We have discussed all the steps to put together a web site but one. Namely, where does the web site live. A discussion I've had numerous times is the question,
Why do I have to rent space from a web hosting company?
It's happened enough to show this question needs to be answered up front. This is "where does the web site live", for if you have created all the files (text, graphics, etc) for the web site, as already discussed, then isn't that enough? Why do any more? Why pay out however many dollars a month to someone?
- You don't know when people want to visit your web site.
- You don't know how many people will visit your web site.
- If the web site content stays on your computer, this means any visitor to your web site must access your computer to browse the web site. This means:
- Your house (where your computer is) can't gaurantee full time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year) power to run your computer.
- Any visitor will cause web traffic over the Internet access available in your house, and it's very unlikely you can buy fast enough Internet access to satisfy the visitors. If accessing the Internet from your house is slow, it will be just as slow (or worse) for any outside visitors to access anything on your computer in your house.
- Almost all contracts with Internet Service Providers prohibit you from running a web server from your house.
Web hosting companies know how to deal with all those issues and more. They have trained staff on hand to operate highly reliable facilities, with excellent Internet access. This is what they get paid for, which gives them great incentive to keep their facilities up to date and highly reliable. Unless you want to learn to do these same things yourself, it's far easier to rent services from a web hosting company than trying to do it yourself.
In this section we'll go over web hosting and related topics.
To find web hosting services consult the list of Web Hosting Providers.