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What is Web Hosting? All You Need to Know

Web hosting is an integral part of making your website or web application accessible to the public. It allows users to access your content from anywhere with an internet connection, which is why it's such a critical part of the modern online experience. As of June 2023, there are over a billion website hosted around the world. Not all of them are active though.

When signing up for a web hosting service, users gain access to certain resources like bandwidth and storage space on a server that’s usually maintained by the hosting company. All the files and data necessary for their website to be functional are stored on this server, which can range from small and shared servers to large private networks depending on what type of web host you choose.

In this article, we look at what web hosting is, how it works, the different types of web hosting, and how you can get started hosting your website or applications.

Web Hosting

Web hosting is a physical space that enables you to publish your website on the Internet.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a physical space that enables you to publish your website on the Internet. This is offered as an online service by companies that have servers and web hosting technology capable of keeping your site online and safe. Web hosting allows you to rent some server space to store files and data for your website to function.

When you open the Web Hosting section of your website in any search engine, it will direct you to several websites that will list you as one of the providers of web hosting.

But what exactly is Web Hosting? There are things we should consider when looking for a web hosting company to host our website. Here are a few things that you will need to consider before picking a web hosting company. When you are selecting a web hosting company, you should avoid cheap hosting, it comes at a cost. Remember, the security of your website is important.

What is web Hosting Infographic

Understanding Web Hosting, How it Works

Web hosting, also known as web hosting services, is one of the best web hosting solutions out there. How does web hosting work? Files that make up a website are uploaded from a local computer to a web server. When you choose a hosting plan, a selected number of resources are allocated to the website.

These resources are RAM, Hard drive space, and bandwidth. Before choosing a hosting plan, you must first understand how the plans differ. A business with 5 websites for example may choose a VPS plan that allows them to host and manage multiple websites in one place. A start-up company may choose the starter package to grow its business online.

The process starts by purchasing a suitable web host from various available options. Each server computer should provide enough storage capacity and computational power to keep your site running without any lag or downtime. Once you've secured a provider, the next step is setting up your domain name and designating it to the server you purchased.

After that's done, users will be able to view your site by entering their domain name in their browser’s address bar. Alternatively, you can self-host your website by setting up and configuring a web server yourself from scratch. This approach requires extensive technical knowledge as well as ongoing maintenance to ensure everything functions correctly.

What Is A Web Server?

A web server is a network that contains your website content. It allows you to add content and changes to the web page without having to constantly go to your server to update it. A web server connects to your internet or network and forwards your web page data to other websites. This is peer-to-peer.

What is a Web Host?

A web host is an organization or a company that provides web hosting services. It is a large organization that owns and manages many web hosting services. A web host provides remote hosting services. They bring the entire functionality of a web server. These include server hardware, operating system, and storage.

Types of Web Hosting Services

There are many web hosting options to choose from, making it difficult to determine the best one for your website. Web hosting companies typically provide a range of hosting packages tailored to the needs of various customers. This ranges from business website owners to personal blog creators.

We recommend starting with a basic hosting solution and then upgrading to a more advanced plan as your site gains more traffic.

Now, let's examine some of the most popular options that are currently accessible.

Types of web hosting Infographic

Shared Hosting

A shared hosting environment means you are sharing server space with other customers. A shared server can house thousands of customers. They use the same RAM central processing unit (CPU) and space. Shared hosting costs are low. This is because the operating costs are low.

The downside though is, that you are sharing server resources with other websites. It's suitable for someone with a tight budget. Another disadvantage is if a server attack occurs, it will affect all websites on that server. Something like a faulty code can cause one website to use more resources. High levels of traffic also contribute and this affects other websites on the server.

Virtual Private Server Hosting

VPS servers mean a server is shared but acts like many separate servers. This is used when a website outgrows shared hosting. A website can outgrow shared hosting through one of the following.

  • Increased traffic
  • Needing more RAM to run, or
  • Using more space.

Each VPS server is allocated a part of the server resources, (RAM, Hard Disk Space, and CPU). Let's say for example a server has 400GB storage and 20GB RAM. Dividing the resources among 10 VPS users will mean the following.

Each user will get 40GB of space and 2GB of RAM. The advantage here is if one user reaches their RAM limit their site will go down. This will not affect other websites on the server.

VPS works for you if you have a flexible budget to work with. It can save you money in the long run if you are planning to host many of your business websites. It gives you more power and more control over your private server.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a modern web hosting solution that uses multiple virtual servers to support websites. It offers businesses and website owners an efficient, low-cost, and reliable way of hosting their sites that eliminates the need for single-server hosting plans.

By using a cluster of servers as fail-safes, even if one server has high traffic or experiences a major problem, the remaining servers can take over operations and keep the website running smoothly.

Cloud-based web hosting is perfect for businesses with many websites or those with large-scale sites such as eCommerce stores since it relies on distributed computing and load balancing to handle high levels of online traffic reliably and protect from DDoS attacks.

Web hosting companies are implementing cloud hosting technology in their services to ensure they keep up with the latest requirements from their customers. Some companies like Nexcess have fully adopted cloud hosting on their Managed Hosting plans.

It also ensures that there is minimal to no downtime in case of hardware failure or other technical issues due to its scalability features which can effortlessly upgrade your resources depending on your requirement. All in all, cloud hosting provides a far more dependable service than single-server solutions at generally lower costs.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting can greatly improve the performance of websites built on the popular content management system. This type of hosting service is specifically optimized for optimal WordPress performance.

This is done by adding in things like pre-installed themes and plugins for core functions like caching and security. Speed is also an important benefit since WordPress-optimized servers are designed to minimize potential issues and load faster than other types of web hosting plans.

