If you want to put a website online then you are going to need to get a web host. Your web designer will tell you that right from the off. The problem is that many people are actually confused as to what a webhost actually is, and perhaps more importantly why they are important. On this page we are going to take a little peek at what a webhost is able to do for you.
When you start up a website you want it to be found at all hours of the day, right? Well; this is where web hosting comes into play. Your web host (which is the company that provides your web hosting services), will be formed of a collection of computers known as ‘web servers’. On each web server you will have your own ‘allocated space’ (if you have a large website then you may have a server all to yourself. This is known as owning a dedicated server). Your allocated space is where you will upload all files related to your computer. Tied to your allocated space will be your domain name. Whenever somebody types that domain name into their web browser they will instantly land on your website.
I am not going to lie to you here; it is theoretically possible to turn your own computer into a web server. It is not recommended though. This is down to the fact that you need a pretty beefy computer to handle the amount of stress that tons of traffic coming into it can cause. In addition to this you need a decent internet connection (with an incredibly high upload speed) which can handle hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of unique users at once. The majority of people will not have a connection like this. To cap it all off you would also need to have your computer on 24/7 if you want to guarantee that people are able to access it at all times of the time. You will also require a very good technical knowledge of server applications and running them and keep up to date withsecurity releases. By the time you bear all of this in mind you may as well just pay a web host to do all of the dirty work for you (you will be surprised at how cheap web hosting is nowadays partially down to the fact that the industry is more competitive than ever)
One hosting point to note
There are a lot of companies out there who provide web hosting services nowadays. It is absolutely vital that you take the time to choose the right one. I do suggest that you steer clear of the newcomers to the market and those which are too cheap (in the world of web hosting you really do get what you pay for!). You should always read through as many reviews as possible so that you can make sure that you are making the right choice. If you are stuck in terms of finding a web host then do not hesitate to ask your web designer as they will most likely be able to recommend one for you.