How to Build a Website: Finding a Home for Your Site
After your website has been developed, you will have to decide where to host it. Your files must reside on a web server connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In theory, the server can be a computer located in your home or office, but in practice, a web hosting service is the norm. It handles all the technical details, allowing you to concentrate on publishing the site. Either way though, consider the pros and cons.In-House vs. Out-of-House
Web servers are relatively easy to configure and run, but require considerable time and technical know-how to manage, not to mention the cost of the equipment itself. If you're just starting out or you have a small site, a hosting service is the best way to go. (Your Internet service provider may also provide hosting service.) It definitely will save you time and money.
With a hosting service you won't incurr the expense of hardware or software which can run anywhere from $1,000 to US $10,000 USD or more, depending on the type of equipment. You also won't have to hire someone to administer the site, although you might want to retain a part-time consultant to help with ongoing maintenance.Comparing Costs
If you don't own your own hardware or have dedicated staff, the cost difference for your first year can be dramatic. With equipment and personnel, running your own server could cost you $50,000 USD or more; going out-of-house will cost you much less, perhaps under $500 USD. Keep in mind that regardless of whether you do it yourself or go out-of-house, you are still responsible for the cost of generating your own content and maintaining the site.
Costs vary significantly depending on the kind of services you require, for instance, e-commerce, and whether you want a dedicated web server or a shared server. Development and maintenance costs also rise dramatically as the size and complexity of your site increases. The more traffic your site generates, the more expensive it may become to use an out-of-house provider if you have to pay for bandwidth. If your company already has a robust computer system and an in-house system administrator who has the time to administer the site, running your own server might be a less costly option.
For details on the art and science of webmastering, visit Web Reference.Co-Location
Another option is co-location. With co-location, a hosting service physically maintains your web server at their facility. This is a good option if you can afford to buy your own equipment, but don't want the hassle of maintaining a 24-hour per day, uninterrupted network connection.