Exploring the Basics of Web Hosting
The Internet is full of amazing websites, from personal homepages to business to educational pages. There are many intrepid website owners who build their own websites and need to find a way to display them on the World Wide Web. Some tech-savvy developers are able to set up their own servers that have constant connection to the Internet, but most people find that they need a web host to house their site files.
Web host companies offer space on their continually connected Internet servers for website files. These files, comprised of HTML documents, images, and other types of documents, are uploaded and stored on the web host's server. With their continual connection to the Internet, this means that the website is available at all times. The website owner is required to register for a website domain name as an Internet address. This domain name is then associated with the owner's site files that are housed on the web host's server. When a viewer types in that website name into their browser, their ISP or Internet Service Provider finds that site on the web host's server and displays it for its viewing audience.
Web hosting companies offer a wide variety of hosting options, but the two basic options are free hosting vs. paid hosting. There are pros and cons to each option, and each website owner should weigh their hosting needs and goals against their hosting choices. Free hosting has the advantage of lowest possible cost, but the hosting company requires advertising to be placed on any sites hosted with them. This can distract from the main content of a site, often providing links away and irritating visitors. Free hosting usually has serious restrictions on amount of space for files and amount of bandwidth that the site can use.
Paid hosting can range from reasonable to exorbitantly expensive, depending on the hosting options purchased. With paid hosting, the advertising requirements are very minimal or nonexistent, depending on the option. Typically, the more expensive the option, the larger the space and bandwidth and the more extra features are offered, though this isn't always the case and hosting options should be researched before bought. Extra features can include multiple domain and sub-domain names, email, ecommerce, site-creation tools, and blogs.
For anyone wanting to get their information across to a target audience, whether for personal or business reasons, having a site on the Internet is a necessity in today's world. Exploring web hosts and choosing the hosting option that's right for your site will get you on your way to a secure website location and a formidable Internet presence.
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