Whether you want to build your own website, or pay a web designer or agency to build one for you, youll have heard people talk about the need to get web hosting. But what is web hosting, why do you need it, and where can you get it?
In this article, well provide the answer to all of these questions and more, in a jargon-free way that is easy to understand. Read on, and discover everything you need to know about getting web hosting for your site and how to choose the best website hosting services.
Looking for a website builder? Read our guides to:
Web hosting is the place where all the data of your website the text, the images, the video, and so on is stored, and delivered to those people who wish to access it via the web.
In the very early days of the web, some people would actually host their website on their own computers. And technically you could still do this. But in practice, most home computers arent powerful enough to let more than a few people access your site at the same time without crashing.
So nowadays, we outsource this task to web hosting companies, which have access to large and powerful computer servers around the world. And because they have so many customers, they can do this at scale, and keep the costs of web hosting low for everyone.
A new website owner should probably expect to pay around 50-100 a year for web hosting. However, the more complex your site becomes, and the more central it is to your business, the more youll want to pay. So a very large and complex ecommerce website for a big company, for example, could cost as much as 10,000 to host.
Obviously, it pays to shop around for the best deal. But just like any price comparison you do on the web, headline figures can be misleading, so you have to dig into the detail. Specifically, some of the biggest hosting companies offer hosting for just a few dollars a week, or even free. However, both of these offers should usually be seen as ways for said companies to lure you in, and get you to pay more in the long term.
First, these super-cheap or free web hosting plans may be time-limited, so youll need to read the small print to discover if and when the price will suddenly jump up. Secondly, theyll usually mean your website is covered with ads, which you wont earn any money from yourself.
Thirdly, the service will probably be short on bandwidth, limiting the number of people who can visit your website at any one time. They also may be low on storage, restricting the size and number of images and videos you can include on your website. And finally, youll probably be given a custom URL; something along the lines of mybusiness.daveswebsitehosting.com. If you want a better domain name (ie, mybusiness.com), youll need to pay for that separately.
The good news is that if you find the plan youve chosen isnt working for your website, you can always upgrade as you go. Web hosting companies are never shy at accepting more money from you!
One of the most important things to look for in a web hosting company is the level of technical support. They might be nice as pie while trying to get you set up, but it's what happens after that which is really important.
Support may be offered in many ways, which may include phone, live chat, email, and support tickets. Most companies promise that support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Some, though, limit it to office hours and days, which may prove tricky if the company is located in a different global time zone to you.
There are other reasons to consider where the hosting company is based, and equally importantly, where their servers are based too. As a broad rule of thumb, the greater the distance that data has to travel between the server and your website visitors, the longer it will take for your website to load. For that reason, if your website is primarily for people in your area, it's often a good idea to go with a local hosting company.
Of course, that will be a false economy if the local provider has low quality software and hardware. And just because they're physically near you doesn't mean they'll necessarily offer good support. So it always pays to do your research and check as many customer reviews as you can.
In general, you can trust web hosting companies to at least attempt to fulfil their promises to you. The market is so competitive that if they don't, they're certainly not going to last very long. However, there is one specific thing to watch out for, and that's the thorny word 'unlimited'.
Many hosting companies promises unlimited bandwidth, which means no restrictions on how many people can visit your website at any one time. They may also offer unlimited storage, ie that you can potentially upload an infinite amount of content to your website without ever running out of space.
This is nonsense and pure marketing spin. Realistically, your disk space and bandwidth is always going to be physically limited. What companies usually mean by this promise is that youll get far more space and will be able to cope with far more traffic than the average user needs. There will, however, be a limit; you just wont know what it is until you exceed it.
This misleading kind of language isn't really on, and is a problem the web hosting industry is eventually going have to deal with... unless governments legislate for it first. In the meantime, if your provider advertises 'unlimited' bandwidth or storage, be very wary, and check the terms and conditions carefully.
There are many different types of web hosting, and this can seem quite intimidating to the first-time website owner. If thats you, then be assured that shared hosting, the first type on our list below is all you really need to know about.
Shared hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting, and the most common service for the average website owner to opt for. Its called shared because your website will live on the same server as many other sites, which may run into the hundreds. The features available with this type of service are usually quite basic, but its suitable for websites that are only expecting low visitor numbers.
With Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, your website also shares server space with other websites, but fewer of them. This type of hosting is more stable and secure than shared hosting, so is less likely to crash when visitor numbers spike, but also more expensive. This type of hosting is suitable for any website that is expecting a medium amount of traffic.
Dedicated hosting, as the name suggests, means your website gets its own private server. This is the most expensive of the services mentioned so far. For the extra money, though, youll get your website served faster to your visitors and it will be less likely to crash, even during high traffic spikes. This type of hosting is suitable for big businesses with high-traffic sites. Dedicated hosting can either be self-managed, where you control the server and have responsibility for its security and maintenance, or unmanaged, where the hosting companys own technical team takes charge of these tasks.
Uneasy about the idea of storing your website on one physical server, making it vulnerable to that local power outages, being hacked, natural disasters, or being interfered with by national governments? These kinds of concerns have given rise to a new type of hosting, called cloud hosting. This means your website is stored on multiple servers across the globe, spreading the risk of anything happening to your website, and providing extra resources during traffic spikes. The downside is that you have less control over where your data is located.
WordPress hosting is a hosting service specially optimised for WordPress websites. WordPress.org allows you to build a website for free (its number two on our list of the best website builders) but its quite tricky to set up. So most of the main hosting providers have stepped in to make that easier by, for example, letting you install the software with one click, and automatically updating it for you, as well as hosting your site. Check out our guide to the best WordPress hosting providers today.
Email hosting is for people and organisations that dont want to use a third-party email service like Gmail but would rather store and control their own emails on their own server. This may be the server that also stores their website, or a separate one.
Want to become a hosting company yourself? You dont actually need to buy physical servers and operate them yourself: you can rent space on other peoples servers instead, and then sell it on to other people. This is whats known as reseller web hosting.
Looking for a website builder? Read our guides to:
See the original post here:
What is web hosting? - Creative Bloq
- Global Cloud Hosting Service Market Analysis highlights the impact of Covid-19 (2020-2025) | Top Players like A2 Hosting, SiteGround, InMotion,... - January 14th, 2021
- Anti-government website hosted in Montreal shut down after promoting armed protests in U.S. - CBC.ca - January 14th, 2021
- What Is Gab and Who Owns It? Learn More About the Platform Replacing Parler - Distractify - January 14th, 2021
- Global Cloud Hosting Service Market Overview, Boost Growth, Future Expectations, Key Developments And Forecast Till 2027 | Company1, Company2,... - January 14th, 2021
- There is huge demand for this one high paying job in South Africa - BusinessTech - January 14th, 2021
- Inflectra Expands Its Cloud Hosting to India - PRNewswire - January 12th, 2021
- Department of Education to Seek Cloud Hosting and Website Support and Development - MeriTalk - January 12th, 2021
- ServerWhere Launched Failover Cloud Servers in the U.S. and Europe - PRUnderground - January 12th, 2021
- How 5G and AI Are Creating an Architectural Revolution - Nextgov - January 12th, 2021
- Dade2, Cloud and IAAS Provider Introduces Opening of its Spanish Cloud Region - PR Web - January 12th, 2021
- The Slope Gets More Slippery As You Expect Content Moderation To Happen At The Infrastructure Layer - Techdirt - January 12th, 2021
- Pro-Trump Demonstration At Twitter Headquarters Appears To Be A Bust, Twitter Claims To Respect Peoples Right To Express Their Views: - CBS Denver - January 12th, 2021
- What is Gab? A far-right social alternative to Twitter - Business Insider - Business Insider - January 12th, 2021
- NICE Wins Technical Development Award at 2020 Symphony Hackathon for Integration with its Cloud-Based Messaging and Collaboration Platform - Business... - January 12th, 2021
- Expert Review: Application Hosting Market is Booming Worldwide to Reach Highest Growth | AWS, IBM, Rackspace, Google, Liquid Web, Microsoft -... - January 12th, 2021
