(Photo: MCT Direct.) If youâ€™re a college student that is new to online business, you likely have many questions about web hosting.Â Luckily, you donâ€™t need to be technically savvy to understand how web hosting works. With the right information, you can choose a reliable web hosting company that provides your website the customized hosting plan it needs.
Who needs web hosting?
Web hosting is a crucial component involved in taking your business online â€“ along with your domain name and your website design. In order for your website to â€œgo live,â€ you must have a web hosting service.
What is a web hosting service?
A web hosting service provides physical storage for your websiteâ€™s content. Your web hostâ€™s server functions as the home of all the data â€“ files, graphics, audio files, etc. â€“ that visitors see when they navigate your site.
Why pay for web hosting services?
If youâ€™re serious about making your business a success online, itâ€™s best to consider a monthly hosting fee a small price to pay for the support you will receive. Think of your hosting costs as renting space for your website â€“ much like rent you may pay on your dorm room or college apartment. While free web hosting options certainly exist, they often carry too much risk for the prudent business owner. These risks include insufficient space and bandwidth, frequent downtime and the inability to profit from advertising placed on your website.
Where can I find a reliable web hosting provider?
In todayâ€™s crowded online arena, there is no shortage of web hosting companies from which to choose. However, many of these companies attract customers with misleading offers and false information. Before you get stuck with a web hosting company that can hinder your online success, be sure to ask questions and read the fine print. A professional web hosting company should offer uptime reliability, customer service, and other tools that can help you manage and promote your website more efficiently.
When do I choose web hosting â€“ before or after I register a domain name?
While web hosting and domain name registration are two important parts of your website, they may exist separately. Your web hosting company should be able to accommodate your hosting needs regardless of where you register your domain name. Your web hosting company may, however, offer a free domain name with your hosting package â€“ an added bonus, especially if you are just getting started.
How much web hosting space and bandwidth do I need?
Hosting is not a one size fits all package. In fact, your web hosting needs will depend on the unique needs of your business and the nature of your website content. For example, if you have an ecommerce site that uses many images to promote your products, you will have an increased need for storage space. Also, the more your site asks visitors to interact, the more bandwidth you will need. Finally, consider the amount of traffic you expect and find a website hosting package with enough bandwidth to accommodate your visitors.
Your choice of a web hosting provider â€“ and a hosting plan â€“ will depend on several factors. By giving careful consideration to your businessâ€™ current needs and future goals, you can find the hosting that works for your business website.