What is hosting - the real basics
Web hosting is the term used to describe placing your website on a "Server" (a computer which has a permanent and high speed connection to the Internet). This means that your site can be accessed anywhere around the world at any time.
Are there different types of hosting?
Yes, they are many and varied. Most hosting is carried out on extremely large machines which host many different websites. You purchase space on the server.
Generally speaking the more space you need, the more expensive the hosting will be, but there are many other factors which affect the cost of hosting.
It is possible to purchase an entire machine, but this is extremely expensive and only necessary for very large websites.
So how much space do I need?
Space on servers is generally measured in terms of bandwidth and disk space.
Bandwidth is a measurement of the amount of data that can be moved between two points in a given period of time. Bandwidth is measured in megabytes and then gigabytes (a thousand megabytes).
When referring to websites the amount of bandwidth required will equate to the number of visitors your website receives. The more visitors you have, the more bandwidth you will need.
Disk Space is a measurement of hard drive storage space. Disk Space is also measured in megabytes and then gigabytes (a thousand megabytes) and then terrabytes (a thousand gigabytes).
When referring to websites the amount of disk space required will equate to the amount of content (including images, video, audio, downloads etc) that you have on your website. The more content your site contains, the more disk space you will need.
Additionally your emails use up both disk space and bandwidth so consider things like do you send or receive huge attachments?
So, how much space do you need? It is not something which general rule as so much needs to be taken into consideration and is also likely to change as your website becomes established and increasingly popular. DUSZA can advise you on the most suitable hosting package and set up - just get in touch.
What other factors do I need to consider?
Other factors which need to be taken into consideration when choosing a hosting provider include:
Configuration of the Account
Do you need to know how to configure the hosting space, or will this be done for you. If your provider is configuring the account will you have to pay extra for this? Are you sure that the standard account configurations will support your website and it's systems.
Uptime and Downtime
Is it critical that my website is live all the time? Does the hosting provider offer any guarantee of uptime? What is the guaranteed up-time of the server?
Redundancy means that if the server hosting your website fails for some reason it will detect this failure and transfer your website to a different server, so that your website performance is not affected. Redundancy is normally only a consideration for very large, critical or ecommerce websites and is normally extremely expensive.
Does the hosting provider offer back-ups? If so, how often do they take place and where is the data stored. If not you will need to take measures to back up the information on your website, so if the worst were to happen you would not have to start from scratch.
What support does the hosting provider offer? Is it in the UK or abroad? Is it available only in office hours or also in the evenings and at weekends? Is it by email only or also on the telephone? Am I going to need technical knowledge to talk to the support team and get any problems solved?
Does the website hosting come with email hosting? What kind of email accounts do I get (the standard is POP3)? Do I get any help setting up my email accounts? Can I also set up email forwarders?
Parked and Sub Domains
Does the hosting include parked or sub domains, for example your website may be www.dusza.co.uk, but you also own www.theduszagroup.com. Will your hosting provider charge extras for these domains?
Where is the server based? Is it in the UK? Problems could take longer to solve if your server is in a different country to you or the support team.
This is normally only a concern for ecommerce sites or sites which hold sensitive or confidential information. Does your chosen hosting service allow you to have a secure certificate? Even if you don't need one now, you may in the future.
These are the main factors that need to be considered when choosing a hosting provider, but there are other more complex issues. If you would like more information about hosting you are welcome to contact us, we are always happy to give help and advice.
So I guess the last question is - what does DUSZA offer? Well, we have a variety of packages which we can tailor to meet your individual website needs. Give DUSZA a call on 0845 094 6442 or contact us here for more detailed information.