Web Hosting Providers
To make your web site visible to the world, you'll have to store it on a web server.
Hosting your own Web site
Hosting your web site on your own server is always an option. Here are some points to consider:
To run a "real" web site, you will have to buy some powerful server hardware. Don't expect that a low cost PC will do the job. You will also need a permanent (24 hours a day ) high-speed connection.
Remember that server-licenses often are higher than client-licenses. Also note that server-licenses might have limits on number of users.
Don't expect low labor expenses. You have to install your own hardware and software. You also have to deal with bugs and viruses, and keep your server constantly running in an environment where "everything could happen".
Using an Internet Service Provider
Renting a server from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a common option.
Most small companies store their web site on a server provided by an ISP. Here are some advantages:
Most ISPs have very fast connections to the Internet.
ISPs often have powerful web servers that can be shared by several companies. You can also expect them to have an effective load balancing, and necessary backup servers.
Security and Stability
ISPs are specialists on web hosting. Expect their servers to have more than 99% up time, the latest software patches, and the best virus protection.
Things to Consider with an ISP
Make sure your ISP offers 24-hours support. Don't put yourself in a situation where you cannot fix critical problems without having to wait until the next working day. Toll-free phone could be vital if you don't want to pay for long distance calls.
Make sure your ISP runs a daily backup routine, otherwise you may lose some valuable data.
Study the ISP's traffic volume restrictions. Make sure that you don't have to pay a fortune for unexpected high traffic if your web site becomes popular.
Bandwidth or Content Restrictions
Study the ISP's bandwidth and content restrictions. If you plan to publish pictures or broadcast video or sound, make sure that you can.
Make sure your ISP supports the e-mail capabilities you need.
Front Page Extensions
If you use FrontPage to develop your web site, make sure your ISP supports FrontPage server extensions.
If you plan to use data from databases on your web site, make sure your ISP supports the database access you need.