The other bit of housekeeping you need to take care of before your site goes live is hosting. Your finished site will consist of files, applications and possibly a database, all of which sit on a computer that is permanently connected to the internet.
This computer is your web server, and will be running special software that will accept requests from users’ web browsers and deliver your web pages by return. It’s a bit more complicated, but basically that is what it boils down to. Unless you belong to a large organization with its own data centre that has a permanent connection to the internet backbone, it is highly unlikely that you will host your site in-house.
A much more likely scenario is to arrange a hosting solution through a specialist hosting provider. 54 Understanding Digital Marketing Different types of hosting There are basically three different types of hosting offered by web hosting companies – all of which are perfectly acceptable for your business website.
Which option you choose will depend largely on your budget, how busy you anticipate your website will be (in terms of visitor traffic), and the amount of control you want over the configuration of the server (whether you need to install your own custom software, change security settings, configure web server options, etc). A word of warning here: avoid ‘free’ hosting accounts.
While they may be tempting for a small business site to begin with, they tend to be unreliable, often serve up annoying ads at the top of your site, don’t offer the flexibility or functionality of a paid hosting account, may not support the use of your own domain name, offer limited (if any) support, and present a greater risk that you will be sharing your server with some less than desirable neighbours – which can hurt your search engine rankings.