Hosting for Your Site
Choice - Rent or own your own web office space?
If you want to take part in the Internet as a business, information resource, or as a hobbyist wanting to share data, information and knowledge with the many people and communities on the Internet, you have to place the information in a spot on the Internet and provide access. You have to own or rent a piece of cyberspace.
Web hosting empowers you to rent a piece of cyberspace. In your space, you can have news, documents, data, and files (your web site) all in the context of you or your business. In our modern society, for every person in business, it is imperative to have a place in cyberspace, not just to be competitive but to survive.
The cost of owning a piece of cyberspace (a direct connection to the backbone and a server dedicated to a web site and email) is out of reach for the average business and especially general members of the public. Even hosting a web site on your own computer/server when it is connected to the Internet requires a lot of technical ability and knowledge. The Internet itself has to be your business for either of these options to be viable.
Web hosting companies were created in response to the need of businesses and individuals to rent a piece of cyberspace. This allows them a presence on the Internet 24/7 without the great cost. Web hosting companies developed a model where they could split up areas on the servers connected to the backbone and "rent" this space, spreading the costs across many people sharing the server and backbone connection to the Internet.
In a web-hosting environment, you are offered a space to place your website (files, data, and documents) for people to access with their web browser and an email server for you to send and receive email messages. The web host can also provide you a means to get an address for people to get to your web site with a web browser. This address is also known as your domain name, i.e. www.yourcompanyname.com.
Similar to when you rent a house or commercial premises for your business, you have a specific quantity of rooms and floor space to use. In a web-hosting environment, your area is defined as disk space and network transfer.
Disk space is measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). Megabyte roughly means 1,024,000 characters and gigabyte roughly means 1,024 million characters. Imagine a character as one key on your keyboard. These amounts determine how many files, documents, or data you can have on your web site.
Network Transfer is also measured in megabytes or gigabytes and determines how much data (how many of your files, documents or data) can be downloaded (transferred to) people accessing your web site. The more people or the more data each person accesses on your web site the more data is transferred on the network.
Just as no office building and home is the same, neither is every web-hosting environment. Some offices have stairs, others have elevators, some houses have suites, swimming pools, and gardens, - and others do not. Web-hosting environments are much the same, some offer bare structures to do just the basics and others offer an array of features to help you do just about everything you could ever need or want. You can even install locks on all or certain portions of your space.
Choosing a web host is, again, similar to choosing a house to live in or commercial premises to do business. You need to define what it is you require: how much space you need and what features you need.
Web hosting can be very simple and straightforward and once you obtain your space in cyberspace you may never want to let it go. You can easily move your web site where you want as a turtle carries its shell on its back. Always remember you are not stuck in the first web-hosting environment you choose.