers and compare web hosting plans.
What you are getting with dedicated hosting is a server devoted to your website. This way, you can potentially host hundreds of websites. You will normally have server access much like your computer at home. Dedicated servers are normally only used for large e-commerce sites and are more expensive than others.
If you expect fairly low-volume sales, you might could get by with just a Yahoo store that takes PayPal payments. But if you expect more sales volume, you will probably need a host offering a shopping cart, an online catalog tool, security certificates, gateways for credit cards, etc.
Web Hosting Services
A good way to determine your needs is to make a complete list of what you need on your website. Then you can shop around and find web hosting sites and plans that are right for your needs. Leave room to grow and enjoy your new website!