Table of Contents
- What is Web Hosting?
- How Does Web Hosting Work?
- Web Hosting and Domain Hosting
- Types of Web Hosting
- How To Choose the Best Web Hosting?
- How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?
What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is a service that provides a platform for businesses or individuals to store and publish their website or web page on the internet. It is a service that enables organizations and individuals to publish a website or web page on the Internet.
When a web hosting service is used, the web host stores the website’s files on its own server and makes it available to internet users. When a user types in the website address, the host server then sends the requested files to the user’s computer, and the web page is displayed on the user’s browser.
An example of a web host is Namecheap, which provides space on its server to any individual or business owner. A web hosting company typically provides the web hosting service for a FEE. The web hosting company also provides the necessary hardware and software, such as servers and databases, to store and run the website or web page.
Web hosting is like renting out a property. Just as a person would rent out an apartment or house to live in, businesses can rent out a server space to store their website so visitors can access and view it online.
For example, a small business may rent a server from a web hosting company to store its website. This server provides the business with a space to store its website files, images, videos, and any other content necessary to run its website. The web hosting company then provides their customer with a unique internet address, or URL, that allows visitors to access and view the business’s website.
Web hosting is an integral part of the Internet infrastructure and is essential for any website or web page to be accessible on the Internet. Without web hosting, websites would not be able to be seen by anyone.
What is a Server or Web Server?
A real-world example of a web server is a restaurant. When a customer places an order with the waiter, the waiter is the web server. The customer’s request is sent to the kitchen, which processes the request and sends the meal back to the waiter, who then delivers it to the customer.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Web hosting is the business of providing server space, bandwidth, and other services for websites. The web hosting provider is responsible for providing the necessary hardware, software, network, storage, and other services required to maintain and operate a website.
When a website is hosted on a server, the server becomes the home of the website. The web hosting provider allocates the server space, bandwidth, IP address, and other resources necessary to host a website. This includes providing the server infrastructure, such as the operating system, web server software, database software, and email server software.
To host a website, companies must purchase a web hosting plan from a web hosting provider. This plan will specify the amount of storage space, bandwidth, and other features the website will need.
Once a web hosting plan has been purchased, the hosting provider will provide the company with a unique address to access the web server. This address is known as a domain name. Domain names are unique for each website and can be used to access the website.
The hosting provider will provide the company with access to the web server via a control panel or an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) account. The control panel is used to manage the website, such as uploading files, setting up email accounts, and creating databases.
The web hosting provider provides the necessary security measures to protect the website from malicious activities. This includes setting up firewalls, anti-virus software, and other security measures.
Furthermore, the web hosting provider is responsible for managing the server, performing regular maintenance, handling upgrades and updates, monitoring performance, backing up data, and more.
Once the website is up and running, the web hosting provider is responsible for ensuring the website is accessible to visitors. This includes providing the necessary bandwidth, ensuring the website is available 24/7, and providing customers with technical support and customer service. This includes troubleshooting problems, helping with setup, and providing advice on best practices.
Web Hosting and Domain Hosting
Web Hosting and Domain Hosting are two different services that work together to create a website. Web Hosting is a service that provides users with online systems for storing information, images, video, or any content accessible via the web. It allows users to store their websites on servers and be accessible to the public. Domain Hosting is a service that allows users to register and purchase a domain name for their website. This service is usually provided by a web hosting provider but can also be done independently.
The relationship between Web Hosting and Domain Hosting is that the domain name is the website’s address, while Web Hosting is the website’s home. When a user purchases a domain name, they are essentially purchasing the address of the website. The domain name is then pointed to the web hosting server, which contains the website files. Without a domain name, users would not be able to access the website on the web.
Once the domain name is pointed to the web hosting server, the website is ready to be viewed on the web. The web hosting server stores the website files and is responsible for sending the information requested by the user to the user’s browser. It is important to note that the domain name and web hosting are two separate services and must be purchased separately.
Types of Web Hosting
There are a variety of web hosting services available to meet the needs of different types of websites. Some of the most popular types of web hosting include Shared Hosting, VPS hosting, Cloud Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, And Reseller Hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is a type of web hosting service where many websites are hosted on the same server. In this type of hosting, the resources are shared among all the websites on the server, which helps keep hosting costs down. The server administrator is responsible for maintaining the server and the websites, including security, performance, and patching.
With shared web hosting, users have access to a control panel to manage their hosting account, as well as email accounts and FTP access to upload files to the server. Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting and is the best choice for most small businesses and websites. It offers the most cost-effective solution to host websites and provides a reliable and secure hosting environment.
VPS hosting, or Virtual Private Server hosting, is a type of web hosting that allows a website owner to host their website on a virtual machine, which is a separate partition of a physical server. This type of hosting gives the website owner greater control over their servers and the environment they are hosted in. VPS hosting also provides a more secure environment as the server is separated from other users and their websites. It also offers greater scalability as the resources allocated for the server can be easily increased or decreased depending on the website’s needs.
