Having a website for your business is mandatory for an online presence. While businesses are aware of this fact, many overlook one crucial aspect of a website — which is web hosting. Here, we will have an in-depth discussion on web hosting.
Besides telling you its working process and importance, we will discuss different types of web hosting along with how to choose the right one for your website.
Web Hosting and Its Importance
Any website you can access online has a host. Without web hosting, a website will not have a place on the world wide web. Web hosting means a website having an allocated space on a server where it can store its files such as HTML, CSS, JSS, images, videos, and many more. When someone tries to load your website, they get connected to the server to access the files.
Web hosting is significantly important because it lets you put your website online. You need a place to keep all the essential files and images for a website, and the hosting server provides you with that. Moreover, web hosting services offer you the necessary tools and services to create and manage your website.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
When you start a website, you need a place to keep all of its web pages or files. The place is the server of your website host, where you store the files, media, databases, and all other files essential to run your website.
You may choose you self-host your website or rent a shared server. However, when your website scales up, you may need to rent an entire physical server. Usually, you need to access the server through cPanel. Using CMS like WordPress is another viable option for developing your website.
Registering a domain name for your website is also mandatory, as it will take your visitors to the hosting server to access the website content. As you point your purchased domain name toward your hosting server, the web browser will know the location of your website files.
As a result, when someone enters your domain name in the address bar of your browser, the server will transfer all necessary files to display the website on the user’s device.
In a web hosting server, all the necessary files for your website, like text, images, and videos. The address of the server location is the domain name, and it is stored by the domain hosts.
Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a Web Hosting
First of all, you need to have a clear idea about your requirements according to the business. If unsure, it is better to ask some experts to get their opinion.
You must know about all available types of hosting so that you can determine which one would suit your website the most.
Make sure to choose a high-performing server to host your website. It should have a fast loading time, be scalable, and offers a reliable uptime, ideally >=99.9%.
Choose a company that can store data in a server located in geolocation close to the target audience of your website.
The web hosting solution should provide strict security measures like SSL certificates, malware protection, and automatic backup.
The web hosting company should provide multichannel customer support with responsive and knowledgeable agents.
Pricing is another important aspect you need to keep in mind while choosing a web host. Also, find out about renewal charges before opting for a solution.
You can get a domain name without linking it to a web server. However, it is impossible to make a website without getting a domain name.
Importance of Security Features and Backup in a Web Hosting
Your chosen web hosting server should come with all the necessary backup and security features due to the following reasons:
Protects sensitive and personal information from malware, spyware, and hacking attacks
Ensures data integrity of your website content protecting it from unauthorized modification
Features like SSL certificates build trust among the visitors
Data backup allows you to have business continuity in case of hacking and other issues
Also works as a means of disaster recovery during hardware failures and natural calamities
Types of Web Hosting
When it comes to choosing a solution for hosting your website, there are various types of web hosting server available. In the following sections, we will discuss the major types and their different aspects.
#1. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting solutions use cloud resources to make your website accessible to visitors. Instead of a single server, cloud hosting usually works on a network of virtual and physical cloud servers to host the website.
The server continuously works to provide pre-determined services. If one of the servers fails or gets overloaded, other servers of that network start to work as a backup to furnish the desired resources.
Why Should You Use Cloud Hosting?
When to Use Cloud Hosting
If you are expecting a variable traffic
If you are a startup, SMB, or eCommerce company
If your website has a global audience
If you have a changing resource requirement
If your website has a lot of media files
Features of Cloud Hosting
Uses resources from multiple servers for optimal performance
Offers scalability to accommodate high traffic without downtime
Ensures high availability through servers located in different regions
Comes with a pay-as-you-use billing option
Offers regular backup and disaster recovery features
Relationship of Cloud Hosting with IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are all components of cloud computing. IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service) lets you have virtualized computing resources on the cloud. PaaS (Platform-as-a-service) offers a platform to build, deploy, and manage applications without any need to manage the infrastructure. SaaS (software-as-a-service) is a model that makes applications available on the web.
Speaking of cloud hosting, it falls under the IaaS umbrella. Cloud hosting solutions offer virtualized resources that you can rent to host your websites. PaaS solutions use cloud hosting resources to develop the platform developers can use. On the other hand, SaaS providers use cloud hosting for their applications.
