Internet has probably been the most radical and life changing technological innovation of our times. It has changed the way we communicate, gather information, shop, and almost every other aspect of human life. So, it’s not surprising to see the unprecedented rate at which the cyber world is expanding. From personal portals to online business establishments and from nonprofit organizations to forums and blogs, the needs the website owner of today have a diverse set of requirements and new web hosting companies are cropping up each day to meet this demand.

However, this intense commercial activity has also led to a sense of utter bewilderment for anybody who is just about to step into the wondrous online world and establish his/her presence on the internet. The process often starts with choosing a web hosting company and package, which can be truly trying prospects, given the cut throat competition in the market. So, if you would like to know more about web hosting before you embark on your online adventure, here is just the information that you will need.

What does a web hosting provider do?

A web hosting provider sells space on the servers maintained by the company to website owners so that they can put their website on the World Wide Web. Unlike a desktop in your home, servers are extremely expensive depending on how powerful they are and their features besides there is also a significant overhead cost to contend with when maintaining a server. All of this makes it impossible for a website owner to maintain one on his/her side. The technical support that the process entails is another reason why website owners prefer to go with a hosting company.

Why pay for it when you can get hosting for free?

A person looking to establish his/her online presence can either choose paid hosting or partner with one of the free hosting websites. This brings us to the million dollars question; do these establishments really offer free hosing? In a single word the answer to that question is a resounding, ‘no.’

Like all other for profit ventures, they too have to generate money from somewhere and they do this by putting dozens of advertisements on your site. This not only slows the performance of you site and is extremely irritating for your visitors. It also mars the professional look of your website. Plus, you lose all the money that you could have made by using the advertising space.

Another distinctive disadvantage is the lack of your personal domain name; because your url will always have some indication of the fact that you are using a free hosting site, this can seriously dent the credibility of your organization. Also, the companies will have policies that will prevent you from selling or advertising about certain products.

Choosing the best hosting company

This brings us to the option of paid ghosting; while a far cry from the free hosting, choosing a web hosting provider from the milieu of companies can be a daunting task. Some of the crucial factors that you will need to look for is the amount of bandwidth and the disk space vis à vis the price of the package that the company offers. Apart from this, it is also imperative to ensure that the company has high customer support standards and offers round the clock tech support. Then there are the auxiliaries like the type of CMS, the ability to upgrade your package, the extras being put on the table and much more.

It does not end there; you also have to choose the right hosting package

In your quest for the best hosting partner, you will find that most companies offer a myriad of packages and hosting types; for instance, you can choose between shared hosting, dedicated servers, virtual private web server or collocation.

Shared hosting: The website owner is offered a small section on the hosting company’s severs; this is ideal for online start ups and first time website owners who do not want to hassle with the kernel of the host servers.

Dedicated hosting: By far the most expensive of the three options, this choice is suitable for large and complicated websites that need considerably more bandwidth, disk space, software implementation, custom server management etc. Dedicated hosting is s suitable choice for content restricted sites, large intranets and mission critical websites.

Collocation of VPS: In this option, a partition of the server is offered to a website, so while you get a lot of the features and benefits associated with dedicated servers, you do not end up blowing your bank account.

The type of website that you intend to host is also a consideration

The type of website that you intend to host will also have an impact on the type of plan that you need. For instance, you could easily use shared hosting for a personal or small business site; on the other hand, for an Ecommerce site, you may want to look into VPS hosting.

Because the reliability and performance of your web hosting provider will have a direct bearing on the success of your website; it is essential to make a well researched and prudent decision. After all, changing from one hosting company to another, while possible, is an immensely cumbersome task that will keep your site offline for at least 12 to 24 hours. So, think about all the business you will miss and then make the correct choice.