I’ve had my own sites since high school and have pretty much seen it all when it comes to web hosting companies: the good, the bad and the ugly. If you are relatively new to the concept of having your very own place on the web this article will fill you in on some of the basics.
For the sake of keeping things simple I’m going to divide the world of web hosting into two main categories: dedicated hosting and shared hosting. Shared hosting I usually break down into paid and free. Usually, you can’t get dedicated hosting for free (but if you know the right people nothing is impossible…)
When you opt for dedicated hosting your web site gets an entire server to itself. You are entitled to all of the resources the server has to offer. With larger, busy web sites and blogs dedicated hosting can quickly become a must, but you might be able to get by with a virtual hosting solution in the early stages of your venture.
Luckily, for most individuals and small to medium sized business shared hosting will suffice. Shared hosting is when you share a server with web sites from other customers. Your web hosting company will typically impose some limits as to what you can and cannot do, restricting bandwidth, storage space, email accounts and such. Depending on the hosting company, things can get a little crowded on a shared server and cause your site to be slow and unresponsive especially when you start to get more visitors and your site grows larger.
Some providers claim to give free hosting, which is a version of shared hosting with serious restrictions. It’s not something I want to spend too much time on. What you pay is what you get, and if something sounds too good to be true it usually is – especially online. Quality paid hosting is inexpensive these days. You can a decent web hosting account to support a small business for only a few dollars per month, which often includes a free domain name as well. For many, starting a blog or web site is the cheapest way to start a business or add an additional revenue stream to an existing business.
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