Once your domain name is found, it's time to move on to Phase 2, which is to find a host on which to store files and data from your site. Here's how to put all the odds on your side to choose the right host.
1. What exactly is a host?
Some hosting companies provide you with storage space to "host" your site. Your data (documents, photos, files) is then stored in a web server (one or more computers connected 24 hours a day to the Internet). Users only have to connect to this server – via their web browser (Google Chrome, Safari…) – to be able to access your site at any time.
2. Is it better to opt for free or paid accommodation?
Many hosts offer to allocate part of their disk space to you for free. If this solution sounds enticing, however, you should know that:
- restrictions (available space, bandwidth, etc.) are often attached to it (and could hinder the development of your business),
- reliability (access time, responsiveness) of some free hosting companies sometimes leaves something to be desired,
- banners and advertisements will appear on your pages (this is the main source of revenue for "free" hosts),
- the host's domain name will often be attached to that of your site (in the case of an Internet service provider, if you change it, you will lose your site…),
- the image you will send back to your customers could be that of a site that is more "amateur" than "professional."
In the case of paid accommodation, you will rent your storage space and be assured of:
- benefit from more (and better) services
- take advantage of a more secure solution
- don't see you imposing pop-ups (i.e. advertising),
- don't see your host's name next to your site's name
- have more sophisticated tools to load your site onto the server,
- to be able to evolve the disk space according to your needs.
3. Dedicated or shared accommodation? That is the question…
Like a roommate, a shared host will share its disk space between several sites that will then "co-exist" on the same server. These are most often ready-to-use offers with varying content (the amount of disk space and bandwidth available, processor power, rates). Inexpensive, this solution is perfect for getting started.
On the other hand, in the case of a dedicated hosting, a server will be exclusively reserved for your site. While dedicated hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, it is also more responsive (via its hotline) but requires administrative knowledge. It is aimed primarily at sites:
- with a large audience (from several thousand daily visits),
- and/or that must respond to specific technical constraints (such as important dynamic content).
4. How much does it cost?
The amount allocated to hosting your site will vary depending on your needs. For shared accommodation, expect about 30 euros per year. In the case of dedicated accommodation, the average budget will be around 40 euros per month.
Key points to remember:
- A paid host will be suitable for professionals who need a lot of disk space and whose number of visitors may increase.
- Shared accommodation will be adapted to a site where traffic is not too high.
- For a merchant site and/or that consumes a lot of bandwidth, we will opt for a dedicated accommodation.