Furthermore, VPS hosting is more reliable as the server can be easily moved or migrated to another physical location in case of hardware failure or other issues. The added cost of VPS hosting is often worth it due to its increased flexibility, scalability, security, and reliability.
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting service that utilizes multiple servers to store and manage websites. Cloud hosting involves the use of a virtual server, rather than an actual physical server, to store and manage website data. The virtual server is hosted on a network of servers, and the data is stored on multiple servers instead of a single server, making it more reliable and resilient than traditional hosting services.
Cloud hosting also allows businesses to take advantage of the latest technologies, such as virtualization, to ensure their websites are always running optimally and securely. Additionally, cloud hosting is often more secure than traditional hosting services as it provides redundancy and multiple layers of protection, including data backups and firewalls. While it does come with a higher cost, the benefits far outweigh the added expense.
WordPress hosting is a web hosting service specifically designed for WordPress websites. It’s optimized to provide the best performance, security, and scalability to help WordPress sites run smoothly and quickly. WordPress hosting often comes with additional features and services such as automated backups, easy WordPress installations, and enhanced security measures to ensure your website is always secure.
WordPress hosting is often provided by companies specializing in WordPress hostings, such as WP Engine, Flywheel, and Kinsta. These companies offer managed WordPress hosting services that provide a comprehensive solution for WordPress websites. They have experienced WordPress experts on-hand to help with any issue, and they provide special performance enhancements, automated backups, and enhanced security measures to ensure your website is always secure. With WordPress hosting, you can rest easy knowing your website is always up and running and secure.
Dedicated hosting is a type of web hosting in which a website is hosted on its own dedicated server. This server is not shared with any other websites, meaning that the website has exclusive access to all of the server’s resources. Dedicated hosting is typically more expensive than other types of hosting, such as shared hosting, but it offers greater flexibility and control.
For example, with a dedicated hosting plan, the website owner can choose specific hardware and software configurations and customize the server to their specific needs. Additionally, a website hosted on a dedicated server can usually handle much more traffic than a shared hosting plan.
With a dedicated hosting plan, the website owner manages the server, including security, maintenance, and software updates. This can be a time-consuming task, but it is necessary in order to ensure the website runs smoothly and securely. Additionally, the website owner is responsible for any downtime or problems that may occur. As a result, dedicated hosting is best suited for larger, more complex websites that require more control and customization than shared hosting can offer.
Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting platform that allows individuals or businesses to purchase a large block of server space and then sell or rent portions of it to other users. Essentially, it’s a way for entrepreneurs to start their own hosting businesses without buying and maintaining their own server hardware. Large hosting companies typically offer reseller hosting plans, which carve out portions of their server capacity and rent it to users.
Reseller hosting is a great way to expand your business by offering hosting services to your customers. It allows you to offer various hosting packages while managing your hosting infrastructure. This means you can choose the server hardware, operating system, and software applications you want to offer your customers. You can also offer a variety of pricing plans and add-on services such as domain registration, website design, and more.
How To Choose the Best Web Hosting?
Before discussing picking the best web host, you might have heard the term “free web hosting.” What is it? Let’s first understand it:
Free Web Hosting
Free web hosting provides hosting services free of charge. It is usually supported by advertisements and other forms of revenue, such as sponsored content. It is usually used by small businesses and individuals to get a website up and running quickly and cheaply.
Large hosting providers often offer free hosting to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to upgrade to a paid hosting plan. It can also help increase brand recognition and loyalty, providing a way to get customer feedback and market new products and services.
You’ll get your website live on a free server, but here are a few major limitations of using free web hosting:
Bandwidth allowance is an important limitation to consider when using a free web host. This is because the amount of bandwidth that a free web host provides is usually very limited compared to a paid web host.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred from your website to a user’s browser in a given amount of time. The more bandwidth a website has, the faster the website can load. Having more bandwidth also allows for more visitors to your website.
If you’re using a free web host, it’s likely that you won’t have enough bandwidth to accommodate a large number of visitors at once or to serve up large files quickly. This can result in slow loading times, which can be a major turnoff for visitors and cause them to leave your website.
Additionally, free web hosts may restrict the types of files that can be hosted, such as video and audio files, which can take up a lot of bandwidth. This means that if you plan to use a free web host to host these types of files, you may need to look for a paid web host that can provide you with more bandwidth.
It’s important to consider the bandwidth allowance when choosing a free web host, as it can significantly impact your website’s performance, and you may need to upgrade to a paid web host to get the bandwidth you need.
Using a free web hosting service can have many drawbacks, especially when it comes to advertising. Free web hosting services are often supported by displaying ads on the user’s web pages. These ads can be intrusive and distract the user, potentially driving away customers. Additionally, the ads may not be related to the user’s website, making them look unprofessional.
In some cases, free web hosting services may require users to agree to terms that give the service provider the right to place ads on the user’s web pages. This means that the user has no control over the ads that are displayed on their website, making it difficult to maintain a professional image.
