You’re probably here because the term web hosting is unfamiliar, and you want to learn all there is to it. In a nutshell, it’s a service that helps get your website online. But there’s much more to it than that. Let’s cover the intricacies.
This article will cover web hosting basics, including how it works, the types of hosting, and the benefits it carries.
What Is Web Hosting?
Simply put, web hosting is a service that helps websites to go online. They become the host for a site by placing it in a physical computer, mainly referred to as a server.
The hosting provider’s job will be to maintain that server and send the content of a site to their visitor’s browser whenever requested.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Primarily, you begin with finding a web hosting provider. The provider will rent the server space to store all of your data and keep your site up and running.
A web hosting provider also gives the tools and services to get your site up and running. Hostinger is a prime example of that. They provide tools and services that are beginner-friendly, including a custom control panel that is easy to operate. They also have a drag-and-drop website builder tool that comes with their hosting plans.
Afterward, you need a domain name. Having one is made possible by the Domain Name System. The system associates IP addresses of the hosting servers that contain website files, and makes them accessible, with easy to remember domain names.
Basically, they replace the need for remembering a string of numbers, instead of allowing us to use brandable names that are easy to remember.
Then, website owners can use the control panel that the host provides. You can connect your domain name here, install software and plugins for the site, set up SSL certificates or encryption, and much more.
From there, you start your website. Usually, you begin with installing a CMS (content management system) that helps you post your content like WordPress, the popular blogging platform. Or, simply use a website builder tool to set up your page.
Types of Web Hosting
Companies offer different hosting types to suit the needs of their clients. These plans are based on different technologies, and we will go through each one below.
To put it simply, shared hosting is placing a website in one server alongside other sites. These sites share the same resources, like computing power, bandwidth, and disk space.
This type of hosting is the cheapest compared to all other options. It starts from $1 and goes up to $4 per month according to what users get.
Shared hosting is the friendliest option for beginners or small websites. It comes with an easy to use control panel, and there isn’t much to learn regarding technical knowledge.
However, some disadvantages do come with this type of hosting. If traffic surges on one site located on the same server, other sites’ performance might be compromised. Also, resources users get are limited compared to other hosting types.
Essentially, WordPress hosting is regular shared hosting, but with an optimized environment so that WordPress can function better. It comes with a customer support team that knows how to tackle all WordPress related issues.
However, it should be noted that you don’t need WordPress Hosting to install WordPress on your site. WordPress hosting is only a plan that is optimized for WordPress.
WordPress hosting is more expensive than usual shared hosting. It starts from $2 up to $20 per month, depending on the resources users get.
With this hosting type, you get a one-click installer for WordPress, auto-updates for the CMS, and pre-installed themes and plugins.
However, there are some downsides to WordPress hosting. This type of hosting is equipped for maximized WordPress performance, so there might be issues if a user wants to host more than one website.
VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server hosting is somewhat similar to shared hosting. While it is true that a site still shares a server with other users in this plan, its resources are dedicated. That means users get their own dedicated server space and resources.
By price, VPS hosting is located in the middle-ground compared to other hosting plans. It starts from $4 and goes up to $30 a month according to what users get.
When using VPS hosting, users are allowed their own space and resources. It means traffic surges from other websites will not affect site performance.
However, VPS hosting needs more learning. You’ll be granted root access to your server. That means you can control the back end of your website. This will require you to install your preferred server OS, stack, and additional security features. You can build a much more reliable website, but you’ll need to get your hands a little dirtier.
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that places a website across multiple physical servers, that are built to act as one. As such, when one of the cloud servers is down, your traffic is rerouted, and your site’s performance will not be affected.
In terms of price, cloud hosting is slightly expensive. It ranges from $10 to $60 per month according to the features that users get.
As mentioned, cloud hosting has little to no downtime due to its cluster of servers. This is very beneficial for websites with high traffic, like e-Commerce and business websites.
However, an administrator manages the servers where a site is replicated. This means root access is not available, so there are limits to the configurations that users can do on their website.
This type of hosting provides one single physical server to host a user’s website only. This means you have one entire server to yourself, and you have the freedom to configure every option available to your liking.
This plan is rather expensive as they come with great resources and various features. Pricing starts from $100 to $200 per month, depending on the features users get.
Dedicated hosting allows enhanced security as the server is not shared with anyone else. This type of hosting is perfect for large companies or e-Commerce websites that need to handle a lot of traffic, with minimal downtime or slowdowns.
However, it is costly to rent, so it is not suitable for small websites and businesses. Also, users need to have technical and server management knowledge.
There you have it, a breakdown of what web hosting is, and how the different types of work. I hope this article helps you make an informed decision for your future website.