What Do I Need to Consider When Putting My Website Online?

Web server

In order to make a website available on the internet it must be hosted by a web server. Hosting requires that the files are housed, serviced and maintained so that they are accessible when someone visits the website.

What factors need to be taken into account when deciding on an appropriate hosting package?

The following factors need to be taken into account when looking at hosting:

  • Functionality – the features that are on offer and how the content is made available to the user
  • Performance – the speed by which it responds to the requests made
  • Reliability – how often your website is available and how often it suffers from down time

What hosting options are available to me?

The following two hosting options are available in order to host your website online:

  1. Internet Service Provider (ISP) hosting
  2. In house hosting

Internet Service Provider Hosting

When a website is hosted by an internet service provider (ISP) this means that the ISP is responsible for providing your business with connection to the internet through the following ways:

  • Shared server – owned by the ISP and located at their offices and shared with other websites 
  • Dedicated hosting – your businesses website is the only one which is located on the server
  • Co-location – you business will place your own server which you either own or rent at the premises of the ISP.

A shared service is the cheapest option for a simple website whereas dedicated hosting is the preferred option for more complex websites but of course is a little more expensive.

What are the advantages of using an ISP hosting service?

The following are advantages of using an ISP hosting service:

  • ISP’s have a fast connection
  • There is no need to invest in your own server
  • The ISP server will be reliable and available most of the time
  • The ISP server will be secure

What are the disadvantages of using an ISP hosting service?

The following are the disadvantages of using an ISP hosting service:

  • If you are operating on a shared server your own websites performance may be compromised if they are hosting many other websites
  • If the actions of other websites cause your ISP to be blacklisted then this may affect your website

In House Hosting

You can always host your website in house although this may be a costly option.

What are the advantages of in house hosting?

The following are the advantages of in house hosting of your website:

  • Control over access to website
  • Control over choice of hardware
  • No contractual or legal issues associated with using an ISP

What are the disadvantages of in house hosting?

The following are the disadvantages of in house hosting of your website:

  • You will have to purchase you own web server hardware
  • You must have IT staff who can operate the server
  • The security of the server must be supported by specialist security expertise

What Regulations and law will I need to be aware of?

Once your website is up and running and you are able to start providing services and selling products you will need to be aware of the following legislation:

E-Commerce Regulations

These may apply even if you are not selling products online and are simply advertising. You must be fully aware of these Regulations when placing your website online.

Distance Selling Regulations

These may apply even if you are not selling products online and are simply advertising. You must be fully aware of these Regulations when placing your website online.

Data Protection

If you are collecting information from your clients then you must be aware of all data protection legislation.

Trade Descriptions Act

The same rules apply to websites as well as any other forms of media. If you describe your goods and services online then you will have to ensure that your descriptions are accurate and not misleading.

Intellectual Property Rights

The information that you publish on your website is automatically protected by copyright. You must ensure that what you publish on your website does not infringe anyone else’s intellectual property rights.

If you employ any designers, photographers, writers or illustrators to provide original material for the website then you need to be aware that they shall retain the copyright to their work enabling them to reproduce it wherever they want. If you want to own the copyright you must have a specific agreement in place.