Web Hosting

Once your website is created, it has to be hosted on a server for the public to see it on the web. In this case a “server” is simply a computer that has been set up to keep connected and continually accessible to the internet.

It is possible to set up your own server and run it within your home or office, but this can be an expensive undertaking, once you take into account the need for a very-high-speed internet connection, an uninterruptable power supply, and server software — all necessary elements to ensure that your website remains steadily accessible.

Most customers rent the service from a hosting company that has all the equipment set up and ready to provide hosting. Many of these offer hosting packages at an extremely reasonable cost.

Shared hosting is by far the most common, and inexpensive, way to host a web site. The word “shared” simply refers to a single server hosting several sites. The cost of shared hosting can range from about $5 to $45 per month. (If you pay more than that, the cost may be covering services beyond the actual hosting.)

Often web developers will charge more for their hosting for certain types of sites, deferring the cost of designing and/or setting up the site through marked-up hosting charges. Also, many companies offer free hosting, but it usually involves some sort of marketing scheme such as banner ads to keep it going.

For more complex web requirements, a dedicated server, or “virtual” dedicated server, are accessible at a significantly greater expense than shared hosting. If your site is used to track great amounts of information, needs to store or share very large files, or requires particularly advanced security, this may be the way to go.

The average site, however — even many e-commerce storefront sites, or sites with database-driven content — can fit into a few megabytes of information. For this reason, shared hosting could suffice for the majority of web sites.

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