Website Hosting? Whats That?

Published by john on January 18, 2010 under Websites

Having a website is essential for businesses these days and can also be a great way to share your life with your friends, family, and acquaintances. For small businesses, having your own website is a big part of attracting new customers and keeping your existing clients informed of changes to your business.

One of the key components of setting up a website is choosing your website host.

At Knightdale computer Repair, we offer a number of hosting plans, for any size business, as well as personal sites. Please give us a call to learn more about our hosting plans!


What is Website Hosting?

A Website Host is the company that keeps your website online, so others can find it through their web browser. The Hosting Company typically maintains a number of web servers, which are connected to the Internet.

They will store, or host your website on one of their computers, which allows others to find your site. When you visit a website you are actually connecting to the website-hosts computer, which is where the pages and images come from.

Return to Top

Can I Host My Website From My Personal Computer?

While it is possible to host your website from your own home, there are a few downsides to this.

First, there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes, so it is necessary to be a very technical user.

Also, if the power goes out, your computer crashes, or you loose the Internet, the website will go down, which means you not only have to have protections in place to prevent this, not to mention being on call 24/7 to fix any problems. Further, while it is possible to host a website from a desktop computer, it is preferable to host it from a server using Linux, as this is the most secure. So, you would typically not want to run it from a regular Desktop Computer.

Most ISPs, like Time Warner or Embarq, prohibit hosting a web site from a residential account, so you would likely need to upgrade to a business account or risk violating the terms of service of your Internet Provider.

The main advantage to using a web host is that they worry about all of these details and have plans in place in the event of an emergency. So, even though some people do host their website from home, if you need to be able to guarantee that it will be up, or don’t want to have to worry about all the technical aspects of hosting a website and just want something that works, it is better to use a web hosting company.

Return to Top

Advantages of Shared Hosting

There are many types of hosting available, but the most common and inexpensive type of hosting is Shared Hosting.

Shared Hosting is when the host puts your website on the same server as several of their other clients. This means that on the same computer server that hosts your website, there could also be 100 other websites.

Shared Hosting is a great choice for low traffic sites or ones that are just starting out, due to its low cost. Even though there are other websites on the same server, visitors to your site will not be able to tell easily, although this information is visible with the right kind of tools.

On a shared hosting account, you will have limited access to database and server files, which will allow most content management systems(CMS), which is a type of web-software that allows people to easily edit a website, will run without issue.

Return to Top

Downsides to Shared Hosting

Of course, shared hosting does have a few drawbacks. The biggest drawback is that you are sharing the resources of the computer with each website that is on the server. This means that if one of the websites is incredibly busy, it could slow down the entire server. There are checks and balances to prevent this, but they don’t work 100% of the time.

The other main drawback is that if your site is incredibly busy, shared hosting may be too slow. Also, for very busy sites, the hosting company may not allow you to use shared hosting and instead require you to get a Private Server.

There are also security concerns as with so many users on the same web-server, a compromised website on one could have an effect on other websites on the server.

Return to Top

What is a Private Server?

If you choose to use a Private Server, or a dedicated web server, to host your website, it means that only your site(s) will be running on the server. The company will allocate a set amount of resources, typically a complete computer, to your account and allow you much more control over the server. For example, when you have a private server you can do performance tuning to keep it running smoothly and install basically any piece of software you want to, restarting the server at will.

Using a Private Server can be very expensive, but it means that your site will be more secure and it will usually run much more efficiently.

Return to Top

Virtual Private Servers

A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, can be a very affordable type of website hosting, which allows a great deal of control and security. They form a nice middle ground between the low cost of shared hosting and the full control of a private server.

Basically, the website host will take a single computer and then setup several virtual computers on the hard-drive. For all intensive purposes, the virtual private server is a complete web-server, running a full operating system. However, it is really only a segmented portion of the host’s computer. There are usually multiple virtual hosts running on each computer, so there may, for example, be 20 virtual hosts on a single computer.

The main advantage of a VPS is that you get complete control of the web-server at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server. The user has the ability to install software, as well as get memory upgrades and performance boosts. While there are some security risks, they are largely mitigated and significantly less than that of shared hosting.

Return to Top

What Type of Hosting is Right For Me?

For most family websites, as well as even small business websites, shared hosting is a good place to start. There are a number of cost effective hosting plans available, some starting at less than $10 a month. For most small sites, especially those that do not have a lot of videos or other large file transfers going on, the shared resources available on a shared hosting plan will be more than adequate.

Of course, the flip side to that is on shared hosting, not only are you sharing resources with other sites, so one high traffic site can bring your site down, there are also security concerns and for certain types of businesses, like an online store that uses a shopping cart software, shared hosting is probably not a good choice.

If you need to be able to fully control the web server or if you have a very high traffic site, using a private server may be a better choice. Many businesses, especially those that need more security, such as an online store, will need the additional resources and security offered by a virtual private server or dedicated server.

However, for most users, starting with shared hosting and then moving to a private server, or VPS, when necessary is usually a safe decision, as well as being the most affordable.

Return to Top

Available Hosting Plans

At Knightdale Computer Repair, we offer a few different hosting plans, including shared hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers. With all of our hosting packages, we provide free local support, as well as training, so help is only a quick phone call or email away!

We can tailor fit a hosting plan to your individual needs, whether you are a small business, a industry giant, or just trying to setup a family website. Our hosting packages are personally managed, which means that email setup is included, as well as backups and many other services that a regular hosting company does not provide.

Return to Top

Add Comment