What is website hosting and why is it important for your business? Website hosting is simply the webserver that serves up your website to visitors. Since most small businesses do not have the resources to purchase their own webserver and employ the staff that will be required to upkeep the server, they usually turn to a webhosting company to handle their webhosting needs. The good news is that there are many webhosting companies to choose from, the bad news is that if you choose the wrong one your business could suffer. There are many choices when it comes to website hosting and with the help of this article you will understand many of the common terms used in the industry, as well as what you really need to know when it comes to website hosting. This knowledge will help your business in the long run, because it is obvious that no matter how great your business website is, it is basically useless if it is offline, and that is the main purpose of web hosting, keeping your businesses website online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You know how critical it is to make sure that your website is always available to your customers, and with this article you will gain the knowledge needed to correctly choose the right website hosting company. With so many choices in website hosting it might be tempting to think that they are all the same and that the only difference is price, but that is incorrect and this article will point out all of the differences between website hosting companies. You know that your business needs ultra reliable website hosting and choosing the right company can be the difference between success and failure.
Disk space, bandwidth, uptime, cpanel, ftp access, ssh access, and webmail are just some of the more common terms used by website hosting companies. You may or may not know what these terms mean, but they can be very important to understanding what will seperate one company from another when it comes to hosting for your business's website. Let's go through these terms one by one so that you gain a basic understanding of their importance to your business. Disk space is pretty straight-forward, it is simply the limit of disk space that your website can use. This means the actual files from your website, including images and videos utilized by your website. But it can also include email if you utilize emails @your-domain.com alongside your website. It is often the case that email will take up much more disk space than your actual website files will. It is obviously important to make sure that the website hosting package that you choose will include enough space for both your website and email, both now and in the future. Because your website and email will likely grow in size over time. Typical sizes for disk space include 10 GB, 20 GB, 50 GB, and 100GB. Although some packages may include unlimited disk space.
Bandwidth is similar, but different from disk space. Bandwidth refers to how much traffic your website uses, usually measured in Gigabytes. Like disk space, bandwidth includes email usage if you use email addresses connected to the domain that your website uses. Like disk space, bandwidth usually comes in 10GB, 20GB, 50GB, and 100GB, or sometimes even higher. And some premium plans may include unlimited bandwidth. It is very important to make sure that you get a plan or package that includes enough bandwidth for your needs. It is very important because most website hosting companies will essentially cut off your website and/or email if you exceed your alloted bandwidth in any particular month, or in some cases they may just slow the connection speeds to your website and email. But either way it is bad if you exceed the alloted bandwidth for your website hosting plan or package.
Uptime refers to the total time that the webserver is up and running. You would think that a web server with a 100% uptime would be ideal, however 100% uptime is more or less impossible. The industry standard is 99% uptime, although you may see some website hosting companies advertise 99.99% uptime. The reason that 100% uptime is impossible is because every webserver will require at least a minimal amount of downtime, if for no other reason, to perform software updates. The software updates are usually security related and are therefore very important. So, in a nutshell, it is ideal to find website hosting that meets or exceeds 99% uptime, but remember 100% uptime will never be achieved. If any website hosting company offers 100% uptime, you can know that that is either impossible or the company is skipping very important security updates for their web servers, which could be disastrous later on down the road.
Cpanel is a term that you may hear often when speaking of website hosting. Cpanel is simply a tool for the front-end access of a webserver. Basically it will give you a fine-grain control of certain settings of your website hosting server account, such as FTP accounts, email account administration, file managers, mysql database functions, and other software settings and controls. Cpanel is a very useful tool if you know how to use it, and conversely it can be very dangerous to use if you do not know how to use it, as there are many settings and controls that if set incorrectly can result in an unavailable website and/or email. Cpanel is usually a premium feature offered with higher end website hosting packages and plans. However, it can be seen as basically un-necessary if you or someone in your company does not know how to use all of its available functions and features.
FTP access and SSH access are also some terms that are often associated with website hosting services. They are both similar, although FTP access is far more common and in fact usually necessary for website hosting. FTP stands for file transfer protocol, and as such it simply is a method to transfer files, either adding files to the web server or downloading files from the web server, for example to edit such files or to backup such files to a separate location. Special software is available to make FTP connections and file transfers easier and faster. The bottom line is that most any webhosting service will need to offer at least some form of FTP connection. SSH access is less common and can be considered an advanced feature that is not usually needed by the average website developer. SSH access is usually required for some advanced functions of the website server, however if it is not offered by the website hosting package or plan that you are considering, do not fret, because these advanced functions can usually be completed by the support department of your website hosting company with a simple email or support ticket request.
Webmail is another term that one may often hear associated with website hosting services. Webmail is simply an online access function for email, essentially an online email client, similar to Outlook or Thunderbird email client programs or other email client applications, except that it is accessed through a web browser. Webmail is a nice feature to have, but usually is not necessary. Webmail can be considered a luxury feature that is usually included with higher end website hosting packages and plans.
At 2 Ultra Media, we hope that your business or organization will turn to us for all of your website hosting needs. We offer two packages that will cover the needs of most any business or organization. And as if that is not enough we will gladly work with you to create a custom package just for you, if for some reason, either of our packages will not fulfil your needs. So we urge you to contact us to discuss all of your website hosting needs. Our ultimate goal is your success, and reliable, affordable, and consistent website hosting is a big part of your business's online success.
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