If you are thinking of getting a website set up either for your business or for a hobby, then you might be wondering where to get started. If you are completely new to the process of getting a website set up then it isn’t easy. Some people have the luxury of being able to pay a developer to get their website set up but others must dip their toe into unknown waters.
However, you do need to know some of the basics like the role of the web host and how to choose one. Starting off at the beginning, a web host is required if you want to put your website online. The host provides server space and an IP address so that your website is on the web and people can search for it. So you cannot get a website set up without having a hosting service of some form.
Now there are different types of hosting plans available so you need to understand which one will suit your needs before you commit to anything. Here are the common types of hosting solutions that you might use for a first website:
Free hosting – Free hosting services are great for people who do not want to spend any money and do not need a lot of storage, or high levels of performance. Free hosting does not give you the flexibility to be able to add plugins and other features that will make your website look really professional. The hosts may also use your website to display advertisement banners and they do not offer any customer support. Some small businesses opt for free hosting but if you are looking for a host that offers professional results and performance then free hosting isn’t the best solution.
Shared hosting – A lot of small businesses go for shared hosting because it is fairly cheap and yet offers a good level of performance, flexibility and support. Shared hosting is where a group of websites all share the same server, so the costs are spread. However, because the server has a number of websites using it, performance and security can be compromised as a result. This is still one of the most cost effective ways to set up a professional looking website.
Dedicated hosting – Larger businesses that have bigger demands from their hosting service tend to go for dedicated hosting. It costs considerably more for this option but you have the whole server dedicated to your website. So you will not have any danger of picking up viruses from other websites sharing your server. You will not have any performance issues related to other websites sharing your server and your bandwidth will support large volumes of traffic. Dedicated hosting can vary in cost from one host to another but typically costs around £100 per month. If you are a large business with large volumes of website visitors making online purchases or downloading content, you will need a dedicated hosting plan.
These are just three of the hosting types that you can choose from but these are the most popular. When you are deciding on a host it may help to read reviews like this one to help you to make up your mind. Whatever you do, don’t just go for the first host that you come across or the one that offers the seemingly cheapest deal.