What is Web Hosting
Web hosting is defined as “the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites”. In other words a hosting company allows the content of websites, their pages, text and images, to be uploaded and stored onto a computer, which in turn allows users to download and view the pages that constitute a website, using a web browser on their device.
Types of Hosting
There are fundamentally two types of hosting for websites; Shared and Dedicated.
With this type of hosting the hosting company allow numerous domains/websites to be stored and accessed on the same computer. This is a very economical type of hosting as all the website owners are sharing the cost of running the server/host computer.
In this scenario only one website uses the storage and processing power of one computer hence the website will respond very quickly and a great deal of storage is available, usually for a large database and lots of images.
Most company websites are suited to shared hosting as the number of hits they receive hence the amount of traffic to them is relatively small. I.e. only tens or hundreds of hits a day.
If however you are running a very busy ecommerce website with hundreds or even thousands of hits an hour then a dedicated server is essential for the smooth running of your website.
The cost of shared hosting for web pages and a database is usually in the region of £50 to £100 a year. Dedicated hosting on the other hand can cost anything from £40 to £50 per month to a few hundred pounds per month.
So if you are a small business with a few web pages and a moderate amount of traffic ensure you are paying no more than about a £100 per year for your hosting. If you are paying significantly more than this then check with your hosting company which package you are paying for and get them to move you to a cheaper package.