Free web hosting services may limit users’ ability to use their own advertising. Many free web hosting services impose restrictions on the type of ads placed on the user’s website. This can make it difficult for users to monetize their websites and generate revenue.
Lack of Control
One of the biggest drawbacks of using free web hosting is the lack of control. With free web hosting, you typically don’t have access to the server, so you can’t install the software or make configuration changes that you need to customize your website. You also don’t have access to customer service or technical support, which can be a major problem if something goes wrong with your website. Additionally, free web hosting often offers limited storage space, which can make it difficult to store larger files or expand your website in the future.
So, this is what you’ll get with the free hosting plans available in the market. We don’t recommend that anyone pick the free web hosting option. However, we recommend free web hosting to individuals or organizations that do not need a lot of customizations or features and are looking for a basic website or blog for a low cost. It is also recommended for those who are just starting out and need a place to test out their website design skills.
Now, let’s discuss what you’ll get when you pick any paid hosting plan:
Paid Web Hosting
Paid web hosting is a type of web hosting that requires the user to pay a fee in order to use the hosting service. Paid web hosting typically offers more features, better performance, and more reliable service than free web hosting. Paid web hosting services also provide extra security and support for the website.
Common features of paid web hosting include:
Uptime is a measure of a web hosting service’s reliability and refers to the amount of time that a website is available and accessible to visitors. With a paid web hosting service, customers can expect a very high uptime, typically 99.99% or higher, meaning that their website will be available and accessible almost all the time, with little to no downtime.
Traffic/bandwidth refers to the amount of data transferred from a website to its visitors. This includes both incoming and outgoing data, such as website pages, images, videos, and other associated files. Paid web hosting plans generally offer unlimited or high traffic/bandwidth limits, which allows for more visitors to access the website simultaneously. This is beneficial for larger businesses that need to accommodate a large number of visitors at one time.
A control panel is a web-based interface that allows users to manage their hosting accounts. It enables users to set up their websites, view web traffic statistics, manage FTP accounts, and perform other administrative tasks. It also allows users to create and manage email accounts, databases, and other features associated with their web hosting account. Additionally, some control panels offer features such as one-click software installation, website backups, and other security features.
With paid web hosting, you can create and manage an unlimited number of email accounts for your website. You can also customize your email addresses with your own domain name ([email protected]), which adds a professional touch to your website. Your web hosting provider will also provide you with access to webmail and email forwarding, allowing you to manage your emails from anywhere with an internet connection. Additionally, you may have access to advanced features such as auto-responders, spam filters, and more.
Multiple Domains Hosting
Multiple domain hosting is a service that allows one account to host multiple websites. This allows for managing multiple domains from one central location, reducing the time needed to manage each website. The user can manage all aspects of the websites from one place, including domain registration, domain transfer, domain expiry, domain renewal, domain setup, domain hosting, and domain security. This makes it easier for the user to keep track of the various websites and prevents having to manage multiple accounts.
SSH, MySQL, PHP, .htaccess, FTP, etc
Paid web hosting offers a suite of features that are essential for running a successful website. These features include SSH (Secure Shell), which provides a secure way to access, manage and transfer data between computers. MySQL is a relational database management system that allows users to store and organize data. PHP is a server-side scripting language used for web development. .htaccess is a configuration file for the Apache web servers that allows users to configure their sites. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used to upload files from the computer to the web server securely. All of these features are available with a paid hosting service and are essential for a successful website.
24/7 Technical Support
Paid web hosting services provide technical support to customers. It can be in the form of a help desk, telephone support, or even live chat. This support usually includes assistance with server setup, technical troubleshooting, issue resolution, and answering questions about the service. Technical support staff are often available 24/7 to address customer needs. This helps to ensure that customers can rely on the hosting provider to resolve any issues they may encounter.
Now, we’ve discussed the FREE and PAID web hosting options and their limitations and features. Now, it is totally up to you which one you pick. You should compare the prices of different web hosting companies. While price is important, don’t let it be the only factor in your decision. Make sure you get the features and reliability you need for your website.
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?
The cost of web hosting can vary greatly depending on the type of hosting plan you purchase. Generally, shared hosting plans are the most affordable, costing between $1 and $15 per month. Dedicated server hosting plans are more expensive, costing anywhere from $60 to $200 per month, depending on the server specifications. Managed hosting plans, which include additional services such as system administration and support, can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 per month.
When selecting a web hosting plan, it is important to consider the size of your website and the type of traffic it receives. A dedicated server may be the best option if your website has a large amount of traffic. If your website is small and you don’t receive a lot of traffic, a shared hosting plan may be sufficient.
It’s also important to consider the features included in each plan. Most plans have a certain amount of bandwidth, storage space, email accounts, and other features. Before committing to a plan, make sure you understand what features you need and if the plan you’re considering offers them. If you’re unsure, consider speaking to a web hosting expert who can help you select the right hosting plan.