Website hosting provider
If you want to make your site accessible to people all over the world, you have to store it on a web server.
Use your own host
Storing a website on your own server is always an option. However, some issues need to be considered:
To run a "real" site, you have to buy some high-performance server hardware. Do not expect cheap PCs to do these jobs. You also need an uninterrupted, high-speed connection to your office, which is expensive.
Do not forget to calculate additional fees for software licenses. Keep in mind that server licenses often cost much more than client licenses. Also note that the license for some server software limits the number of concurrent users.
Do not expect very low labor costs. Keep in mind that you have to have these software and hardware installed, you also have to deal with the loopholes and viruses, and keep the server up and running in a "do-it-all" environment.
Using an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
It is a common choice to rent a server from an internet service provider (ISP).
It is the most common practice to rent a server from an ISP. The benefits of doing so are:
Most providers have a very fast Internet connection.
Service providers often have many powerful web servers that can be shared by multiple companies. They provide load balancing and the necessary backup services.
Safety and stability
ISP is an expert in web hosting. They can provide over 99% uptime, the latest patches for software vulnerabilities and the best virus protection.
Things to consider when using an ISP
24 hour support
Make sure your ISP of your choice provides 24-hour support. Please do not put yourself in the spot where you need to wait for the next business day to fix the critical issues. If you do not want to spend a lot of long distance charges, it is also important that the called toll free number be used.
Make sure your ISP you choose provides a daily routine of safe backup or you may lose a lot of valuable data.
Please review the provider's traffic restrictions. Make sure that if your site gets popular, you do not have to pay extra for unexpected high traffic.
Bandwidth or content limit
Please study the provider's bandwidth and content restrictions. If you plan to post a picture, broadcast or sound, make sure you have such rights.
Please ensure that the provider fully supports the e-mail performance you need. (You can learn more about e-mail performance in later chapters)
Front Page extension
If you plan to use FrontPage to develop your site, make sure your provider fully supports FrontPage Server Extensions.
If you plan to use a database on your website, make sure your provider fully supports the database access you need. (You can read more about database access later in this chapter)