Every website is stored on a server that is owned and operated by a different business. Sometimes this is the company you purchase your domain name through but it isn't always the case every time.
You're actually looking for someone to store the data for you, and allow access to your website. They often also offer methods to combat spam and have antivirus systems in place to protect your website. If they do not then it's probably not the best place for a business website to be parked.
When you choose a host one of the main things to consider beyond this is any downtime. All servers will have some down time, generally for regular maintenance, if there is a power blackout where it is stored or on other grounds. You need to know what the chances are and what downtime statistics resemble. Good hosts will have this information to look at on their web site, including their back up power sources and percentage of time that sites will be live.
While 100% up time is ideal it may not be actually possible but you're going to want a host that aims for it. If they can offer you 99% then this may be suitable, but don't forget that every time your web site is unavailable people are turned away. They cannot access your contact details, any information at all in fact. It is as if your website doesn't exist and they will be told that their browser can't find it.
If this happens regularly the chances of losing business are high. It will have a negative impact on your web site marketing. It'll also lead to word of mouth that you are no longer in business, or at least put people off checking back if you're turned away more than once without finding the business information at all then it'll be thought of as outdated and forgotten. Ensuring you choose the right website host should be a key element in your internet marketing strategy.
How to Choose a Great Website Host
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26 July 2010
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