It’s not always easy to know what you need on your website. You might know you want a web host, but what is that? And why does it matter?
This article will explain the basics of web hosting and show how it can benefit your website. It will also dispel some of the myths around web hosting and make sure you have a good understanding of what to look for in a host so, by the end of it, you’ll be able to choose the right host for your website and feel confident in your decision.
What is it about?
Web hosting is a service that provides internet users with a place to store their website files, especially the pages and images, on a server. It’s kind of like renting space on a plot of land to build your dream home.
When you create a website, you need somewhere to store the individual pages and media files that make up your site. As one of the frequently used terms in web hosting, a “server” is a computer that stores all of your website files and makes them available to visitors 24/7. For WordPress hosting, if you are or you’re planning to use WordPress, the server must have specific software that makes WordPress websites work. This is because WordPress is a content management system (CMS) and not just a collection of HTML files like most websites.
What do web hosts do?
Your web host will give you a platform to build your website on, provide you with the necessary tools and resources, and keep your site up and running.
A web host will provide you with a domain name, which is the address of your website (e.g., www.example.com), while the tools and resources usually include web-building software, email accounts, storage space, and bandwidth. Additionally, some web hosts offer add-on services, such as security, site backup, and malware removal.
All of these features are important, but the three most essential ones are domain name, storage space, and bandwidth.
- Domain Name – Your domain name is your website’s address on the internet, and this is how people will find your site, so it’s important to choose a good one. A good domain name is short, easy to remember, and relevant to your website’s content.
- Storage Space – Storage space is the amount of space on the server that is allocated for your website’s files. The more storage space you have, the more files you can upload to your site.
- Bandwidth – Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred from your website to a visitor’s computer, or the amount of data that can be transferred from your server to your website (for example, when you’re updating your site).
The general benefits of web hosting
There are many advantages of using a web host, but the main ones can be summarized as follows:
- Convenience – A good web host will make it easy for you to set up and manage your website. This includes providing you with the tools and resources you need, as well as helpful customer support.
- Improved performance – A web host will also help to improve the performance of your website. For example, they can offer you a faster loading speed and make sure your site is always available.
- Increased security – A web host can also provide you with increased security for your website, which is especially important if you are running an eCommerce site.
What types of web hosting are there?
There are different types of web hosting services depending on your needs, of course. The most common ones are shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting is the most popular and affordable type of web hosting. As the name suggests, with shared hosting, you will be sharing the server resources with other websites, without having a dedicated server of your own.
Cloud hosting is a newer type of web hosting that has gained popularity in recent years. With cloud hosting, your website is hosted on a cluster of servers, which are connected and this provides you with greater flexibility and scalability.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a step up from shared hosting, as it gives you your virtual server to host your website. This means you will have more control over your server environment and can customize it to meet your specific needs.
Finally, dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of web hosting, but it’s also the most powerful. With dedicated hosting, you will have your physical server that is not shared with anyone else which gives you complete control over your server environment.
How to choose the right web host?
Now that you know the basics of web hosting, it’s time to choose the right host for your website. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do your research – Not all web hosts are created equal and some may be better suited for your needs than others. Read reviews and compare features to find the right host for you.
- Consider your budget – Web hosting can range from free to hundreds of dollars per month, so it’s important to consider your budget when shopping around.
- Know your needs – What are you looking for in a web host? Do you need specific features or tools? Make sure the host you choose offers what you need.
- Customer support – When something goes wrong with your website, you’ll want to be able to reach customer support quickly and easily. Make sure the web host you choose has good customer support.
Ecommerce and WordPress hosting
If you’re looking to set up an online store, you’ll need eCommerce hosting which is designed specifically for eCommerce websites and comes with features and tools that are essential for running an online store, such as shopping carts, payment processing, and security.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) and is often used for blogging and building websites. If you’re planning to use WordPress, you’ll need WordPress hosting which is designed specifically for WordPress websites and comes with features and tools that are essential for running a WordPress site, such as one-click installs, automatic updates, and security.
On the other hand, if you’re not planning to use WordPress, you can choose from a variety of other web hosting options, such as shared, cloud, VPS, or dedicated hosting.
Now that you know the different types of web hosting and what to look for when choosing a host, it’s time to choose one for your website. Do your research, consider your budget, and know what you need in a host to make sure you select the right one for you.
And don’t forget about customer support – you’ll want to be able to reach them quickly if something goes wrong with your site.