Whether you are starting up an online business or just want a personal website, you will need web hosting to make it accessible to the world. It is possible to own your own server and do the work that a web hosting service would provide on your own, but often people do not have the skills required to maintain a server on their own. Web hosting companies are experts in server maintenance and will have a backup system in place in case there are any problems with their servers. Because of this, they can usually guarantee 99.9% uptime, which is far better than most people can manage when maintaining their own server.
The servers owned by web hosting companies are computers that are always connected to the Internet. When you rent space on one of these servers by signing up for web hosting, you will be given the ability to upload and save your files to the server. This makes the files available to anyone on the internet who knows the right url to type into their browser. All they have to do is type in the url (http://yourdomain.com/yourfile.html) and their computer will send a request to the server. If the file exists, it will be sent back to the computer that requested it and displayed in that person’s browser.
Most web hosting companies offer a variety of plans. Some will even offer free hosting plans, which are often a good choice for people who are just starting their internet careers. Some web hosting companies are directed specifically at beginners, and others are directed at experienced website owners. Of course, there are also hosts that try to cater to both sides.
The beginner-friendly web hosting companies will often offer a bunch of pre-made templates and a comprehensive website editor. This allows you to start setting up your website with a few simple clicks, and edit it in much the same way that you would edit a document in Microsoft Word. These are perfect for personal websites, but it is often difficult to make them rank high on search engines because the simplicity of the site builder makes your SEO options fairly limited.
The web hosting companies directed at experts will generally offer a lot more flexibility than the beginner-friendly ones. If you are trying to start up an online business, you stand a much higher chance of being successful when you are able to do your own coding. However, if you sign up with one of these web hosting companies and do not have the ability to code it yourself, you will likely have to pay someone to do the coding for you.
Web hosting has become a very competitive market, and as such it is well worth your while to do some thorough research before settling with a certain host. Don’t just go with the first affordable web hosting plan you find, because you might be stuck with it for a few years and find you are not satisfied with it. Figure out what you need, and then find out which web hosting providers offer everything you need. Then have a look around forums and blogs to see what everyone else says about the site. The web hosting service might seem perfect when you are reading the company’s website, but people who have used their services before might not think they’re so great.