Where Should my Website be Hosted

There are literally thousands of companies ready to host your website on short notice and at prices ranging from "free" to thousands of dollars a month.

First you need to determine what TYPE of hosting is required to best reach your audience.

HOSTING AS A SUBDOMAIN ON A SHARED SERVER

Provided as a members-only service, ISPs often host your website for free. Unfortuantley such a websites usually include the name of your ISP such as members.aol.com/rlayton/ (no longer in operation). These free sites offer a great opportunity for hobby and personal wbsites but are not taken seriously by the business community and are not indexed by search engines. Another downside is that anything given for free can be taken away.

DOMAIN HOSTING ON SHARED SERVER

Multiple websites are often hosted on a single server. This shared server environment is transparent to you and your customers. Most websites managed by RDN Associates are hosted on shared servers. Shared server hosting packages usually offer just about every feature and function needed for your website without tacking on additional charges case-by-case (e.g. website traffic statistics, domain-based E-mail, CGI-BIN, PHP and MySQL support, etc.). Here are some companies providing shared server hosting.

DOMAIN HOSTING ON A DEDICATED SERVER

Dedicated server means that your website is the only website on a server.

Several factors will influence your decision to host your website on a dedicated server.

  • Your website will experience heavy traffic (more than a few dozen visits per hour)
  • Your website will use significant bandwidth (more than a few dozen megabytes per hour)
  • Your website requires a lot of disk space (total file size is more than a gigabyte).
  • Your website content and/or functions are not permitted on shared servers
Each dedicated server is "built" to the owner's specificatgion with each attritubute selected from a menu of options, each of which adds to the total price -- a price that starts at several hundred dollars per month.

HOSTING YOUR WEBSITE YOURSELF

If you have a spare computer and the interest & expertise to set it up as a web server in your own office, garage or basement, you can eliminate hosting charges while avoiding arbitrary size, volume or content restrictions imposed on by a hosting company.

But FREE always has a price...and being totally ON YOUR OWN is one of them. No tech support, no automatic upgrades, server redundancy, no data recovery. And, how just how much is your time worth?