Getting Your site Online
What Is A Web Host?
Web hosts provide space for setting up a website so that it can be viewed by others on the internet. Most web hosts offer several plans that vary in price depending on what's included in the plan and for how many years you sign on. Some even offer free web hosting.
When shopping around for a web host you may come across some terms that are unfamiliar but have no fear this article will help to explain.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred from websites to the people viewing them. The amount transferred depends on how much traffic the website gets and the file size of the webpages being accessed, including any images they may contain. Since most people don't know how much bandwidth their site will need, many hosts provide unlimited bandwidth so you won't need to worry about your site using too much.
However the fact is no site needs unlimited bandwidth, the average website doesn't use more than 2 or 3 gigs of bandwidth in a month, so web hosts with plans based on the amount of bandwidth allowed per month may cost less than a web host touting unlimited bandwidth.
Many web hosting plans allow the user to setup multiple websites with different domains (website address) in the same web hosting account. Each additional domain that is added to the account is referred to as an addon domain. How many addon domains can be included in an account depends on the web host and/or the price of the plan.
Shared Or Dedicated Server?
Most websites are located on what are called shared servers because it keeps the price of web hosting low. Think of it like a bunch of different web hosting accounts kept on the same computer. Dedicated servers on the other hand are much more expensive and are used by huge, high traffic sites that need to be located on their own server so they will run properly and not interfere with other websites.
Linux (Unix) or Windows?
While shopping around for web hosts you may have noticed that some offer a choice between Linux (Unix) and Windows hosting. This has nothing to do with your computer's operating system but the operating system web hosts use to run servers. You do NOT need Windows hosting just because your website was built on a Windows computer. The majority of web hosting accounts are on Linux (Unix) servers because it is the least expensive to maintain and so the savings are passed on to you the customer in the form of affordable hosting.
What About The Domain
Nearly all web hosts offer domain registration along with web hosting and some even offer a free domain as long as you host your website with them. But you do not need to register your web address with the web host. In fact it's better and less expensive to register a domain separately at a domain registrar, then set it up to work with your web hosting account.
Web hosts offer the option of transferring a domain, this is NOT the same as setting up your domain to work with your website. If you already have a domain (recommended) and are buying web hosting, choose the option to use your own existing domain (some web hosts might phrase it a bit differently).
Learn how to to set up a domain with a website in the tutorial Pointing Domain To Web Host