If you already have a website or blog, then you probably already know what “web hosting” is? Either way, by the end of this post you are going to be a web hosting expert!
In fact, the complexities of web hosting is probably something you will never have to personally deal with (unless you want to run your own servers) because the majority of hosting done across the internet is all handled by web hosting companies like Bluehost, which have made the process seamless and easy for anyone to set up– especially if you want to setup WordPress or a blog for the first time.
Before we jump into what web hosting is all about, I’d first like to thank WebHostingHulk.com for the creation of this infographic, which will guide us through the world of web hosting.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is an absolute must-have necessity for anyone who ever wants to create a web site, blog or upload anything to the internet. In short, it’s the ability to upload files to a server which can be accesses anywhere throughout the world as long as their is a URL/IP address associated with the data that is being uploaded.
In terms of different web hosting providers, there are many. HostGator, SiteGround, IXWebHosting, WebHostingHub and DreamHost are just some of the most popular hosting companies you will see when searching for a new provider.
The Purpose of Web Hosting
Earlier we gave you a quick synopsis of how web hosting works and why it’s important. Now we can dive into the complexities of it, while still making it easier for everyone to follow and understand.
– A “web host” is a company that provides the technology and services to create and maintain web sites. In addition to the web hosting, customers are also supplied with information to access their admin area, FTP, server details and in some cases, setting up software such as WordPress with one-click installation.
– The data that is provided by a web host is also referred to as “disk space” and is stored in their data center where all servers are connected to the internet and usually placed in a temperature controlled and secured area.
– Web hosts have extreme security measures and backup plans in place to keep all of their customer data and sites running and connected to the internet at all time. Many web hosting companies are hosting millions of sites at any given time.
Web Hosting Comes in All Sizes
Not all web sites are created equal, which also means they shouldn’t have the same hosting options. Larger and more advanced sites will need to have large and more advanced hosting options.
Web hosts offer different hosting options which can start as low as $5 a month or you may even find free web hosting companies as well. Depending on the size and purpose of your site, you will make an educated decision on what hosting is best for your site.
Data servers all come in all shapes and sizes, just like the computer you are using right now.
– Small servers and data usage packages might be used for hosting individual sites or a handful of low traffic customers.
– The majority of hosting services use higher end servers to hold a large amount of sites. Since most people aren’t going to have high traffic sites, this makes it easier and more profitable for them to place as many sites as possible on larger servers.
– Larger sites will require premium hosting such as dedicated servers (possible more than one) or even using the “cloud” to host their data from different locations throughout the world to best serve their audience and loading times.
Different Types of Web Hosting
Web hosting can be broken down in a few different categories, such as Free Hosting, Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting and Dedicated Hosting — each of them catering to a different audience of customers for their specific needs.
Free Web Hosting
- Usually comes with limited disk space and bandwidth, while also offer limited features to the customer on backend features and abilities
- Sites using free web hosting are limited on how much control they have over their sites
- Domain names are either not included or not an option
- In exchange for not paying for hosting, ads will usually be served on your site
Shared Web Hosting
- Share hosting is the most common type of web hosting. Costs start at under $10 per month and are catered for the average person to get started with their first site.
- Web hosts offer shared hosting as their premium service because they can place lots of customers on one server, which also makes it more profitable and economical
- Customer privacy and data theft are securely protected with shared and paid web hosting plans
- Most web hosts will work with customers using shared hosting and offer upgrades when needed
Reseller Web Hosting
- With web hosting in such a high demand, reseller hosting was created for designers and brands to start offering their own hosting services while still under a major hosting company
- Reseller hosting is often used by designers or online marketing services who can also offer local business or un-savvy customers with web hosting built into their services
Dedicated Web Hosting
- Dedicated hosting is an option for larger sites, which places your site on a dedicated server all by itself and giving you the most control over your site
- As expected, dedicated hosting is one of the more expensive types of hosting
- Most businesses and high end sites are using dedicated hosting to power their sites
Choosing the Best Web Hosting for Your Site
While we’ve detailed the basics of “what web hosting is“, you still have a big decision before you when choosing where to host your next site.
We highly recommend that you don’t go with free web hosting, as this will limit your ability to take control over your site and your host can actually shut down your site at any given time. You will also be limited in your features and probably have to serve annoying ads on your site as well. In short, it’s more of a waste of time than anything else and if you want to run a legitimate site or business online, free hosting is very unprofessional.
Your best option would be to go with our recommended host, which is HostGator – they have over 10 million sites hosted on their servers and also have the most competitive rates out there. If you click over to their site through the link above, you will get our special Blogging.org discount and can started with your own hosting for as low as $3.47 a month.