If you want a web presence then you need a domain name, any domain name.
A domain name acts like an intermediary between your browser and the web servers which are serving web pages.
Web servers are known by IP addresses, you know, those kind of odd numbers like 234.543.9.78 (just an example). Nobody will remember to type that in a browser (this is not a telephony system).
So, people invented the domain names, names which can be remembered, like Google.com. These domains routes to the IP addresses of the desired destinations, acts like an intermediary layers.
In time, you may have to change your IP addresses (as you move to a new hosting, or grow in size) but your domain name will stay the same so the users will always know where to find you without any hassle. That makes your life easier too because you don't have to broadcast your IP address everytime you make a change...you just modify the nameservers of your domain name (that's a very small change).
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Before choosing a web host, there are two points to consider.
First, you need to asses what you need the web host for, are you building a simple website? blog? e-store? gallery? Are you expecting a lot of visitors, are you targeting certain regions, markets? Do you want to build the website yourself or work with a host that can build it for you?
These are all important questions to consider before searching for the best host for your case.
Second, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the types of products & services web hosts will offer you.
Here are some terms to become familiar with :-),
Shared Hosting - This is the out of the box service all web hosts offer, basically, your website will be put on a shared server with many other websites. If you are building a small-scale website or unsure of how much traffic you’ll get at first, this is a good spot to start because it’s usually quite cheap, but remember, sharing means you are sharing resources, so limits come into play which affect your page and loading speed. As you scale, shared hosting will limit you, but a good sandbox to start out and play around.
Business Hosting - This has been popping up as a new type of hosting service, in reality, it is still Shared Hosting, as in, your server resources are shared, but hosts will throw in a few extra features such as SSL certificates (to keep your site’s data encrypted & secure), an email address, and higher server resource limits which does improve the overall speed and performance of your site.
Reseller Hosting - Think of reseller hosting as a multi-account solution, where you can get multiple control panels and manage each one individually. On Reseller, you’re still working on a server with shared resources but you can manage different accounts and many use reseller hosting to do just that, re-sell the accounts to new customers!
VPS Hosting - This stands for Virtual Private Server and now you’re stepping into your own server resources and server root access to manage and configure it with whatever software you want to use and/or develop on. A Cheap VPS is a great option if you will have a high traffic site and need high server resources for optimized bandwidth and storage, a starting VPS can come with around 60GB of storage. On a VPS, you are still on a server with other accounts, but your resources are set apart specifically for your account, so you’re not sharing the resources allotted to your site & account.
Dedicated Hosting - Dedicated hosting is a step-up from a VPS, as in you really have a full physical server dedicated solely to your sites and account. This means you have complete and full control of your server, and can pick your operating system, software, and hardware. With dedicated resources, you obviously get unmetered bandwidth and storage, or as much as the server you’re using can take!
For both VPS & Dedicated Hosting, you get direct access to your server, i.e. root access, so you’ll need a good amount of tech knowledge and familiarity to configure things and make sure things run smoothly.
Another great option is Cloud Hosting - while more expensive, it gives you higher performance than VPS or Dedicated with the simplicity of Shared - your site has fast loading, optimal speed, unlimited resources, no downtime, and the best part? It’s completely managed, as in, you don’t need any technical knowledge or an IT team, it just works!
No matter how you look at it, when you’re online, you want to stay online and really Cloud is the only one that guarantees that 100% - but keep in mind, it is more expensive, so consider that when assessing your budget and needs.
However, you’re visible on a global scale as your server or resources aren’t localized to one area, but rather, replicated and accesible for the world to see - and at the end of the day, that’s what every site wants :-).
Collecting cheap dedicated servers and vps hosting promo codes and coupons, as well as the vps hosting reviews and tutorials!