Hosting your website
Your website is made up of files that are stored on a computer that people can access over the Internet. This computer is known as a web server. These files will include the text, graphics and layout instructions for your website, among other things.
When somebody wants to see one of your web pages, their browser will request it over the Internet. The server will send them back the files they need for that web page, and the browser will combine them all and present them to the user.
Few people who run a website ever see their server. They work with a hosting company, which rents them a server, or, more usually, just some space on a shared server. These servers are kept in data centers with high availability and dedicated technical teams to respond to any faults.
When you have a shared server, the monthly costs will be tiered according to two parameters:
- Storage space. This is how much space all your website files occupy on disk. If you will allow users to contribute content that is stored on your server, then you need to count this, too.
- Bandwidth. This is how much data you can send over the Internet each month. This is a function of how many visitors you have, how many pages they look at, and how big the files are on your website.
Usually, you can start small and upgrade as the scope and popularity of your site grows. Sometimes, you will need to start with a more expensive account, because you want to use technologies that have special hosting requirements, such as PHP, and these cost more. It’s worth researching hosting early, so that you can launch as soon as your site is ready.
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