Once your website is complete and ready to operate, you need a web hosting provider to host its files. So users can view it on the internet.
A web host provides the technologies and services necessary to put your website online and keep it available 24/7. Websites are hosted on specialised computers called servers.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
You’ve probably seen tons of ads like the ones pointing to Hostinger’s site or influencers sponsored by Hover. Often it’s a little bit difficult to figure out what the differences of all these services are. So how does it work?
Before I get down to how hosting websites works, let me remind you something about websites. A website is simply a collection of different files.
These files need a storage space which is provided by your hosting company’s server. The server gives you the necessary space to store all things that your website needs to run properly.
Meanwhile, a domain name points to your server, and that way, your web browser knows where your files are located.
Web host companies rent out their services and technologies to host websites on the internet. Once your site has been hosted, users can access it by typing the website’s address – the domain.
Their browser connects to the server that is hosting your website. The server brings up your site’s files in a way that forms a website’s page on your browser.
It seems like a long process, right? Well, luckily, as you know from experience, if the website is built well, and has a good hosting provider, it’ll load up in seconds, like this article.
There are several types of web hosting services available in the market for your website. As a new website owner, I recommend a shared hosting plan.
When using shared hosting type, your website is hosted on the same server with other sites, where they share resources. That’s what makes shared hosting the most affordable option out there. So if your site won’t be getting major traffic at the very start, an affordable option like this is perfect.
Types of Web Hosting Services
Before you settle on any hosting plan for your web, I suggest you go through a few tips I have compiled for you. After all, if you have a better idea of what you need, understanding the different types will help you to make the best choice.
- Consider the nature of your website. Requirements for web hosting services change with the nature of your website.
- The costs. Remember to find out the cost of renewal services, the cost of setting up a web host might not be the issue.
- Shared or something bigger? Whereas shared hosting is a cheaper option, you may need to compromise on performance since the sharing slows down the performance of your website.
- The reputation of the host provider. Check out the reviews of the company you are considering. You will learn about their quality standards and trustworthiness. It would be best if you go for a host that you can rely on, especially now that you are still new. Don’t be quick to settle for very cheap hosting plans; you don’t know the headache that may come with them.
- User-friendliness. The ultimate goal of building and launching your website is to reach your clients. Choose a web hosting plan that the users will interact with easily.
Let’s break down the four most popular types.
This is the most basic type. As the name implies, shared hosting allows your website to share resources with other sites on the same server. Because of this sharing, it’s the cheapest option.
It also does not require much expertise and is easy to set up. I’d recommend this web hosting plan for website owners who are just starting or have small websites that cater to a local audience. It’s also a great option for you if your website does not require many resources or has few on-site interactions.
Aside from the costs, shared hosting has its own share of troubles. If one of the websites you are sharing a server with has heavy traffic, it’s likely to affect your website’s performance, and there is nothing much you can do to help.
Dedicated host means your website will have a dedicated server that is intended for your site alone. It’s a top of the line hosting plan.
Dedicated Hosting is costly, but its benefits are worth every penny. It allows your website to operate at peak performance since all resources exclusively belong to your site.
With dedicated hosting, you have complete technical control over the server settings. This means you can choose the software to use, change configurations, and do everything else freely.
Dedicated host allows your website to load very fast all the time, as long as it’s well-built. Keep in mind that, if you have a poorly optimised website, hosting will only barely improve its load speed, but will accommodate for loads of traffic.
Now that you are the only one using the server, you are assured of high security, high uptimes, and optimal performance. I recommend dedicated servers for large eCommerce sites and enterprise-level websites because they are the best in handling high volumes of traffic on such websites.
By high traffic, I mean if your website gets over 100,000 visitors per month. Dedicated servers are the best option for servers that need tight security, such as the servers that store financial data.
However, keep in mind that with more control comes more responsibility. You’ll need to set up a lot of technical aspects yourself. That means dedicated hosting is recommended for expert web developers.
When you settle for a dedicated server, you can let the hosting provider manage the server or do it yourself. Managing the server on your own, however, means you are in charge of everything, including any technical errors.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the next common type of web host that website owners upgrade to after shared hosting. With a VPS website, you also share the server with other sites like in shared web host, but everyone has allocated resources. That means another site’s traffic won’t affect your site.
As the name implies, one server is split into multiple virtual servers. This plan gives you room to make custom changes to your server configuration. You’ll be getting root access and will be able to modify the backend, unlike with shared hosting.
With a VPS plan, your website can load faster, and you will enjoy higher uptime rates. VPS gives you some benefits that dedicated hosting offers but at a lower cost. I recommend VPS if you have a small or medium business.
When it comes to ease of use, it’s the middle option between dedicated and shared hosting. That means you will need technical experience to manage your site.
Cloud hosting comes with multiple remote servers that all act as one. If one server happens to have an issue, the other servers take over its responsibility by picking up the slack.
It enables your website to have higher uptime rates and significantly reduced downtime server errors.
The most outstanding advantage with cloud hosting is that you can scale your resources on demand. This comes so handily since most website demands cannot be predicted.
For example, you cannot tell how many visitors your website will have in a month. Cloud hosting gives you the luxury of paying for what you use.
You can always adjust these resources within your admin dashboard. I recommend cloud host for rapidly growing medium and large business websites.
Best Web Hosting Option
When planning to start a website, looking for a reliable web hosting with no downtime guarantee should be on the top at your do-to-list. Still, it would be best if you had a provider with numerous features. A provider that gives you a certain level of confidence with its 24/7/365 tech support that’s always available to solve your problems quickly.
There are other factors you should consider when choosing a website hosting provider. There is no single right choice for everyone. It all depends on your needs and budget.
As a start-up, looking for cost-effective ways to run your business is paramount. Whatever you are operating on can only go so far. So choosing a host that will provide you with the much-needed resources for your online presence at the lowest price should be your go-to company.
Whether you are a bigger or a master webmaster, you will need a web hosting provider with cost-effective plans that do not compromise on the must-have features. These includes uptime, speed, reliable performance, and security.
I hope this article helps you better understand how website hosting works and helps you find the right option for your new website. Good luck.
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