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These days, it's not too complicated to design a basic website, either for personal or business purposes. However, creating a few pages of content is not enough for having a site up and running. You need to host it. Though this process may seem confusing at first glance, it does not have to be. With the right tools and resources to help you, you will be able to get your site live and kicking nearly right away and internet users will be able to access it and consume what it has to offer.
A web host is a company that provides you with the basic ability to keep your website online. In short, it is a type of connection point between your content and the people who are supposed to access it. Most hosting services ensure that your site is available to the public around the clock with no interruption: 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. This way, any time someone wants to visit your site, they can do so.
Hosting is done through the use of professional servers that
hold the data of your website and form the connection between that data
and people on the information superhighway. These mass data storage
devices are often shared between multiple websites, though very large
websites need their own dedicated servers. They are located in large
computing farms called data centers, which are the beating heart of the
internet traffic industry. Because these
servers have an uninterrupted link to the Internet backbone, they can ensure your website is up and running at all times. You need this type of service in order to get your site online, fully accessible for all users.
When you visit this type of website, you are able to purchase
hosting services. These packages may provide you with nothing more than
basic disk space connected to the web. In other cases, you may be able
to purchase more professional plans that include sophisticated
technological features, in case you actually need them. Additionally,
such companies provide you with the basic tools that allow you to set
up and upload your website as well as manage it for the months or years
you plan to keep it up.
In most cases, a standard plan of a legitimate and reliable web hosting company (preferably, a BBB accredited one), will include common technical features such as:
• FTP access
• Database support
• Unlimited disk space
• Web file manager
• Control panel
• Hotlink protection
• Log file access
• Live statistics
• Spam fighting tools
• Regular backups
• 99.9% uptime guarantee
• 24/7/365 customer support
Keep in mind that when selecting these services you will need to consider the overall amount of space you need (most people with a small or basic site do not need a lot of server space). You also want to consider any extra features you may require, like easy to use site builders, free scripts, ecommerce features, templates and more.