A Web host is in the business of providing server space, Web services and file maintenance for Web sites controlled by individuals or companies that do not have their own Web servers. Many ISPs, such as America Online, will allow subscribers a small amount of server space to host a personal Web page. Other commercial ISPs will charge the user a fee depending on the complexity of the site being hosted.
The business of providing the storage, connectivity, and services necessary to serve files for a website.
A company that provides web hosting services is called a web host, and their detailed offers of storage, connectivity, and services are called web hosting plans.
There are literally thousands of web hosting services, ranging from individuals to worldwide corporations, and many web hosts offer multiple web hosting plans.
Below are basic checklists with some factors to consider when searching for a web host and a web hosting plan. Your requirements may vary.
Company - dependability, stability, profitability.
People - honesty, integrity, professionalism.
Location - local, regional, national, worldwide.
Reliability - uptime measured as a percentage.
Redundancy - multiple connections to the Net.
Availability - can handle peak traffic volumes.
Scalability - prepared to accomodate growth.
Hardware - fast servers with quality components.
Monitoring - automatic checking of the network.
Backups - good frequency and easy recovery.
Technical Support - experienced and helpful.
Support Hours - real 24/7 vs. promised 24/7.
Response Time - average in minutes or hours.
Support Methods - free/toll phone, email, IM.
Policies - accepts or rejects offensive sites.
Fine Print - does it contradict the big print