Before you will be able to use your Domain Name to use email and build a website, it must be permanently located on an internet linked server. This is called Hosting, Web Hosting or Website Hosting, depending on your preference.
Unless you are planning to operate your own internet linked server, most business users rent one of the following hosting solutions from a commercial hosting company...
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server - VPS
Shared HostingShared hosting tends to be the cheapest and most economical solution for many start-up businesses, or small businesses with a limited budget. On the positive side, they tend to be fairly easy to set up although some technical expertise is required. If you don't have the relevant skills yourself, then your web designer may be able to deal with this for you.
Most hosting providers provide a range of shared hosting packages. The cheapest tend to be fairly limited in features and web hosting space, whilst the more expensive options provide greater features, functionality and greater hosting space.
On the negative side, shared hosting sites mean that the IP address of the site - the unique identifying number of the server - is likely to be shared with possibly hundreds of other websites. In times of peak demand, all of the websites on the server are competing with each other for the limited bandwidth available, which could result in blockages and hold ups and consequently a poor service to your website visitors.
And if one of the other websites sharing the server gets blacklisted for spam or anti-social behaviour, this could have a detrimental effect on all the other websites linked to the same IP Address.
Virtual Private Server - VPSIf you are serious about your business and want to present a professional face to the internet world, then a Virtual Private Server is highly recommended.
Whilst more expensive than shared hosting, most VPS packages are equipped with all the latest high-end hosting features, enabling you to build a website that can compete with the best at all levels.
The latest Linux VPS servers for example, tend to have the latest versions of PHP & MySQL installed as standard, which is ideal for database-linked business websites, blogs and ecommerce shopping sites.
And all VPSs usually have their own unique IP Address, which means that you are not sharing the server with anyone else, thus freeing your website from bottlenecks and slow loading pages, ensuring your site visitors get a quality service at all times.
On the downside, they do require a fairly high degree of technical knowledge. If you don't have the skills yourself, possibly your web designer does? Alternatively, you may need to hire an expert with the appropriate knowledge.