Website Hosting – A Basic Overview

Website-Hosting-Basic-Overview

In the most generalized of terms, website hosting is a service in which a business or individual is able to create a website. A website hosting provider is a for-profit business that offers the services and technologies needed for a website to be viewed by Internet users. Websites are supported and streamed to users throughout the world via complex machines known as servers.

Website Hosting – A Basic OverviewWhen an Internet user wishes to visit your website, they type in your domain name in the browser URL text box. Their computer then connects with the designated host server and your website data is transferred from the hosting server to the user browser.

While you may be familiar with the concept of websites, in order to fully understand this complex industry it’s best to first delve into the realm of website hosting. With this fundamental knowledge, you’ll be able to navigate hosting providers and choose one that’s best suited for your business.

Server Disk Space

All website hosting providers offer clients (or website owners) a specified amount of disk space. It’s within this allocated storage space you’re able to store all of the files and information for your website. This includes not only the actual structural elements of the website, but also other various pieces of data, such as email accounts, databases and media files. The amount of disk space you need is dependent on the size and scope of your website.

Bandwidth

If you’ve spent any time searching for a website hosting plan, you’ve likely come across the term “bandwidth.” This refers to the amount of data needed to be transferred based upon the volume of website traffic, or visitors. In the most fundamental sense, bandwidth is like a tunnel while visitors are like cars. The more cars that wish to travel through the tunnel, the wider the bandwidth (or tunnel) should be. The less bandwidth you have, the slower the cars must travel – which means the slower your site will load. However, the larger your bandwidth, the faster your website will load.

FTP Access

Once you’ve created your web pages, or if you have media files you wish to upload to your website, you must transfer these files to the actual website server. These files are generally transferred to the server through a portal known as FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP Access is not only used to upload files to a web server, but also to download files from the web server to your computer, which is imperative when creating website backup files.

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Essential Credibility Factors in Website Design

Essential-Credibility-Factors-Website-Design

There are literally hundreds of various tips and techniques you, as a website administrator, can follow to increase sales and online visibility. In order to truly succeed in the digital marketplace, you must be able to earn the trust and loyalty of website visitors by making yourself as credible as possible. It’s only when you accomplish this goal will you convert website visitors into loyal customers.

The heart and soul of this notion rests in the design of your website. While there are many suggestions when it comes to creating credibility via website design, there are several essential factors you must follow. When done correctly, these act as stepping stones to transform visitors into customers.

Essential-Credibility-Factors-in-Website-DesignFactor #1 – Design Quality

The quality of your website design is by far the most important factor when it comes to establishing trustworthiness and credibility within your industry. Good design makes your site appear professional and legitimate while bad design accomplishes the opposite. In both the landing page and throughout site navigation, information must be organized in a logical manner and the entire website should use not only an appropriate color scheme but also uniform imagery.

Factor #2 – Upfront and Honest Connections

In real life, you wouldn’t trust a business who tries to hide elements of their products or services from you. So why would you do the same with your digital storefront? In order to retain credibility among novice and savvy online customers, you should make sure your information is upfront and easily found by visitors. This includes prominently displaying contact information, clearly explaining the cost of your products and services and delving deep into what the customer gets when they purchase said product or service. Adding a FAQ page and a blog can help foster a sense of trust and transparency among website visitors.

Factor #3 – Comprehensive Information

A website that’s lacking information is suspicious in the eyes of visitors. Because of the wide array of scams circulating throughout the World Wide Web, savvy Web users require comprehensive information. This doesn’t just mean quality information regarding your products and services, but also content that the user would find beneficial. In fact, many studies have found a business who feature a vast array of relevant content is viewed as an authority within their specific industry. Therefore, a visitor is more likely to view the business as a credible source and is much more likely to spend their money with you. Avoid generic content, images and media. Customization and uniqueness is a requirement in our modern digital marketplace.

