|Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect. - Linus Torvalds The creator of the Linux Open Source Operating System.|
So you have a great idea for a web site, you find someone to create it for you (or do that yourself), you're ready to make some money with your idea either by selling something or by putting up advertisements, but then what? You've got to get it up on the Internet somehow. How do you do that? Well, you get someone to host it for you.
What Does Web Domain Hosting Cost?
Free Web Hosting
There are free website hosting services, but they may put ads on your site which can be cumbersome and annoying to your visitors. And they'll keep the advertising revenue for themselves. If you're going to have ads, why not sign up for Adsense or some other service and keep the money yourself? You can probably pay for the web hosting and then some.
Free hosting will probably not support multiple email addresses, MySQL databases, or the ability to run any scripting language. Most of the time with free web hosting sites you'll have a sub-domain rather than your own personal web address. So instead of being "YourGreatWebsiteName.com," the address will be "YourGreatWebsiteName.TheHostSite.com" or "TheHostSite.com/~YourGreatWebsiteName."
If you want to go for paid web hosting and have your own website domain name, the options range from affordable to quite expensive. The services and support, of course, vary depending on the price. These are some of the options. Each has pros and cons. See which one works best for you.
Shared website hosting is affordable and a better way to go than the free hosts. With this service, as the name implies, you share disk space, bandwidth and network resources with other paying customers. You may think of this as regular, normal or conventional hosting. It is the most common web hosting service out there. This works for most sites. Even the most inexperienced users will find this an easy to maintain solution. These hosts are easy to use, rich in features and low cost. You can expect to support for these programming features: PHP, ASP, MySQL, multiple email addresses and large bandwidth. Shared hosting is a good solution for individuals hosting as well as small business hosting. If you are looking for cheap web hosting then this is the way to go.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated website hosting is the opposite or shared. You get your own dedicated server, but will probably lease, not own it. This is a good solution if you need more storage, bandwidth and control over the server. The advantages are that you have unlimited email addresses, databases and bandwidth. You can choose your own operating system, software applications and security mechanism. The disadvantage is that you have to have a considerably high level of expertise to maintain and administer the server.
There are two types of dedicated hosting, managed and self-managed (unmanaged).
Self-managed hosting is less expensive, but you are the administrator which gives you flexibility and control. It also means that you are responsible for security and maintenance. This can be complicated and take a lot of time.
Managed Web Hosting
Managed website hosting works well for you if you don't have the technical know-how needed to run your own dedicated server or simply do not have the time to manage it.
This service is considerably more expensive than other types of web hosting, but they do all the work for you and you should get extensive support. Although you don't have full control, you are allowed to manage your data via FTP or some other remote management tool.
Colocation - Colo Web Hosting
This is a lot like dedicated web hosting, but you own the server. You rent physical space from the provider and they take care of the server. This is the least expensive and most powerful type of dedicated hosting service. You will get little to no support. All you get is electrical and Internet access along with storage. You will probably have to have your own administrator visit the physical site to do hardware upgrades or changes.
VPS Hosting - Virtual Private Server or Virtual Dedicated Server
VPS hosting is the perfect compromise between shared and dedicated servers. What happens is that software partitions a physical server into several virtual servers. So it's like have your own server with many of the same functions as a dedicated server, but less expensive. This partitioning is called virtualization.
OK, you have to know what you're doing, but you can make money at this. What you do is pay a flat fee to a web hosting provider for some amount of disk storage, bandwidth and features. Then you sell web hosting plans to the thousands of people out there who want a place to host their web site.
Choose Your Host
So there you have it. Choose the hosting plan which best fits your level of expertise and needs for storage and bandwidth. If you need more information, read more about web hosting.
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