21. A place on the Web for your shop
Using a web hosting company can make your life easier. It also makes you independent.
While ISPs give you access to the Internet and often also provide you with space on the Net, they do this because they have to - else you could go to a competitor who does.
Web hosting companies however specialize in renting out space for people who need it. While some ISP's offer very good hosting services, web hosting companies can be a better option.
This is because of the traffic they have to deal with. An ISP has to cater for people who want to get to the Internet and with traffic from the Internet from people who want to see pages hosted by the ISP.
A web hosting company only has to deal with traffic from the Internet. In an ideal world your website should come up faster when a visitor calls it - especially during busy times.
If you are connected to the Internet, using a web hosting company is easy. You will get a special address to which to publish your web site. Shop building software such as ShopFactory can do this automatically, once you have entered this address in the software.
Hosting companies will also allow you to have your own Internet address for a reasonable price.
ISP's sometimes charge you more for this because they know using your own Internet address makes you independent of them. After all, as long as you use and promote the address the ISP has assigned to you and not your own, you are unlikely to switch to a competitor.