GetACustomSite.com
 

Hosting

This is part of a series of educational blog posts aimed at de-mystifying some of the essential steps required for anyone to get a web site. In this post we will address Hosting. We will follow the same What?-Why?-How? format for this blog.

WHAT - What is hosting?

Let us start with the basics. What after all is a website? A website is nothing but a collection of text, data, images, software programs, and possibly video and audio files. You need a place to store this collection of bits and bytes. That is where hosting comes in. A hosting service provider provides you with space (and other computing resources) on a computer server to house the text, data, images, software programs, video and audio files that constitute your website. Also, the service ensures that people can visit your web site via the Internet.

WHY - Why do I need hosting?

You need hosting to store the collection of text, data, images, software programs, video and audio files that constitute your web site. The other important reason why you need hosting is because hosting service makes your web site accessible from the Internet (well, isn't that the whole point in having a web site?).

HOW - How do I get hosting?

There are many companies that offer hosting. In fact, you might even be overwhelmed by the number of choices you have in hosting. Before we go further in this discussion I would note that for most web sites, hosting is the component that costs the least. Most web sites will not need to pay more than US$10 or US$15 per month.

Now, what all factors should you be looking for when selecting a hosting service? Here are some of the main ones:

  • Storage Space - Higher the amount of storage space you need the more your hosting cost. But the good news is most web sites do not need a ton of storage space. If your web site has only 10-12 pages you should be able to choose the lowest tier of storage space offered by a hosting service. If your site has tons of photos and videos then of course you would need more storage space than the minimum offered by the hosting service.
  • Traffic - This is also referred to as bandwidth by some hosting companies. In simplistic terms this determines how wide a pipe they use to connect your site to the Internet. The bigger the pipe (i.e., bigger the bandwidth) the more bits and bytes can pass through. Needless to say the more bandwidth you choose the more you will have to pay. If you are just starting out with a brand new web site you need not worry about this. You should be able to get away with the minimum traffic (bandwidth) the hosting service offers.
  • Technologies Supported - Most hosting service providers offer the basic technologies a web site would need such as MySQL (this is a database), Perl, PHP (programming languages) etc. But if you need advanced technologies such as Java please keep in mind that not all hosting companies provide them. Your web site development partner will be able to assist you in determining the technologies you need.
  • E-mail Addresses - With hosting you get email addresses. To make this clearer, let me offer an example. Let us say the address of your web site is mywebsite.com. Once you get a hosting service to host your site, you can get email addresses such as myname@mywebsite.com. For business transactions it would look much more professional when you use your own business email address versus your personal Yahoo or Gmail email address. So my recommendation would be to make use of the email addresses your hosting company gives. A minimum number (much like 5 or 7) of email addresses come with the basic package most hosting companies offer. If you have a need for more email addresses (say because you have more that 5 or 7 employees) you can buy more email addresses at an additional cost.
At GetACustomSite.com we offer great cost-effective website design, development and hosting services. Whether you are a small business or a large business we can meet your hosting needs. As you might have seen in our pricing table, to top off our low hosting charges we give you the first three months of hosting free - that is right, free. So why wait? Create your own website now! If for some reason you do not like any of our services you can return within 30 days. No questions asked.