What is Web Hosting?
A web site needs to be hosted on a server that is connected to the internet. A web hosting server is a specialised machine that has similar components to a desktop computer but is designed to process requests for web sites (and should be a more robust machine). Web hosting packages will usually include an allocation of hard disk space on the server and a limit for data transferred to or from the site each month (traffic or transfer).
When investigating which hosting plan to choose, it's important to check how much data transfer you'll be allowed. Having a decent amount (1000mb is a great start) means that thousands of people can visit your website, without you having to worry that your account will be suspended. Of course, if your allowance is used, you'll want to move up to the next plan level, to ensure people can keep visiting your site.
What is Shared Hosting?
Connecting a server to the internet, administering the system and the cost of the server are expensive outlays. For most small business web sites, sharing these costs between other accounts on the server is an economic way to access a high performance web server without the high cost of a dedicated server. Unless your site has extremely large traffic requirements (such as serving digital images, sound files or videos) then shared hosting is the most efficient way to get your business online.
Why not just use my free ISP hosting?
You can if you want to. However, most ISPs only provide you with limited hard disk space (usually 5 or 10 mb) to create your site and would be unlikely to offer you features such as multiple email accounts, a control panel or add-on scripts. Our servers are located in a datacenter that specialises in web hosting, with redundant (i.e. multiple), direct connections to the internet backbone.
Also, with the free ISP hosting, you'll end up with a website address that looks like http://www.yourisp.com/~yourusername, which looks unprofessional.
What about other free hosting sites?
Free web hosting can be provided by sites such as Yahoo! or GeoCities. Most of these subsidise their free hosting by serving banner advertising on your web site. You will not usually be able to use your own domain name and the available resources are limited when compared with a business web hosting plan. Free web hosting is fine for personal web sites but businesses should look for a more professional solution.
The main difficulties with free services arise when the server goes down, and your site becomes unavailable - it's often quite hard to get any information about why the downtime is occurring (that is, if you're told), and individual support for your needs can be limited.
What is Linux Hosting?
Linux is a free, UNIX-like operating system that is commonly used on web servers in addition to desktop PCs. Linux has many advantages and you can read more about it at Linux Online
. Unix-based web hosting supports scripting languages like PHP and Perl but is also compatible with Front Page Extensions.
Do you supply Windows Hosting?
No, we do not. Windows Hosting uses a different operating system and needs to run on separate servers. We don't supply Windows hosting as it is more expensive and at this stage we see no advantages to us in using this hosting platform. Many people think they need Windows web hosting as they have Microsoft Windows on their PC. This is not a good reason to use Windows hosting! If you need to use specific scripting languages such as ASP, Cold Fusion, .NET or Visual C++, then you should look for a host that uses Windows Servers.