Like it namesake suggests, a web hosting company literally hosts your website on the company’s servers. This includes information such as videos, photographs, apps and even information about your company if it is registered to your domain ownership. When chosen correctly, you should be able to maintain the cost of keeping your website online at a bare minimum. If done wrongly, your website may not only lose traffic but could also cost you maddening sums of money simply because the bandwidth was over exceeded. As freelancer writers trying to build up their portfolio, this is a huge challenge.
Most website owners struggle with finding a decent web hosting provider simply because there are so many different hosting companies available on the Internet, each with different packaged plans and unique hosting features. Of course, this also means that everyone’s definition would also vary depending on their own website’s need. One thing all website owners can agree upon though is that their chosen web hosting company should be trusted enough to provide services as promised.
How Bad Can it Be?
For instance, a website that is down frequently has clearly broken its promise of a 99.99% uptime. In the best case scenario, you might lose site visitors whereas in the worst case scenario, you could very well lose monetary sales. If your web hosting provider has offered to host your site for a cheap price but requires a two year advance payment, do be wary as it is more than likely that said company will elope with your money and promptly ignore any technical issues or complaints. Unlike a proper brick and mortar business, online businesses are usually pretty difficult to sue and not many regulations are in place to protect consumers from making bad purchases off the Internet.
On the other side of the spectrum, expensive web hosting packages may also mean that your prospective web hosting company is taking advantage of you. On average, a simple web site should only be charged less than five dollars a month of hosting fee whereas web sites that requires more features such as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) site builders and scripts should be billed up to fifteen dollars per month for hosting services. Alternatively, you might also want to purchase the cheapest package and then gradually upgrade yourself up as your site grows in traffic volume. While this option may not be cheaper in the long run, it is a good way of testing the web hosting company’s services before fully committing your site.
The Worst Thing That Could Happen
The biggest threat posed by any web hosting company is the nightmare that all your uploaded data can virtually disappear overnight. After all, web hosting servers have been known to crash or been hacked into for numerous reasons, which means that there is no real way of ensuring that all your files are constantly protected. To counter this problem, most web hosting companies have begun advertising nightly, weekly and monthly backups for all files left on the server so that restoration can be done at the click of a button in the event of an emergency.
The problem is that while back ups are a great idea, whether or not the exercise is actually put into practise is subject to your web hosting company’s discretion. After all, there really is no way for customers to double check that their site has been backed up until it’s too late. All you really can do though is to create your very own back up just in case, regardless of whether or not your chosen web hosting company comes with plenty of integrity. After all, why risk losing years of data for no real purpose?