Web Hosting 101 on Dedicated Hosting and Shared Hosting

If you are going to host your own website for the first time, this article will introduce to you some basic terminology and two types of web hosting.   Think of it as hosting 101 or hosting school.

When you sign up for a web hosting package, you are allocated a certain amount of bandwidth a month and a fixed amount of disk space.

The bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is transferred from your website to the user’s computer when people view your website. When your readers view your website, the data are automatically downloaded to their website and this takes up bandwidth. So the more traffic you get, the more bandwidth you use.

The disk space is the amount of storage on the server allocated to you to store the content of your website.

The important thing to remember is to select a package that provides adequate disk space and bandwith for your website. And as your website grows in traffic and content, you should be able to upgrade your hosting package.

There are basically two types of web hosting – dedicated hosting and shared hosting.

In a dedicated hosting, you are allocated a dedicated physical server where only your website resides on it. The entire resources (the bandwidth and the hard diskspace) in the machine is 100% allocated to your website. It is never shared with other users. If your website receives heavy traffic or you have much content on your site, consider using a dedicated hosting service for better performance.

In a shared hosting, your website resides on a server which is shared with other customers. Since the resources are shared among many website owners, each is allocated a fix amount of bandwidth and storage space. Although the resource is not as much as in a dedicated hosting, it is much cheaper and affordable for small business.

You can also find free hosting service where you don’t have to pay to host your website. The catch is that it might come with advertisements so that the web hosting company can recoup its expenses. The resources such as storage space and bandwidth are limited.  It’s best to pay per month for hosting instead of using a free host.

If you are running a serious business, for branding sake, it is better to go for a paid hosting service with your own domain name. Paid web hosting are not that expensive. It can be as cheap as $100 a year. Some throw in a freebie such as a free domain name. Some offer a money back guarantee.
Before you sign up for a web hosting service, select a suitable domain name for your website, preferably one that contains a keyword that is related to your business. Do read reviews of the web hosting companies to see if there are any complaints about them. Generally it is safer to select well established companies rather than small companies.

Having a website is certainly the cheapest way to start an online business.

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