For individuals or businesses looking for a low-cost, easy-to-use solution, WordPress hosting provides a great choice. It’s idiot-proof, allowing even the most inexperienced user to set up a website quickly without having to worry about backend coding or setting up databases.

The automated setup process means you don’t have to worry about manual installation either; simply pick your preferred plan and start building your site right away. Because the hosting environment is so profoundly optimized for WordPress sites, you can expect improved performance compared with other types of web hosting plans.

Dedicated Hosting

In dedicated server hosting a user rents space of an entire server. You have more control over how you are to divide your server resources. And again because you are alone on the server, you don’t have to worry about a bad neighbor.

When purchasing dedicated hosting a range of options are available. You can choose a self-managed, (if you are tech-savvy) or managed dedicated server. You can even select an operating system like Windows, Linux, or client OS. For a hosting control panel, you have cPanel or Plesk or more. You pick the one you want to use for managing your server. This works best for websites that need higher server resources, and higher security.

Choosing a Web Host

Web hosting services differ in the offers that they provide and how much they charge. By opting for a web hosting service, you will be able to access your site on any device. Web hosting providers offer many features, including website builders, web hosting, security, and many other technical advantages.

If your website grows, you may need more storage space, bandwidth, and other resources. In that situation, it could be worth considering a more advanced hosting solution like cloud hosting or VPS.

It is important to ensure that the provider offers a range of web hosting services that allow for easy upgrades. Furthermore, there are multiple factors to consider when selecting a web hosting provider.

Control Panel

A hosting control panel allows users to easily manage their hosting account without the need to log in to the web server. Therefore, it is advisable to choose web hosts that offer a user-friendly interface suitable for users of all skill levels.

Web Host's Uptime

In addition to selecting hosting services that offer sufficient disk space, processing power, and bandwidth, it is important to consider other features that contribute to the smooth operation of your website.

Online Reviews

You can find research website hosting reviews that offer detailed information on various web hosting service providers. These reviews typically include data on uptime and speed, allowing you to assess the performance of the provider's servers.

Security

Having a secure website is essential, especially if you're running an ecommerce store. Be sure to look for a hosting provider who offers secure SSL certificates and regular website backups.

Firewalls are also important to prevent malicious attacks on your server. With the right security measures in place, you can protect your customer's data and your own business from potential threats.

24/7 Customer Support

Access to 24/7 customer or technical support can be beneficial if your website experiences unexpected issues like lags, crashes, or security breaches.

It may also be worth considering if the host offers additional support resources such as tutorials and knowledge bases.

The Difference Between a Domain and Web Hosting

When it comes to launching a website, it’s important to understand the difference between web hosting and a domain name. Web hosting is a service that enables you to store all your website files on a server, while a domain name acts as the digital address of your website on the internet.

Choosing a domain name for your website is an important step in building your online presence. It usually consists of the website name and its corresponding domain extension such as .com or .org. However, with more options becoming available today like .xyz, there are plenty of alternatives that you can explore.

Once you buy the domain, you also need web hosting so that people can access your site from around the world. Ideally, you should purchase both these products from the same provider so that there’s seamless integration between host and domain services when setting up your website on the Internet.

The Difference between a domain and web hosting Infographic

Managing Your Web Hosting

Web hosting services also come with a slew of administrative tools. These tools allow you to manage your website from the comfort of your own home or office. They provide you with the capacity to access your server from anywhere. With this, you can set your website up in any desired language.

Different types of web hosting There are two main types of web hosting. Shared Hosting and VPS Hosting. The former lets you run your website on a shared server and lets you install your software on it.

So, these are all the different kinds of web hosting services that are available. If you have any of the questions left, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will be more than happy to help.

Keep in mind what resources your website needs before choosing your hosting partner. When starting to find these options to test from.

FAQs about Web Hosting

Here are a few common questions that new web hosting customers ask. They are answers to all the most common questions below.

What is Hosting Server?

A hosting server is a generic term for a type of server that hosts websites, related data, apps, and services. It is a remotely accessible Internet server with complete Web server functionality and resources. A hosting server is also known as a Web hosting server.

Is It Necessary to Buy Hosting?

Yes, it is. Choosing a web hosting company is the easiest and most affordable way to host a website. Reliable hosts also prioritize security measures to protect your site. However, if you use WordPress.com to create a blog, there is no need to purchase a hosting plan.

What is WordPress? What is it used for?

WordPress is a content management system used to build sites that allow users to create blogs and websites. They can use custom websites and themes. The free WordPress website builder is one of the most popular free website builders available in the market.

What are content delivery networks (CDNs) and why should I use them?

CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are virtual or physical servers that cache the content you write on your website. They then serve it to users even if they access your site on different computers.

Can I Host My Website for Free?

Free web hosting is an option for those who don't have the budget or resources to pay for a paid web hosting service. It can be a great way to test out a website before committing to a long-term contract with a paid provider. Free web hosting typically limits features when compared to paid services, and often includes dynamic ads on the pages of your website.

How Much Does It Cost to Host a Website?

The cost of hosting a website can vary greatly depending on the hosting provider and the type of hosting plan you choose. Shared hosting plans are typically the least expensive, while more specialized plans like VPS or cloud hosting can be more expensive. The exact cost will depend on the features included in your plan, such as disk space, bandwidth, and other services.

How Does Free Web Hosting Work?

Free web hosting is a great way for those who are just starting out to test the waters before committing to a long-term contract with a paid provider. It typically includes fewer features than paid services, and it may also include ads on the pages of your website.

Free web hosting often comes with limitations such as reduced disk space and bandwidth. Additionally, free hosting plans may not offer the same level of support and service as paid hosting plans.

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Nonofo Joel
Nonofo Joel
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