Learn about your website type storage needs, expected traffic, etc.
Choose a reliable host with high performance, scalability, and efficient support
Go for a solution with features like SSL certificates, DDoS protection, firewalls, and secure data centers
Choose a host with servers located close to your target audience
Select a hosting that is easy to use and cost-effective for your website
Check for reviews and ratings available online
#2. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting ensures that your website can handle high traffic and the security of sensitive data.
Dedicated hosting means having a physical server totally dedicated to a website. Here, customers do not need to share their resources with others. Instead, they get exclusive access to resources and control. Websites that have high traffic and requirement for high-performance (ML and virtualization) usually use a dedicated server.
Dedicated server hosting providers have physical servers in a data center, each of which is exclusively dedicated to one customer. These servers are connected to the network infrastructure of the host. Customers lease the server to access its resources while they can also configure the access rights, OS, ports, etc.
Why Should You Use Dedicated Hosting?
You do not have to share server resources with others
You get lots of flexibility in terms of customization
Your website gets a unique IP address
It offers guaranteed uptime and security
When to Use Dedicated Hosting
When the website requires performance and resources that shared hosting can not fulfill
When your website needs extra security and customization features
When you are concerned about your data privacy and compliance
When you want to manage multiple websites from s single platform
Features of Dedicated Hosting
A properly managed server dedicated to your service
Unparalleled protection and option to install security apps
Access to administrative and server configuration
OS and hardware choice
Feature-rich control panel
24*7 tech support
How to Choose the Best Dedicated Web Hosting
Look for a powerful server that suits your requirement
Check for other aspects like preferred OS and memory capacity
See if the server can handle your bandwidth usage
Learn about the location and security of the data centers
Choose a dedicated hosting that supports application scalability
Check network quality before opting for any solution
#3. Shared Hosting
If you are a beginner, choosing shared hosting plans for hosting your website should be the right choice.
In shared hosting, multiple clients share a single server to host their websites. Users do not have knowledge about other websites that are being hosted with their own site. In the hosting plan, the resource limit is mentioned. Usually, it offers the cheapest hosting plan compared to others, but it has some feature limitations.
How Does Shared Hosting Work?
As the name suggests, there is a single physical server, and its resources are used by several websites. Every user has access to RAM, CPU, databases, Apache server, mail server, disk space, FTP accounts, etc. Since the resources get used by different websites, the cost is low.
Who Should Use Shared Hosting
Personal, new, and small websites with limited traffic
Website owners with limited technical knowledge
Businesses that can not afford dedicated hosting
Websites without dynamic elements or complex functionality
Avoid untrusted sources to get plugins, themes, etc.
Regularly update software
Use DDoS protection and cloud firewall
Benefits of Shared Hosting
Supports self-management without technical knowledge
Multiple domain hosting
Dynamic website hosting facility
No bandwidth limitation
Limitations of Shared Hosting
System crash due to websites that are sharing your server
Risk of security threats
Not getting the preferred speed
Issues taking longer to get fixed
Limited approval for plugin installation
Risk of incorrect configuration of file permission
How to Choose the Best Shared Web Hosting
Guaranteed uptime for your website
Go for bandwidth that will not get throttled
Compatibility with your company CMS
Easy installation and support
Scalability when needed
#4. Managed Hosting
Managed hosting is often preferred by users with no time to invest in the technicalities of web hosting.
In managed hosting, the service provider takes care of the server management and other technical tasks so the clients do not have to. It could be termed as a partnership between the client and the host when the latter manages the technical aspects of hosting, like server maintenance, optimization, and troubleshooting.
When a user chooses a managed hosting plan, the service provider sets up and configures the server to offer optimal performance and ensure security. It also becomes the responsibility of the host to perform additional tasks, including software updates, data backup, security patches, and monitoring.
Who Should Use Managed Hosting
Users with no technical expertise
Businesses with time constraints
SMBs with no dedicated IT manager
Companies looking for dedicated technical support
Any website that needs stable and secure hosting without much involvement
Security measures like vulnerability scans and intrusion detection
Physical security for data centers
Support for application
Types of Managed Hosting
Fully Managed: Here, the host takes care of hosting setup and configuration while the users can start using without getting involved in technical things.
