Introduction to Web Hosting

This article is intended for those who are new to Web Hosting and want to know more about how to get started. Topics include terminology, types of web hosting available, and costs.

Web Hosting Terminology
If you are new to Web Hosting, you may come across many terms that you are not familiar with. These may include FTP, POP email, Data Transfer, Access Logs, etc. Not to worry, our Glossary of Terms is intended to make it easier for you to find out exactly what these and many other terms mean and how they relate to what you want to know about Web Hosting.

Types of Web Hosting
There are generally two types of Web Hosting accounts available, virtual and non-virtual accounts. Virtual Web Hosting refers to leasing space on a web server where you have your own domain name. This type of account enables your Web site to have a professional appearance and enables potential visitors to find your site more easily. An additional benefit to having a virtual domain account is that many search engines and directories will rank your site higher if you have a virtual domain.

Non-virtual Web Hosting provides you with space on a web server but without using a domain name. In this case the URL to your Web site might be something like As you can see, this is much more difficult to remember than a simple domain name. The major benefit of non-vitual Web Hosting is that it can often be found free of charge. Many companies on the Web offer free non-virtual domain accounts. These include GeoCities, Tripod, Beseen, etc.

Web Hosting Costs
Web Hosting costs vary tremendously, ranging from free to thousands of dollars per month. The features associated with your account will usually determine cost. For instance, if you choose to use a free Web Hosting service, you will likely have far fewer account features than if you paid for your account. If you want a virtual domain account, prices generally range from $10 to $30. Accounts in this price range will usually provide plenty of benefits and features for beginners.

How do I Create my Web site?
Once you have selected the type of Web Hosting you want, the next step is creating your Web pages. This can be done in many different ways but the most common is by using an HTML editor. Popular ones include Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe Pagemill, and WebStudio. This type of software allows to to design and develope Web pages without having to learn HTML. However, you will find that knowing at least a little HTML will help you tremendously. Some Web Hosts offer clients software to create their Web pages via the Web browser. This is nice for beginners because they don’t have to purchase additional software and they don’t have to upload their files to their account since the pages are created there. If this appeals to you, be sure to ask any potential Web Hosts if they offer this feature.

How do I get my Web files to my Account?
After you have created your Web Pages, the next step is uploading them to your account so that they are available for the world to see. In most cases you will use FTP or File Transfer Protocol. This simply refers to the process of logging into your account and uploading your Web file. Most HTML Editors have this function built in, so you don’t have to purchase additional software. If you run into problems uploading files, remember that there are 3 pieces of information you will need: server name, login name and password. If you aren’t sure if you have the correct information, ask your Web Host.

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You can read our Web Hosting Glossary of Terms