When a company or a person decides to have an online presence or other internet based project they will use a service called web hosting. It is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post their website or web content on the internet and is often provided as part of a general internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services. Hosting companies have their respective servers and disk spaces that act as data centers; the files relating to your website are stored in there, waiting to be retrieved when someone decides to check what your site has to offer.

Initially, the majority of users decide on paying for a shared server with their hosting company. It is often a good idea to see if the company is reliable before this more costly option of a dedicated server is taken. With web hosting you get your own web space, but you do need to have a registered domain before you can use it, then you are allocated with enough storage to keep all your files for online publication. Files include web pages, images, audios, and videos, to name a few and normally, you will be provided with storage space of about 1 GB although the limit is continually rising as storage costs lessen.

Web hosting also provides the facility to have your own email address unlike those supplied by Google and Yahoo for example, this means, your e-mail address is exclusive to your website. It always looks like the user is more serious about their internet presence if they have their own email and domain name, it increases credibility. Then you have bandwidth, which refers to how much data is being transferred over the internet, this is something that many people overlook simply because they're enamored with the low prices of hosting packages and don't consider how quickly bandwidth is used up.

Problems will occur in the form of an inaccessible website if the bandwidth is exceeded so if the web host cannot provide the bandwidth you require you will need to use another company. If you only have a small site that does not have much on it then this probably won't concern you but as soon as audio, video and hi-resolution images are incorporated, it becomes more of a concern. While it is possible to use your own home PC as a web host, this is not advised as the number of security issues involved will make it a risky proposition and it is far easier to pay another company for their web hosting service.