Managed WordPress: This hosting option is for WordPress website owners where the host manages the WP site.
Managed WooCommerce: If your eCommerce website is built on WooCommerce, you can opt for it to manage your web hosting.
How to Choose the Best Managed Web Hosting
Go for a stable hosting provider with its own data center
Technical support team that is always available
Host that offers transparent communication
Use of updated hardware and software
Offering guaranteed performance and customer support
#5. VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a service that lets you have a virtually dedicated environment within a shared server. It costs less than dedicated hosting, but you get better security, availability, and performance than shared hosting. Also, users can install their preferred software and change the environment.
In VPS hosting, there is a parent server to host multiple separate virtual servers. The VPS hosting provider implements a virtual layer on the OS to segment the virtual servers. Thus, users can install their own OS and software on a server that is private in nature.
Reasons to Use VPS Hosting
High-level of storage and bandwidth
Improved performance in high traffic
Greater control over server
Cost-effective than dedicated hosting
Scalability, reliability, and security
When to Use VPS Hosting
When shared or other hosts fail to provide you with the necessary resources and architecture
When your server does not support custom application installation
When you need server root access
When you are dealing with sensitive data or processing financial transactions
Types of VPS Hosting
As a basic category of VPS servers, it refers to the hosting where you can install and run any software. Users are also responsible for managing the server and performing troubleshooting whenever necessary.
Managed VPS hosting means the service provider is responsible for daily server management. If you want to focus on your core activities or do not have any technical experts on your team, this is the ideal choice.
On a semi-managed VPS, the service provider offers only the hardware configurations and their management to the users. For hardware installation and upgrades, they need to depend on the service providers. You can also check out this list of managed VPS hosting service providers.
Features of VPS Hosting
Configuration for resource allocations
27/4 customer support and service monitoring
Scalability for business growth
Root access for software installation
How to Choose the Best VPS Web Hosting
While choosing a VPS web hosting, you should look for the following features:
Low operating cost
Fast speed for instant response
Regular automated backup
Security measures like firewalls, DDoS protection, SSL, etc.
Specifications for RAM, CPU, bandwidth, and storage
In reseller hosting, someone buys hosting resources from a parent host and resells them to their own customers. The reseller functions as a middleman who makes sure the users get access to hosting services at an affordable cost.
A reseller buys a bulk hosting package from a parent company that will take care of the hardware, software, and general infrastructure of the hosting server. Then, they brand the service as their own and sell it to the customers. Usually, companies that sell different website-related services also become resellers to sell hosting services to their clients. Here are some popular reseller hosting service providers.
How to Start a Reseller Hosting Business
Create your own business plan
Find a reliable parent host with profitable plans
Create your own plans with pricing
Build your website with onboarding and payment features
Promote custom plans
Who Is Responsible for the Technical Support for Clients?
Usually, the reseller is responsible for providing technical support for the clients, while the web host manages the hosting part. However, some parent hosting companies offer free technical support to the resellers. Resellers can utilize that to support the end users.
How to Choose the Best Reseller Web Hosting
Learn your needs
Check reviews and ratings
Know your budget
Calculate profit margin
Evaluate security and scalability features
Consider white-label hosting
#7. WordPress Hosting
Specialized hosting services that can fulfill the needs of WordPress websites are called WordPress hosting. This solution optimizes the environment for running WordPress websites with enhanced performance and better security.
Reasons to Use WordPress Hosting
You can easily manage and use it
Various customization options are available
Dedicated security features for WP websites
Get self-service access to the server
When to Use WP Hosting
You want a special server hosting facility for your WP website
You need a server with easy setup and pre-installed plugins
Need a server that can support optimal performance
Difference Between Managed and Shared WordPress Hosting
Companies that need better performance often choose managed WP hosting, while new WP websites choose shared hosting.
Managed hosting offers resources exclusively to your website. However, choosing shared hosting means sharing resources with others.
Managed WP hosting could be expensive, but it saves maintenance time. Shared hosting lets you save money.
Managed hosting solutions offer priority support to their users. But, shared hosting users get regular support.
