Web hosting is a necessity for any website — it is the physical location of your website on the Internet, an online storage center that houses the information, images, video, and other content that comprises your website. Web hosting service providers maintain the server where the data associated with your website resides, and also manage the technology that makes your website connect to the Internet.
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Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you'll need web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
Since 2009, FatCow has been committed to purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset its use of electricity; this year, the company will purchase enough RECs to offset its use of electricity by 200%. FatCow's commitment to the environment will prevent 999 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, this year alone; that's equivalent to planting 213 acres of trees or taking 196 cars off the road!
The first step in building your online presence is finding a web host, the company that will store your website's files on its servers and deliver them to your readers' and customers' browsers. Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
Beyond that, Dreamhost is a 5-of-5 hosting company for many reasons. They operate their own control panel, which is convenient and easy to understand. While phone support isn't available 24-7, they are responsive to chat and tickets. The company uses superfast SSDs for all their storage, has a free SSL certificate (for more secured web browsing), and provides SSH access for those plans that are intended for more technical users.
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