What Is Web Hosting: How many hosting providers are there? What are the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated web hosting? Web hosting can be complex and intimidating when you’re not familiar with all of the industry lingo, but we’ve tried to break it down into simple terms that you can understand in order to make your search as easy as possible.
What is it?
Websites need a home—where else are you going to put all those cat videos? Website hosting (also known as web hosting) is where you buy or rent space from an Internet provider so that you can store your website on a server, which connects your site to millions of other users worldwide.
There are two main types of hosting: shared and dedicated. Dedicated servers give hosts more control over their servers, but they cost significantly more than shared servers. Shared servers are great for small websites with moderate traffic needs.
What Is Web Hosting
How does it work?
The first thing to understand is that web hosting is all about files. There are many different types of files, such as HTML, CSS, and image files. Your website’s server must be able to store and retrieve those files when they are requested by a visitor’s web browser.
Servers come in various sizes and levels of security—this choice depends on your preferences and budget. Generally speaking, there are two main ways to host your site: Shared Hosting or Dedicated Server.
What should I look for in a host?
Deciding on a web host is like choosing a mate; you have to make sure that both parties involved have each other’s best interests at heart. To make sure you get what you pay for, keep these things in mind What kind of support does it offer?
What kind of security measures does it take? Does it offer tools and resources to help me manage my site? Does it provide any extras I might need, such as storage space or email accounts? How much will I be paying per month or year? Are there any hidden fees or additional costs I should know about?
What are some recommended hosts?
There are many web hosting companies out there, but some of them are better than others. If you want great value for your money, I recommend Bluehost, Fatcow, and WP Engine. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages (and pricing), so shop around for what works best for you.
All three also have a 30-day free trial period, which is something I highly recommend taking advantage of as you do your comparison shopping. For more information on how to choose a web host see my previous post.
What if my current host goes out of business?
There’s an old saying in business that goes, Be paranoid, or someone will take advantage of you. It comes down to being prepared and knowing your alternatives when things go wrong. So with that in mind, it makes sense to ask yourself if your current host is likely to leave you stranded.
If they have a history of going out of business or going through layoffs, you might want to look elsewhere. Even if they don’t have a recent history of problems, it never hurts to know where else you can turn for hosting services.
What Is Web Hosting
What kind of support do they offer?
Web hosting companies generally offer different levels of support, from basic email and chat support to 24/7 telephone and live chat. It’s a good idea to research what level of customer service you would expect for your specific business needs.
Of course, higher levels of support will cost more money—but it might be worth it if your online presence is important for your brand or business.
Can I use my own domain name or hosting company name?
When you rent or buy space for your website on a hosting service, you’ll need to specify a domain name and know what type of hosting service you want (shared vs. dedicated). If you want to use your own domain name or host with a company other than where you purchased your hosting plan, make sure that the company doesn’t object first.
Otherwise, their terms of service may not allow it.
Is there anything else I should know about selecting web hosts?
Once you’ve reviewed multiple web hosts, it’s time to choose one. Make sure that you check for a high uptime rate and good customer service in order to guarantee that your website will always be accessible, even if you have questions or concerns.
When selecting a web host, make sure that they can provide your site with ample bandwidth and hard drive space.