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Commonly Asked Questions and Answers About Free Website Hosting Accounts

Free-Web-Hosting

A website wouldn’t be a website without a hosting provider. Website hosting plans come in a wide variety of sizes and price ranges. Regardless of the provider you choose to go with, the purpose is universal: to provide access to a server so you can share all your data with visitors. While there are many different plans available to you, one of the most popular options – especially for small, personal websites – is free website hosting. Although there are many elements you must consider when searching for a free hosting option, you’re likely to have many questions. The following are common questions and answers regarding free website hosting options.

Question: Are Free Hosting Options Actually Free?

Free Website Hosting AccountsThis is by far the most common question, and the answer is simple: yes, the majority of free hosting options are actually free. While this may be excellent for your bank account, there are several drawbacks you must be aware of. The most common are limited features, such as no email hosting and forced third-party advertisements (more on this later).

Question: Are There Any Limitations to Free Hosting Plan?

For the most part, you can do almost everything you would do with a paid hosting plan; however, you’re severely limited to the server load. While you can typically run various applications and databases, monthly bandwidth and overall disk storage space is severely limited. This is generally only an issue if your website begins to experience a surge of visitors, in which case you’ll need to upgrade to a paid hosting account to support the rise in traffic (and demand on bandwidth).

Question: Do Free Hosting Plan Force Third-Party Advertisements?

Unfortunately, in order for the hosting provider to offer free server space, they must make money somehow, which is generally in the form of forced third-party advertisements. Although these ads are generally placed in non-forefront areas of your website, such as on the footer of each page. However, some hosting providers place banner advertisements across you page, which can make the site seem spammish. The only way to remove these advertisements is to upgrade to a paid hosting account.

Question: Can You Upgrade to a Paid Hosting Account?

In general, yes. The majority of hosting providers that offer free website hosting allow account holders to upgrade to a paid hosting option. In fact, you may find that your hosting provider offers a special discount for upgrading. Even if you’re not planing on upgrading for a long time, it’s best to go with a service provider that offers upgrading options.

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Understanding SSLs In Website Hosting

Understanding-SSL

There are many elements when it comes to protecting your website visitors. While these can dramatically vary, perhaps one of the most important security levels is an SSL, also known as a Secure Sockets Layer. This protocol is standard throughout the digital community as it’s able to confidentially transmit sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and other confidential information. Due to its widespread use, customers find this level of security necessary in order to interact with many businesses.

How SSL Works

In order to fully understand the importance of an SSL certificate, it’s imperative to actually know how this security feature operates. In the most fundamental sense, an SSL works by utilizing a private and public key to effectively encrypt personal data before it’s transmitted. Once the receiving server obtains the encrypted data, the matching key unlocks, or decrypts, the transmission. Because of the severe threat posed by hackers, utilizing an SSL can provide essential protection for not only yourself, but also your visitors and customers.

Dedicated and Shared SSL

Understanding-SSL-Website-HostingThere are two primary types of SSL certificates: shared and dedicated. While both of these certificate types feature the same purpose, which is to safeguard private information for transmission between two servers, the primary difference is the visual layout of the SSL. When you use a shared SSL, the URL will look like a subdomain while a dedicated SSL will be relatively unnoticed within the layout of the domain URL.

Although shared SSL certificates are just as secure as a dedicated SSL, the appearance may not be appropriate for serious businesses. Because website visitors may not be well-versed in how SSL certificates operate, it’s best to utilize a dedicated SSL certificate. Upon doing so, the domain URL will feature a lock icon on the left-hand side of the URL, which is a visual cue that all data being transmitted is secure and safe from prying eyes.

How to Get an SSL Certificate

Now that you understand the importance of an SSL, you’re likely wondering how you can get one. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest ways a website administrator can safeguard their digital presence. The majority of website hosting providers offer a built-in option for an SSL certificate. In many cases, installing an SSL is as easy as simply clicking the “Add SSL Certificate” button within your control panel. There are many third party vendors capable of providing an SSL; however, if your website hosting provider offers this tool, it’s typically easiest to go with their own.

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