Creating a website is about more than purchasing a domain and posting content. In order for your site to be visible to users, you must select a web hosting service. This is the critical first step in establishing an effective and successful website for your business or organization.
What is Web Hosting?
A web host provides your website its “home” on the internet. This means that once your site has been created, the web host will give it the virtual platform and space in order to exist and operate. Web hosting not only allows you to create a site, but acts as the go-between between you and the internet itself. These companies give you the option of a dedicated server, which is a machine that allows you to operate your website on a completely private server. This server is the computer that actually processes your requests and commands and then makes the information available to other users. The other option is not owning a dedicated server, but using the services of shared web hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting services are those that are provided through a company that supports several websites on one server. Instead of having your own server that’s total capacity is for your sole use, you are able to utilize a portion of these capacities with other users. This not only represents savings in energy and materials, but is a less expensive option for those website owners that do not need to extensive capabilities of a dedicated server.
Choosing Your Company
There are many shared web hosting companies available. Choosing the one that is right for your website’s needs depends on what these needs are, and how experienced you are creating and maintaining websites. Some companies offer only a few plans, while others offer many levels of options from which you can choose.
Choosing Your Plan
Shared web hosting plans are created using differentiations in memory space, bandwidth capability, domains supported and other features. In order to choose the plan that will fit your website, you must determine what type and scope of site you will create and how much, if any, expansion you are planning.
Creating Your Website
With most shared hosting servers, a template is provided for website builders. These templates are built to make your website building experience easy and easily customizable. Though options are usually limited as it pertains to HTML or actual code, the templates offer a variety of choices that are most times at least somewhat customizable. In most instances, when you choose your website name, it will take you to a “builder” program that will help you develop the look and content of your page through a simple point and click interface. The thousands of available templates and design tools make it possible for even the most novice of beginners to create a professional and polished-looking site.
Managing Your Website
With the control panel that is included with shared web hosting services, generally the highly user-friendly and comprehensive cPanel, you have the ability to modify the appearance, function and extent of your websites quickly, easily and from one place. This means that your site will always operate exactly as you want it to. With this panel you can also monitor the traffic and use of your site as to optimize the release of information or format of your site.
A shared web hosting plan is perfect for people with small businesses, or organizations, in need of well-created, well-maintained, but not particularly expansive websites. Using a shared web host gives you security through constant monitoring, high levels of performance, and an affordable cost provided by sharing the services of one server with several people.