As an individual or a business that has been looking to establish a website, you may have come across the term ‘website hosting’. But what does website hosting really entail? If you’re not familiar with the term, website hosting is essentially when a hosting provider or company provides your website with a ‘space’ on their server.
This further allows the components of your site; text, images, and code, to be viewed online by other web users. The space that the hosting provider allocates to your site is mostly dependent on the type of hosting they offer. But before getting into the various types, here are a couple of things you should know about website hosting:
- Website hosting works via a server, which is a type of computer that basically connects website users all over the world to your site.
- In order for you to have any kind of online presence, you need good and reliable web hosting.
- There are several hundreds of website hosting providers available to you, with each one providing their own variation of website hosting services.
- You have the freedom to choose your web hosting plans, with plan prices ranging from free, albeit with limited services and plug-in options, to higher-priced plans that offer specialized services, especially for businesses.
Now that you know what website hosting is, the next thing to get into is the types of website hosting. There are about eight main types of web hosting, and they are basically set apart from each other by three key things – the degree of management they provide, the technology used for their servers, and the add-on services that they offer.
How to Host a Website
So, how do you host a website? Starting research before you go blind is always a good thing. Fortunately, you took the first step by clicking on this tutorial. That said, here are a couple of ways to host a website.
- Hosted Website Builders. This method for website creation is the ideal solution for beginners without technical knowledge. You sign up for a hosted website builder, like Wix, Shopify or 3dcart. These type of services include the web hosting but don’t give you access to it or to the source code of your website, and instead provide their own interface to create pages and manage your website. We do not recommend this option if you’re use to having cPanel access and full control over your site.
- Self-hosted: Web hosting is easy to obtain by signing up for a hosting company. It is nowhere near as expensive as a hosted website builder. And the process is relatively easy, unless you want to reinstall a server from scratch (which is not recommended at this point).
Now, let’s take a look at the different types of hosting out there.
Types of Website Hosting
- WordPress Hosting:
Over the past couple of years, WordPress has gained an increased level of popularity as a website creation platform. As a result of this, various hosting companies now have servers that offer managed WordPress hosting specifically for WordPress websites.
To put it simply, the provider you select ensures that your WordPress site, along with all your plug-ins and installations remain updated at all times in to protect your site from cyber-attacks. Even better, it is usually inexpensive and is a pretty great option for businesses that have WordPress websites.
- Shared web hosting:
When you use shared website hosting, it simply means that the server that hosts your website is shared with other websites. Most people starting an online business afresh opt for shared web hosting since one of its biggest advantages is its affordable cost. However, a major drawback is that the popularity of the other sites on your server can negatively affect the performance and amount of traffic on your own site.
- Reseller web hosting:
Using a reseller web hosting service is sometimes seen as an upgrade from a shared web hosting. This hosting option also offers you more advanced technical control, billing software so that you can send invoices to customers and extra benefits some of which include free website templates and private name servers.
- Cloud-based web hosting:
This is a new type of hosting that allows several servers to work together as one. Under this umbrella, if your company’s web traffic grows exponentially, the cloud server is able to automatically add more hardware to accommodate your needs instead of shutting down your website.
- Dedicated web server:
With a dedicated web server, you are simply renting a single server from a hosting company, and in fact, you can have complete control of it if you want. This hosting mod guarantees that you don’t share a server with other websites, so your site doesn’t get slowed down.
This type of hosting is typically recommended when your online business grows to the point that it attracts a huge about of traffic. One thing to take into consideration here is that this type of hosting can be a bit costly, with dedicated server prices starting from 100 dollars and upwards per month.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS):
A VPS is a smart form of web hosting that involves sharing a physical server that acts like several separate servers. One server is shared so that each share functions as its own individual, dedicated server. Think of it this way, a VPS is a middle ground between getting a dedicated server and using shared hosting.
- Self-service web hosting:
The whole idea here is that you basically host your own site. It involves a number of things, including buying your own server, installing and configuring the software, ensuring that the hardware doesn’t overheat, making provision for power backup, and a number of other responsibilities.
Using self-service web hosting requires a high level of expertise because your skills as a business owner just aren’t going to cut it with this kind of web hosting. If you’re not quite there yet, then this hosting option is not recommended.
Now that you know what website hosting is, as well as the different types of website hosting, you can go ahead and choose a type of hosting provider based on how they cater to the needs of your online business.