Every website needs a place to call home. This home is called your web host. Your web host provides data center space for your site and allows it to be accessible to others via the web. The scope of web hosting services varies. Storage or server space, speed, traffic and bandwidth are some of the factors to consider when deciding on a web host.
Your first consideration is space. When you upload your website, you are actually uploading all of your files to a server that is always connected to the internet. This requires enough memory to store all of your files. When someone goes to your website, their computer reads the files from the server, and that’s how your website appears on their computer screen. Most personal websites and small business websites use shared hosting. Small hosting plans usually give you a limit on the amount of memory or storage space your website can take up. Shared hosting tends to be less expensive because everyone is using the same server and the cost of buying and maintaining the hardware is shared among all users. The other kind of hosting is dedicated hosting, which is where your website has its very own server. This kind of hosting is more expensive because provides you with your own space which means more room and often more speed too. Dedicated hosting is best for large businesses, large websites or anyone who needs to run a company database on the server. Regardless of which kind of hosting you have, it is important to ensure that you have plenty of space for your needs.
Another important consideration is the amount of traffic or bandwidth your website is allotted. Every time someone visits your website, the files on the server must be downloaded to their computer. That’s how they see your page on their screen. In order to do that, the server must send a copy of the files across the internet. Most small and medium-sized hosting plans set a limit on how much traffic or bandwidth you get per month, that is, how much information can be transferred to your visitors. For this reason, it is important to have an estimate of how much traffic you think your website will be getting. Personal websites and very small company websites may not get an overload of traffic. But some e-commerce websites, company websites with blogs, and other types of sites that will grow with time should plan ahead for spikes in traffic to be sure that service is not interrupted.
Regardless of what kind of site you have, the best way to ensure all of your hosting needs are met is to research your options and understand what to look for.