What Is Web Hosting And Why Do You Need It?

13470616583_aa7bf4c02e_bYou can be on the web without using a hosting service. It’s possible to host your own website, and people do. A self-hosted website certainly gives you more control – but it also makes demands. To host your own website you need:

  • A powerful computer to act as your server
  • A great deal of RAM and (depending on how much data and, especially, how many images you plan to have on your website) a lot of storage space
  • A reliable operating system. Linux is the most common but Windows will do the job
  • A complete backup system mirroring the above, so that you’re not off-line for long periods due to computer or software failure
  • Good electrical surge protection
  • A generator, or the willingness to be off-line for as long as it takes the power company to restore your supply when there’s a power outage
  • Good technical knowledge allowing you not just to handle things like FTP to get pages and posts onto your website but also for maintenance and to mess with the hundred and one things that regularly go wrong

Unless you are a large company with a big IT budget and an experienced technical team, you’ll find it both cheaper and easier to pay someone else to host your website for you. If you decide to go that way, you need to make sure you are dealing with a company that is well equipped, has experienced staff and – perhaps most important of all – is responsive when you need guidance or advice.

The other question you need to answer if you’re still thinking that self-hosting might be for you is: what business are you in? And will you still be able to give that business your complete attention when half your time is taken up by technical matters to do with your website? It’s a matter of delegation and subcontracting – attend to the things that are really important to you and that generate your income and let someone else take care of all the rest.