How to Choose the Best WordPress Web Hosting
Compatibility with the latest WP versions
Guaranteed uptime and security
#8. eCommerce Hosting
Nowadays, eCommerce websites are enjoying high popularity as more and more businesses are moving online to sell their products. eCommerce hosting is a dedicated service for such websites.
eCommerce hosting is a special hosting service offered to websites that sell products and services through the online store. It provides useful features to create, run and manage eCommerce stores. This hosting is helpful for all eCommerce businesses regardless of their size and age.
eCommerce web hosting platforms work like other hosting solutions. You need to purchase their plan based on your budget and needs. The hosting provider usually takes care of the setup, configuration, and store management. They also update the software regularly to keep your website secure and up-to-date.
When to Opt for eCommerce Hosting
When you are about to launch an online store
When you need additional security for storing sensitive user data
When you need a fast-loading website and minimal downtime
When you need a custom design for your online store
When you need to manage inventory and integrate payment options
Types of eCommerce Hosting
Shared eCommerce Hosting: This solution lets multiple eCommerce sites get hosted on a single web server.
Managed eCommerce Hosting: It refers to a specially designed eCommerce hosting service.
Dedicated eCommerce Hosting: Large eCommerce companies often choose to use this type of hosting to utilize full access to server resources.
Cloud eCommerce Hosting: These are interconnected and scalable virtual servers used to host eCommerce websites.
VPS eCommerce Hosting: This multitenant server is divided into different smaller parts to host multiple websites.
How to Choose the Best eCommerce Web Hosting
Compatibility with eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento
Support for popular payment gateways
Necessary security features for data security
Additional eCommerce features like cart, order tracking, customer review, etc.
Reliable customer support and customization options
Top Hosting Service Providers
#1. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting offers the unbelievable hosting speed you need for success in the business world. You can quickly set this up or migrate your website hassle-free. Besides 99.9% uptime commitment, it offers industry-leading security for your data.
#2. AccuWeb Hosting
AccuWeb Hosting is a web hosting platform that comes with more free features. It follows the industry best practices so the customers can get the most of the latest technology. You can get reliable services like Windows hosting, Linux hosting, dedicated hosting, shared hosting, etc.
#3. Apex Hosting
Apex Hosting lets you host different gaming servers, including Minecraft, Ark, Rust, Conan, CS:GO, etc. Here, you get to select server version and size and receive DDoS protection to protect your server from attacks.
Opting for Hostinger means you will get maximum performance from your cloud-hosted website. Not only that, it offers you a free domain, free website migration, and an intuitive control panel. Its servers are located all over the world and guarantee you 99.9% uptime.
ScalaHosting is a popular hosting solution provider where you can get web hosting, WordPress hosting, managed VPS, and many more. Here you get on-demand scalability and custom-built servers that are optimized for performance.
#6. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting offers you a range of hosting services, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress VPS, cPanel WordPress, and VPS. Apart from 24/7/365 customer service, you get security features like free SSL and premium protection against malware and hacking.
Different Web Hosting Control Panels and Server Management Software
With a large number of web hosting providers, it is difficult for anyone to find the right solution for their company. There is no one size fits all solution, and what worked for your competitor may not be the best solution in your case. Things become more challenging if you are developing a website for the first time.
In such situations, hosting reviews can help you choose the right hosting provider for your website. By going through the reviews on different online platforms, you learn about objective information from real users.
The reviews also let you identify the potential issues and confirm is the features mentioned on the company website are accurate or not. While checking hosting reviews is time-consuming, you must not skip it to select the right solution for your website.
Factors to Consider While Checking Hosting Reviews
Objectivity and credibility of the source
Number of positive and negative reviews
Comparing reviews across different platforms
Review date and verified purchases
Biased reviews based on pattern and reviewer profile
Language and tone
Details in reviews
Without web hosting, it is impossible to run a website and make it available to your audience. You can choose to host your website on a third-party server or self-host it.
In this article, we have covered all the major aspects of web hosting. For further reading about this topic, you can check out how to create a free website.
I am a technical and creative content writer with 10+ years of experience in the relevant industry. My degrees in English and Sociology, coupled with working experience in software development companies, help me understand how technology… read more
Narendra Mohan Mittal
Narendra Mohan Mittal is a versatile and experienced digital branding strategist and content editor with over 12 years of experience. He is a Gold Medalist in M-Tech and B-Tech in Computer Science & Engineering.
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