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A Beginner’s Guide To Web Hosting

  • Web hosting is like renting space on a server so your website runs smoothly and efficiently.
  • There are a ton of options when it comes to web hosting plans. Picking the right one comes down to the size of your business, the amount you can spend, and the features you’re looking for.
  • Web hosting is a great option for any size of business. It can help you provide a great experience for your website users and keep your business running smoothly.

Think about how many hours in a day your business runs on the internet. Whatever your business is selling or doing, the internet plays a huge role in the functionality. As much as we think of the internet as something that just exists non-physically, there is a physical mark the internet makes, namely in servers. Servers take up a ton of space and can be expensive. That’s where web hosting comes in.

What Is Web Hosting

To put it simply, web hosting is a service that businesses who run and maintain servers offer to businesses who run websites. Every website is built with tons of files and requires a lot of storage, which is why we need servers. By providing web hosting, a business who owns and runs the servers can essentially rent out server space to these businesses to house their websites.

With a web hosting plan to work, there needs to be main areas that are covered: file storage, hardware, uptime, and security.

File storage is the most obvious component of a web hosting plan because of the nature of websites running on so many files. With web hosting, you will have a place to store all these files without also having to maintain your own server. As your business and your website grows, you may need more space. By taking advantage of a web hosting plan, you can easily gain access to the space you need.

Along with storing your files is the hardware. As we’ve mentioned, servers are large and expensive. With web hosting, you can have access to the servers you need to run your company’s website without having to find the place to store those servers, pay to have them maintained, or buy more when you need more space.

A lesser known working part of web hosting is uptime, or the amount of time it takes for your website to load and for your audience to maneuver through the site. A website that doesn’t load pages quickly or that’s experiencing downtime is the fastest way to get someone to click away from your site. With web hosting, someone else can maintain the servers so you don’t experience a lag in your uptime.

One of the most important aspects of web hosting is security. There are tons of cyber criminals out there looking to break into your website and steal data. Especially for e-commerce businesses, this is a concern. By using a reputable web host, you can be secure in knowing they have the security measures in place to keep you and your customers safe.

Features Of Web Hosting

There are a ton of features that web hosting includes which can help you build out your website, starting with domain name registration. This will help you get a name your brand will forever be associated with and can leap you forward in your recognition as a company.

Speed and bandwidth are other important features to note. This goes along with improving uptime. With a web host, your website pages will load faster and your customers will have a better experience, meaning they’ll be more likely to stick around and buy something. Bandwidth features of a web hosting plan will help you handle the traffic to your site as it builds, thanks to the speedy load times from your web host.

Every business wants to scale up and a web hosting plan can help you accomplish that. With resources like cloud hosting, your website can launch and grow with ease. As you become more and more of an authority and SEO drives more traffic to your site, you need to be able to make changes and decisions on the fly. A web host can facilitate that through scalability.

If you have employees, a web host can also help provide them with dedicated email addresses with your company domain. Plus you won’t have to worry how many email addresses your company has because the web host can handle that.

Types Of Web Hosting

There are a variety of web hosting types to be aware of. While this list isn’t comprehensive and there can be dozens of other plans available in the marketplace, these are a few good plans to be aware of:

  • Shared hosting is like renting a cubicle in a busy office. While you would get the expected features, you’re still sharing a workspace. It’s the same on the server: your website would be sharing its server with other domains. However, it splits the cost, as well. This is a great option for personal pages, small businesses, and new websites.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is like an upgraded version of shared hosting. While you would still be sharing a server with other domains, it’s fewer than a shared hosting plan and each is blocked off from the others, so you don’t have to be concerned with other websites affecting what’s going on with yours. These cost a little more than shared hosting plans, but less than others. If your business is growing or you have a mid-level business, or if you just want a little more security and stability with your site, this is an option to consider.
  • Dedicated hosting plans give you a whole web server all to yourself. You wouldn’t be sharing server space with any other websites. That’s a ton of space and bandwidth plus way more power over how the space is used. Obviously this costs more, just like a single-family home costs more than an apartment. But it’s a good option to think about for bigger businesses or if you have complex needs for your website.
  • Cloud hosting is a good middle ground between VPS and shared hosting. You may find yourself growing too big for your shared hosting plan or your website might be inconsistent in how much traffic passes through. This upgraded version of shared hosting provides flexibility and faster speeds. You can basically pay for what you need and give you a little room to grow.
  • E-commerce hosting is one of the specialized hosting options that’s dedicated to serving the needs of an online store. This would include helping you to manage shopping carts, inventory, and payment processing. Obviously, this is the option to choose if you’re an e-commerce business.
  • Reseller hosting is a unique kind of hosting option. A user would purchase the server space and then divide it and resell it to others. Think of it like someone who buys a house and rents out the rooms. This is an option that works for those with some technical knowledge but may not be the best choice if you aren’t technically savvy.
  • Managed Web hosting is great for those who want the space and security of a dedicated server or VPS hosting but lack some of the technical knowledge needed to run those servers. It includes a variety of plans that can help you maintain and manage a server, meaning the hosting company will provide some amount of technical support. You still have the flexibility that you need to do what you want with your site but don’t have to worry so much about the tech stuff.

Final Thoughts

You want your business or your website to grow. You want more traffic and you want it to all run smoothly. The need for a server is undeniable but you don’t need to buy one yourself. With a web hosting plan, you can have the benefits of a server without having to perform any maintenance or find a place to house it.

The variety of plans also give you a ton of options to choose from. Look at where your business is and where it’s going, how much you want to spend, and the features of each plan. That will help you decide what web hosting plan you need. Whichever one you choose, web hosting can take your business to the next level.


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