A website is made up of a number of electronic files containing text, images and programming to present your pages and navigation. In order for people to see these on the world wide web, the files need to stored on a computer (server) attached to the internet. Such servers are called web servers. You need to pay for the space that you use on the server, and the services that are provided along with the space, to allow your website to be viewed.
The whole package is generally referred to as "web hosting". What you get for this differs from web host to web host, but usually it includes:
access to an email gateway so that you can send and receive emails to and from your domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)
a limited number of email accounts, say 10, for your use that you can name whatever you like (e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.)
the space to store your web site files
access to different scripting languages that can be used by your website developer to make your website behave dynamically
ability to create one or more databases so that your website can store information received from visitors, or house product or other information for presenting to visitors dynamically
website traffic statistics that are updated daily, and give you online access to a variety of reports such as number of visitors, number of returning visitors, number of page hits, what terms where used in search engines to find your website, length of your visitors' stays, and much more
some standard programming scripts to help do things like convert the contents of submitted web form into an email to you
possibly access to SSL - secure socket layers - which encrypts specified pages while the information is travelling across the internet network. This is important for pages containing personal information, passwords, credit card numbers etc.
Contact Point recommends the following Webhosting options to meet the needs of most websites. Should your requirements differ, we can assist you to source an appropriate and cost effective alternative.