For people or companies that wish to promote themselves on the internet then they will need the services of a web hosting provider. If you want others to see your website you will need one of these and depending on whether it is a commercial site or not will dictate how much you pay but it is possible to have this at no charge (with restrictions). Anything uploaded to a web host will be stored on the host's server which means that other internet users can then access your website for what is essentially a huge digital storage facility.
Free hosting deals are great for those who want to ‘dip their toes in the water’ for example but the range of services available to them will be limited. There are many limitations to free web hosting services and they are not generally regarded as an option for serious web users as the amount of storage space is limited along with many other functions a web user may require. There will be a large number of companies offering paid hosting but the prices do vary and this is usually down to how much is actually supplied as part of the package; any confusion is normally quite easy to overcome by using one of the internet comparison sites that are becoming very popular.
You may settle for a shared server (where you share your space with other website owners) and it is a good tip is to go for the shared hosting first. Once you are comfortable with the service level then it might be worth upgrading to a dedicated server. However, all this is academic if you haven't registered a domain name that you can use in conjunction with the web hosting and to send your files to. All companies will allocate a certain amount of space for your website and any other files required to be stored there (photos and MP3 tracks, for example) and this can be anything from 500Mb or more, depending on the host and package you are paying for.
Another advantage of web hosting and your own domain name is that email addresses will include your own domain name and not that of those free providers such as Google, Yahoo and MSN to name a few of the thousands of providers whose services can be used. Having your own email addresses are an important sign that a person or company is serious about their internet presence and provides a sense of credibility which cannot be achieved with the many free service providers available. Then you have bandwidth, which refers to how much data is being transferred over the internet, this is something that many people overlook simply because they're enamored with the low prices of hosting packages and don't consider how quickly bandwidth is used up.
If your package cannot provide this or the company cannot meet your needs then visitors will not always be able to access your site during busy periods so a new package or company may be needed. Of course this won't matter if you only have a basic website but as soon as you start adding large images, audio tracks, video footage and other big files, your bandwidth will be used up very quickly. While it is possible to use your own home PC as a web host, this is not advised as the number of security issues involved will make it a risky proposition and it is far easier to pay another company for their web hosting service.
Francisco Segura owns and operates http://www.pointofsalesoftwarefacts.com/free-point-of-sale-software.html
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