To choose the best web hosting service, consider the most important aspects of your website’s needs. For example, content-heavy sites like a portfolio or an online education site with lots of video tutorials will need a lot of storage. While a small e-commerce site may not require as much storage, it will need an SSL certificate to accept online payments and other security features to help protect sensitive data.
One key feature that web hosting beginners tend to overlook is technical support. Even if you may not have problems with your host or the service it provides, web hosting technical support is vital for beginners as its top-notch support can help with general website and WordPress issues.
How does Web Hosting work?
Think of web hosting as the process of finding your website a home. Your website’s content—domain name, HTML code, images, text, etc.—needs a place to live. Web hosting provides a place for this content to live on a server.
In short, a server is a computer that connects users to your website. In other words, a server is like a large residential building or office building, and web hosting is the process of renting office space or buying an apartment in that building.
Web hosting vs. domain hosting
Before you can find a home for your website through web hosting, you first need a domain name. Although related, web hosting and domain hosting are very different services. Web hosting is the process of connecting your website to a server, while domain hosting is the process of securing a domain name or web address for your website.
Following our earlier analogy, if web hosting is like renting space in a building, then domain hosting is like putting a sign with your name and address on your door. A domain is what people use to navigate to your address on the Internet.
Many service providers provide both domain hosting and web hosting, which can provide one-stop convenience, but depending on your needs, you may want to consider separating the services. Regardless, before you even consider web hosting, you must first obtain a domain name through a domain registrar.
Types of web hosting
There are several different types of web hosting available. While there may be a tendency to go for the cheapest option, depending on your needs, this can lead to problems. That’s why it’s important to not only look at price, but also at customer service, security, speed, and customization options.
Shared hosting is most popular with small businesses and websites that don’t need a lot of customization or expect a lot of traffic. Shared hosting provides space for several websites – dozens, hundreds or thousands – on a single server.
As the cost is relatively low, this is an economical option, but there may be service disruptions or slower connection speeds as multiple clients/websites access the same server’s resources, including disk space, RAM and central processing unit (CPU) power ).
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
A step up from shared hosting is VPS hosting. Similar to shared hosting, different websites are hosted on the same server, but each website’s files and content are located in its own dedicated space on the server. You pay a bit more than shared hosting, but you also have your own section of the server isolated from other clients on the server. For this reason, VPS hosting is more secure. In addition, VPS hosting is scalable according to your needs and you will be able to customize the server and install any software you need.
VPS hosting can be managed or unmanaged. If you choose managed VPS hosting, the host will provide all the maintenance and services needed to keep the website and server up and running. You’ll pay a bit more for managed VPS hosting, but you won’t be responsible for maintenance.
Conversely, using unmanaged VPS hosting will mean that you will be responsible for configuring and maintaining your server, monitoring security threats, installing software updates, and backing up your data. Unmanaged VPS hosting is a good choice for website developers, businesses with a dedicated IT department, and individuals with a technology background.
Managed WordPress hosting
Because WordPress is such a popular content management system, many web hosting providers offer WordPress-specific hosting. In addition to web hosting, these providers also offer services such as WordPress-specific technical support and software updates. It offers benefits such as scalability, speed, and security, but it costs around $2 to $30 per month. Additionally, there are fewer customization options as it is limited to WordPress features.
Cloud hosting places your website on multiple servers for maximum performance and connection speed. It’s more expensive than shared hosting, but minimizes connection or speed issues as it can easily handle traffic spikes. Cloud hosting also offers scalability, backup and disaster recovery. However, these additional services come with a price, and the pricing models of cloud hosting providers can be confusing depending on plan customization.
Dedicated web hosting is when a website uses the entire server exclusively. Because you have your own dedicated server, you minimize security and connectivity issues. But it comes at a price.
However, the cost may be justified in several situations. For example, if you expect traffic to your website to increase significantly, service disruptions and slow connection speeds can be detrimental to your business. In this case, the cost of a dedicated server would be worth it as it will provide 24/7 service and fast connection. A dedicated server will also provide additional security, which will be useful if you are dealing with personal information such as credit card information.