Are you new to web hosting or running a web site? Or perhaps you’re renewing your web hosting service and unsure what that really means? We have put together this handy guide that will hopefully answer some of those questions you may have.
Web hosting is just like your computer, where you store all your files. A web page is a file and all web pages need a computer to store them. The only difference being that web pages are supposed to be seen on the world wide web by anyone in the world. In order to achieve this, a high specification computer, (much larger than your desktop PC!) is needed. It also needs to be connected to the internet with a strong connection link.
This computer where the web pages are stores is called a web server. A bunch of web pages is called a website and altogether the web pages from all over the world are called the World Wide Web (WWW).
The act of making websites and web pages available to everyone is called web hosting. We are making sure that you have space to host your website.
You can connect your own PC to the internet and host your own pages, however, this is not practical since a home-based internet connection does not have enough power to serve multiple users at the same time. This is the reason why us web hosting companies exist. We own and maintain these powerful web servers and ensure that many users can access your web pages at the same time.
When you run a website you need web hosting because you would not be able to afford the servers and powerful connections that are necessary.
We don’t just provide you with web hosting, we also provide other services which are key for your website such as the registration of domain names and provision of email.
There are many varieties of web hosting, that are catered to the customers needs. A basic two page website set up by an individual will need a less powerful web hosting package than a multi-functional high traffic website for a big company.
This means that the amount of web space that is needed will vary from company to company. We start around the 100MB mark but can go all the way up to 1000 or 2000 megabytes.
A hosting company will determine how many email addresses they will allow you to have. For most this is usually around 1-10 accounts. Higher end packages often include around about 250 addresses.
This is if your website starts to generate a lot of traffic from web users. For example is one page on your site is 10 kilobytes (about 1000 words on a page) and an internet visitor views it, then you have used 10 kilobytes of bandwidth. If 10 users request that page then you have used 100 kilobytes of bandwidth. Bandwidth is measured monthly.
If you exceed your permitted bandwidth this is known as bandwidth overage. Some companies may switch off your website if this happens. Others may automatically add on extra bandwidth charges usually priced at a different rate than your normal monthly hosting cost.
At Click Business Solutions we know that our clients will sometimes exceed their monthly limit, we will not switch off your website as we know this will lose you money! We will of course notify you and perhaps even recommend that you would possibly benefit from upgrading to a web hosting package with a higher Bandwidth allowance.
If you have chosen us to host, build and design your website we will take care of web hosting right from the word go!
If you have a website but are switching to another web hosting service…
Web hosting surprisingly isn’t all about your website. The other half of hosting is about your email server. All website owners require email accounts with the same domain as their website. Most web hosting accounts come with a certain set number of email accounts usually between 3 and 10.
The web host will give you complete access to your own personal email control panel where you can set up your accounts.
Once the email accounts are set up you will need something to send and receive mail through them. There are many ways to do this.
As long as your email account supports POP3 or IMAP (don’t worry about these) you will be able to use your email through many email services.
Your domain name is your Internet Identity. For an example our domain name is clickbusinesssolutions.co.uk. In order to set up a website you will need a domain name.
Most of the time people purchase their domain name for their chosen web hosting company before they even purchase their web hosting accounts. You can even host a website with a different company that you bought the domain from.
As you know with buying any service there are a number of points you should look out for and be aware of. The web hosting world is full or jargon and people trying to confuse you into selling you something that you don’t need.
A lot of companies out there hide that they offer insufficient bandwidth size for you to reasonably run your website. Make sure you check the small print for hidden bandwidth charges. As mentioned before extra bandwidth is charged at a much higher rate than your normal monthly allowance.
Watch out for hidden VAT and setup charges when you are thinking of ordering domain registration or hosting.
Unlimited Bandwidth is not always as good as it sounds. No company can really offer this. What they really mean is there are no set limits but they will contact you and force you to upgrade or close the site down if your website attracts too much traffic.
Some companies charge up to £80 to transfer your domain name which is an unfair price when most companies transfer your domain for free.
Always make sure that your domain name is registered to you as some companies register names purchased by you to themselves.
If you’re planning on hosting with a company for a whole year you may even get a discount rather than signing up to a month-by-month hosting option. Always ask your web hosting company if there is a minimum contract term.
Quality tech support is crucial if you are new to web hosting. Make sure that you can always contact your technical support and that they respond in a timely manner with a helpful answer. Support should be offered through email, web and phone. At Click Business Solutions we also offer Live Skype sessions for extra support.
We hope we have covered everything that you might have questions about. If you need answers to any more questions get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org today and we’ll give you a quick reply.