In order to have your website available online 24-7 it needs to be on a computer that is connected to the internet at all times, this computer is called a web server. You could have your own web server in your office, and larger companies often do this, but there are security and maintenance concerns to think about so it is usually cheaper and more worry-free to pay someone else to use their web server.
Web hosting refers to paying a web hosting company to rent space on their web server or “host” your web site.
All web sites need to be hosted somewhere and there are a lot of web hosting companies to choose from. Here are the top things to look for in a web hosting company.
- Bigger companies are better. There is something to be said about shopping locally but you want a web hosting company that is big enough to have the infrastructure to support your website (data redundancy, backup generators, big internet pipes, etc)
- Good support. Ask around and read reviews online to make sure the company you pick for web hosting will offer timely support when something goes wrong.
- Price. This goes without saying, but like anything, remember that the cheapest is not always the best.