So, you want your very own site on the internet. I mean, there are millions, if not billions of websites on the web, so setting one up could not be that difficult, right? If that is your train of thought, you'd only be half-right. Creating a website yourself would be very complicated indeed, but that is why Web Hosting Service Providers exist. A Web Host's job is to provide you with space you need for your website and to store it on their servers. That way, when someone types in your specially crafted website address, they are directed to your beautiful site. Here is a small beginners guide on Web hosting to help you understand more about what they can do for you.
What is Web Hosting?
Imagine you have just moved into your first house. It is empty sure, with no furniture around, but it is your space none the less. Think of a Web Host like your Realtor. They sell you space for you to put all your belongings. Usually, Web Hosts are big businesses that specialize in offering and then looking after servers, where your website resides.
Types of Web Hosts
There are four main types of 'homes' your website can be kept in. They are Shared Housing, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Server Hosting, and Cloud Hosting. Each type excels at what it is created to do, ranging from shared housing being the smallest regarding dealing with traffic, to Cloud Hosting, the largest server. Picking what server is right for you comes down to how much traffic you expect your website to have, how much control you wish to have over the server, cost and security.
The next step in registering your website is to come up with a name for your site, or the Domain. A Domain gives your site an identity or using the house metaphor, an address. You need first to register a Domain, which can be done using numerous online providers, such as Domain.com and GoDaddy.
Domain names can be confused with web hosts at first. It is important, however, to understand the differences between the two. As noted above, the Domain is comparable to the address of a house, while the Web Host is like the physical walls and roof and floor of your home.
Picking a Top Level Domain (TLD)
When crafting your website, it is important you decide on the right Top level Domain. But what is a TLD? .com, .org, .au, .co, .biz are all Top Level Domains. They are registration codes that tell you more about the characteristics of your website. .biz might mean a website surrounds a business, .au will be a country code, meaning its ruled by those countries rules and cyber laws. There are millions of Tol Level Domains available, and picking the right one is extremely essential.
How to choose the right Hosting Service
Now that you understand what Web Hosting is, the next question is how do I decide what service to you wish to choose?
There are many services on the internet, each with different plans, inclusions, and reviews. There are some questions you should be able to ask your Web Host to make your decision easier.
1. Ask about uptime guarantee. It must be 99.9%, or you are wasting your time with that company.
2. Where the physical data center for your server resides, and if you have a choice in location?
3. What policies they have surrounding support and what hours are they available? By what methods can you contact them?
4. What are their security protocols like, and how do they ensure your server is backed up?
5. How is your personal data managed and what are their privacy policies?
6. Are their limitations to what software you can install on your website?
7. What choices do you have in Bandwith selection?
8. What are their policies regarding the cancellation of your contract, or possibly changing after some time?
9. Do they have a trial period, to test you're happy with their service?
10. If there is a breach in security, can they guarantee your data's restoration?
With this guide and those few questions, you will be able to pick a Web Hosting Service Provider that suits your needs and your website will be up in no time.