Let’s say you’ve made a website documenting your hiking adventures this summer on the Appalachian Trail and you are interested in marketing some camping gear you’ve designed. Since you’ve already gone through all the hassle of creating the website, you will hopefully want people to see it. This is where a website hosting service, made up of a $12.3 billion dollar industry, comes in.
Website hosting works by storing your website’s files in high-powered computers (also called web servers) that are connected to a lightning fast network full of other computers. Here’s how it works: When someone types in your website’s address, the Internet connects to the server holding your website’s files, and then transfers your website information back to the users computer where they will be able to access your site.
Website hosting providers manage these servers and its software, support, bandwidth, and security. Most website hosting companies will be in charge of managing millions and millions of websites across the Internet, thus needing data centers. Data centers are large buildings or rooms where hundreds of computers are all connected to each other, sharing information, and storing it in an organized fashion.
The web hosting industry is expected to grow about 26% over the next four years as more small businesses are starting to realize the benefits of a website hosting service. So far, roughly 37% of small to medium sized businesses have already purchased managed services such as business website hosting.
There are several types of affordable web hosting options:
- Shared Web Hosting
- Website Builder
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
Each option provides different features for companies, depending on the wants and needs of the business. For example, a small business that does not understand the complexities of how to get their website noticed on the Internet may need a website builder, which provides website hosting and design.
Some of the major benefits web hosting companies can offer you are technical support for your site, reliable servers, and often free features that come with the hosting service. So if you think those new camping gear innovations are going to be a big hit, you might want to look into a web hosting service to help manage your traffic.