Web Hosting Resources & Guide

If you made the decision to open up a store in your home town to sell dog toys there would be a couple of things you would need to do before opening up for business.

You would need to find a supplier in addition to filing all of the necessary legal paperwork. You might need to find a location for your store, and most likely would need to find a real estate agent to help you that specialized in business properties. They could help you find the best place for your store and look for a good location to rent. You would secure a spot eventually in a shopping center or other commercial area that was owned by a different company. You would pay them in rent in exchange for storing your inventory in the building and operating your business out of the shopping center location.

Web hosting is similar to this. Web hosting companies are similar to shopping center owners. They own servers rather than physical real estate. Their servers are divided up and then rented out. Just like a store can have various square footage, there are also different sized segments of servers that are for rent as well. The type and size server you will need will depend on how big your website is. With a physical store, there is fixtures, like shelving, as well as inventory. With a web server you have images and files. You may want to read through the best cheap website hosting reviews to help make your decision, depending on your budgetary needs for web hosting.

FAQs About Web Hosting

Site Hosting vs. Domain Name

Some individual get confused between buying website hosting and a domain name. Buying a domain name is similar to name your business. When you purchase one you have exclusive right for using the name. However, you will still have to rent server space in order for your website to be viewed over the Internet.

Is it possible to host my site from my computer?

You can definitely build your site on your computer. However, in order to host your site on the web you do need to have more than that. There are several different reasons why you most likely will be unable to operate a store form out of your home. The same is true with websites. In order to host your website from your home computer it would be necessary for you to ensure that it was connected 100% of the time to the Internet. You will also need to have a dedicated IP address at your location. If you request one from your ISP, you might be forced by your ISP to buy a business plan and upgrade. Those often cost several hundreds of dollars every month.

Your computer would also need to have dedicated web server software on it. There is security software as well that you would need for blocking malicious intruders. In addition, you would need to have the ability to troubleshoot any problems that came up. That isn't impossible, but a majority of the time it isn't very cost efficient.

What kind of hosting plan will I need to get?

The answer to that question will depend on what kind of website you are planning to have. Will it have members? Will it be strictly informational? Will it have basic static html pages or be database driven? Will you be operating an e-commerce store? All of those issues will effect how this question is answered. Your domain name should be selected based on your intentions as well.

Usually there are three major categories of hosting - dedicated servers, VPS and shared hosting. They each have sub categories with different resource limits. The following is a brief summary of these three main categories.

Shared - This is similar to an apartment building where everybody shares the same resources. If anybody over uses a resource it can potentially affect the other users that are on the server. That is the most common and cheapest kind of web hosting. Most people start out using a shared hosting plan for their websites.

VPS - Virtual Private Servers. These are more like row houses or townhouses. Each account is similar to a separate home unit. Each has its own resource allocations and a lot more control over their website environment. However, like shared hosting, tenants overusing resources might effect other accounts that are on the same server. It isn't as likely to occur on a VPS as it is on a shared server.

Dedicated Servers - This is similar to owning your own home. You own the whole building or the entire server belongs to you. All resources are solely dedicated to your individual account. That means nobody else is able to bother you on that server. Similar to a home, there are various sizes. As your website continues to grow, you might need to upgrade and get a larger dedicated server.