If you are the owner or designer of a website, it is likely that you would want to open your site to public surfers on the net. In such a case, the site has to run on a computer which is internet enabled 24/7 and is connected to the WWW. While it is possible for you to host your site with your own equipment, at your own cost and with your efforts, it is an option that is generally not preferred. The rationale is simple. The outlay involved would be rather high. You will need a good deal of web admin. skills or will have to hire someone with those skills. Only then can the web server be configured and managed.
When you read ipage reviews and similar reviews about firms which offer web hosting services to individuals and companies, you are likely to be convinced that outsourcing your web hosting activities would be profitable in terms of cost and time as well as efforts. Copious web server and internet resources, email and domain management, continuous FTP access for site management, free tools for site building and maintenance, never ending customer support and reporting mechanism are some of the parameters you need to take a look at before zeroing-in on a web hosting provider.