If you’re reading this post, you must be planning to build a website from scratch, so you’re looking for a suitable web host for your business; but you’re confused. There are hundreds of thousands of web hosts, but choosing the right one for your website can be challenging.
In this article, HostCalc, shares everything you need to know about web hosting before you sign up for your account.
Table of Contents
What is a Web Host?
In simpler terms, a web host is where your website is stored on the internet. Usually, web hosting companies have powerful computers with fast and reliable internet connection that allow your website to run. When you purchase a web hosting plan, you’re assigned the whole (or a space) on one of their computers.
You can then upload files on your website so that other people can see them on the web. Think of a web host as your landlord. When you pay rent, you’re given a room/house to live in. If you need more space, you pay for another room. That’s how it happens with web hosts. Your website is allocated space depending on the plan you choose and amount you pay.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the process by which a web host stores your website on their servers and makes it visible to people on the internet. A web host stores everything on your website including images, videos, texts, GIFs, infographics, etc.
What Are the Different Types of Web Hosting?
It’s easier to get confused when looking to sign up for a web hosting plan as there are different types of web hosting. Below are the five main types of web hosting:
Shared hosting is the popular and cost-effective type of web hosting. It’s also not as powerful as the other types you will learn below. With this type of web hosting, several websites share the server resources of a web host. That’s perhaps why it’s the least expensive.
Think of shared hosting as renting a house with other people whereby you have your own bedroom, but you’re sharing resources such as electricity, water, etc. While this type of web hosting is cost-effective and easy to set up, it’s not scalable and you don’t have control over the server. This web hosting option is suitable for businesses on a tight budget, small websites and beginner bloggers.
Dedicated server hosting, as the name suggests, is a type of web hosting where you are allocated your own server. That means you have complete control over your assigned server.
It’s the most costly web hosting option but it comes with many benefits. For instance, it has fast load times; unmatched performance, high uptimes, and you can install your desired kind of software. Think of dedicated hosting as owning your own house where you’re free to do anything. Whether you decide to plant trees around, change the kitchen doors or do everything you want to make your house look the way you want.
This type of web hosting is suitable for enterprise-level businesses or high-trafficked websites. If your website is driving 100,000+ monthly visitors, this hosting option would make the best option for you. You will need technical knowledge to manage your server.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
VPS, also known as Virtual Private Server hosting is a type of web hosting where your website shares a main server with a few other websites. Ideally, the main server is split into virtual servers, so you’re assigned your own dedicated virtual server. It’s an upgraded version of shared hosting and because you have your own dedicated virtual server, you can enjoy fast load times and higher up-times.
Even though this type of web hosting is cost-effective, sharing the main server can lead to frequent downtimes. You also don’t have complete control over the server. VPS hosting is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. If your website visitors have started to increase, you can upgrade from shared to VPS hosting.
Cloud hosting is a cost-effective hybrid version of VPS hosting. This type of hosting has several remote servers that handle different tasks. In case one server fails to work, the other servers take over the tasks. Typically, cloud hosting involves a lot of powerful computers connected together on a network.
This type of hosting has higher up-times and optimal performance. Besides, it’s a scalable hosting option. The best thing about cloud hosting is that it has high security and less unexpected downtimes. On the flipside though, it has limited customization and having unpredictable traffic can see you paying more than the usual price.
Basically, cloud hosting is suitable for medium and large business website with a higher growth rate. If your website visitors are increasing steadily, or you’re experiencing unpredictable traffic, cloud hosting would make the best option for you.
Managed hosting borrows the powers of VPS and dedicated server. Ideally, with this type of hosting, your hosting provider offers some kind of hands-on technical support, for instance initial configuration or pre-installing software, and monitoring.
It’s also important to understand that when you sign up for a web hosting account, you purchase servers, data-centers, software, and support.
Important Factors to Consider When Purchasing Web Hosting
When choosing your web host, you need to consider the following factors.
A delay of a second on your website can make you lose thousands of visitors. Moreover, Google favors fast-loading websites. If your website takes longer to load, your SEO efforts go to the drain.
Read the reviews of other customers before you purchase a web hosting plan.
Tech support is also another important factor to consider when purchasing a web hosting account. Check their support channels. Do they have a live chat feature, can you send them an email and get a quick response or can you phone them?
The worst can happen at any time, and in just a blink of an eye, you find all your content on your site is gone. While you can back up your website regularly, it’s good to choose a web hosting provider that does a regular backups of their customers’ websites.
You also need to choose a web host with an uptime of 99.9%. You can also read customer reviews to find out about this. Some other factors to consider when choosing your web host include the amount of bandwidth and storage, scalability, etc.
Do you still have any web hosting related questions? Start by reading the reviews on HostCalc and other websites that dig into the pros and cons of various hosting plans. Choosing the best web hosting provider is an important decision, so take your time and do your research.
Read More: Best Web Hosting Providers in 2020