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Home > Learn More > Web Hosting Guide

Web Hosting Guide

Establishing a presence on the internet is crucial to be competitive in today's business market and a reliable web hosting company can make that dream a reality. There are many different reasons you may need to establish a website but regardless of your motive, it is crucial that your site is reliable.  This will allow your visitors to browse your site without irritating lags and delays that may cause them to go elsewhere.  By partnering with a powerful web hosting company you can make sure your website can be downloaded, browsed and updated with ease, offering the best site possible to your customers and anyone looking for the valuable information you have to share. 

Technology is constantly changing, that is no different in the area of web hosting.  Many companies offer various services and it pays to thoroughly understand these features and decide what you need.  The biggest thing to remember is to make sure the company you choose is reliable because nothing will suck away your time and money faster than a website that constantly needs your attention and prevents your customers from getting what they want. 

There are many words you will hear when looking at web hosting companies.  Things like bandwidth, disk space, programming tools, uptime and backups.  It can sound like gibberish to someone not intimately familiar with the internet and all the things it takes to keep it running.  This is why doing your homework and researching what these terms are and how they apply to you is crucial. 

Disk Space and Bandwidth

When you are deciding what kind of website you need and what it will be used for, you will also want to decide how much space you will need and the amount of data it will generate.  An experienced web hosting professional can help you figure this out if you are having difficulty.  Disk space is the amount of storage given to you by your web hosting provider.  If you have a lot of graphics you would definitely need more storage than your neighbor who is just posting his opinions on the latest football trades.  Bandwidth is another word you will hear a lot, bandwidth is the amount of traffic that can access and leave your website.  A large amount of bandwidth will be beneficial if your site generates heavy traffic and gains lots of attention. 

Programming tools and the OS

OS stands for Operating System and there are different Operating Systems, namely UNIX based and Windows based.  Most web hosts run on a UNIX based system which is usually Linux or BSD.  Many different web applications including ASP, .NET, MS SQL and SBS run on a Windows based host.  This can seem really confusing at first but is not terribly difficult to understand once you have some experience under your belt.  This is where it pays to learn what kind of system you have and the types of systems run by the companies you are considering.

Support and Security

It is crucial and cannot be stated strongly enough that you must make sure your web hosting service has reliable support.  It is in your best interest to know exactly how technical/customer service works before you have a problem.  You do not want to be sitting on hold trying desperately to reach someone at 2am and there is a virtual queue around the block being turned away from your online store, watching all those dollars going somewhere else.  Make sure that the company you choose offers 24 hour protection, 7 days a week.  Disasters do not respect holidays and weekends.  Security is something very important, especially if you have an ecommerece site.  Your provider should be monitoring your site constantly and have the ability to stop a potential hacker before any damage is done. 

Do your homework, research any terminology that is confusing to you and make sure you know what is included in your contract.  By being proactive and assertive, you will guarantee a pleasant experience with your website and the company you have chosen to help you establish your presence on the world wide web.  Remember that price is not necessarily indicative of quality and not all the best companies are the most expensive.  Look around and compare features, quality support and price.  You may be surprised to find that someone who is just starting out is able to offer you the best support around and answer your questions easily and cares enough to communicate.


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