What exactly is a web host or web hosting company and how does it affect your company’s web site? In a nutshell, a web host is the company you choose to store all of the files that have been created for your web site. These files make up the entire web site that is viewable by the public.
Most web hosting companies sell their services as packages. Pricing for these web hosting packages varies but generally follow “basic, intermediate, and pro” guidelines. They are structured so that you can choose which level of hosting is right for your business or personal web site.
Some of the important things to look for when choosing a web hositng company for your web site are:
– Amount of storage offered.
– Amount of data transfer per month.
– Number of email addresses.
– Number of SQL or My SQL databases included.
– Number of sub-domains included.
– Is a shopping cart included? (for e-commerce sites)
– How many domains can be used?
– How much are the setup fees?
– What is your “up-time” guarantee?
These are just a few of the things to consider before you choose a hosting company for your web site. It’s a good idea to shop around and find the best options for the best price.
Most web hosting providers charge by the month but I have seen some that accept 6 month and annual payments. Generally, you can get your hosting at a discounted rate if you pay for the entire year at once, instead of month-to-month.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Any decent hosting provider will have on-line chat, email support, or a phone number posted so that you can call and ask questions before purchasing a hosting plan. If you are not sure of something or want to know something more specific, always ask!
A good web hosting provider is the backbone for any successful web site. It can make you or break you. It demands that a lot of thought and good planning be implemented before committing to a hosting provider.
Here at Digital Spiral Web Design, we have our own web servers and actually do all of the hosting ourselves for the web sites we design and build. So, we are actually a web hosting company, as well as a design and development firm. We chose to get our own web server in order to handle all of the administrative tasks ourselves and to have more control over our domains. It’s been one of the best choices we’ve ever made. So, if your web site is high-demand or if you want to have full-control of the server you are hosting on, then a dedicated server option (getting your own web server, instead of using a hotsing company) might be right for you, too.