- Bongino vows to fight Parler shutdown: 'I'll go bankrupt before I let this happen' - Fox News - January 12th, 2021
- Ben Domenech slams Big Tech over censorship of Trump, Parler: 'We really ought to be scared' - Fox News - January 12th, 2021
- Health Care Cloud and Hosting Market growth in New Research and Know about its Top growing factors by Key Companies like Med Tech Solutions Inc,... - January 12th, 2021
- Mediaite: Parler CEO says it took down post from Lin Wood calling for Mike Pence's execution - WDJT - January 12th, 2021
- Cloud and Dedicated Servers in Milan, Italy Launched by HCE - PRUnderground - January 4th, 2021
- Every Little Thing You Need to Know About Cloud Computing - Analytics Insight - January 4th, 2021
- Impact Analysis of Covid-19 On Cloud Web Hosting Services Market Expected to Showcase Extensive Growth at a Highest CAGR with- A2 Hosting, AccuWeb,... - January 4th, 2021
- How to run Hummingbot in the cloud? - Your Digital Wall - January 4th, 2021
- Cloudflare Introduces a Way to Build and Host Jamstack Sites with Cloudflare Pages - InfoQ.com - January 4th, 2021
- Global Cloud-Based VDI Market To Reach A New Threshold of Growth By 2026 - Factory Gate - January 4th, 2021
- Southeast Asia Web Hosting Services Market Prediction after Covid Pandemic and Analysis Offered By New Study 2020 2026 - LionLowdown - January 4th, 2021
- Valeo Networks Acquires Etech Solutions, Further Expanding National MSSP Footprint in the Midwest Region - PRNewswire - January 4th, 2021
- Indonesia Data Center Colocation Services Market Report 2020: Increase in Adoption of Data-intensive Technologies to Boost the Growth Pipeline for... - January 4th, 2021
- (Update Report On) Health Care Cloud and Hosting Market Forecast 2021-2026, Latest Trends and Opportunities| Med Tech Solutions Inc, Rackspace, Health... - January 4th, 2021
- The four (non-coronavirus) public sector tech trends that will define 2021 - PublicTechnology - January 4th, 2021
- Cloudflare is launching its very own cloud hosting service - TechRadar - December 23rd, 2020
- Marine Corps Issue RFI for Cloud Hosting and Migration of its Recruiting Info Support System - MeriTalk - December 23rd, 2020
- Banking of tomorrow with human and artificial intelligence - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host News - December 23rd, 2020
- Cloud Hosting Service Market Development, Innovation, Opportunities and Growth to 2026 - LionLowdown - December 23rd, 2020
- Behind the scenes of a scaling business: Private vs public which cloud is right for you? - Startland News - December 23rd, 2020
- Cybereason Adopts Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to Enhance its Platform Security - Infosecurity Magazine - December 23rd, 2020
- What are the Software Development Trends of 2021? - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host News - December 23rd, 2020
- The Top 21 Security Predictions for 2021 - Government Technology - December 23rd, 2020
- 2021 - The year of data extortion - DCD - DatacenterDynamics - December 23rd, 2020
- Digital Transformation Trends That Will Dominate Software Businesses in 2021 - Devdiscourse - December 23rd, 2020
- Scientists Braved the High Arctic to Chase Clouds on History's Largest Polar Trip - National Audubon Society - December 23rd, 2020
- Application Hosting Market Overview with Qualitative analysis, Competitive landscape & Forecast by 2027 - The Market Feed - November 30th, 2020
- 10 questions every agency should ask their managed hosting provider - The Drum - November 30th, 2020
- Application Hosting Market by Key Players, Product and Production Information analysis and forecast to 2026 - Murphy's Hockey Law - November 30th, 2020
- EdgeConnex Collaborates with Zenlayer to Improve Cloud Adoption - Database Trends and Applications - November 30th, 2020
- Radware Ranked by Gartner in Critical Capabilities for Cloud Web Application and API Protection Report - GlobeNewswire - November 30th, 2020
- Cloud ITSM Market Latest Report with Forecast to 2028 - The Haitian-Caribbean News Network - November 30th, 2020
- January is going to be a very eventful month here's an exclusive look at what's on the calendar - WRAL Tech Wire - November 30th, 2020
- Cloud Computing | RackCloudSpace | The Magazineplus - The Magazine Plus - November 28th, 2020
- Sagenext Relies on phoenixNAP to Deliver Superior Tax and Accounting Software Hosting Services - PR Web - November 28th, 2020
- Dundee City Council has moved IT workloads to the Cloud - DatacenterDynamics - November 28th, 2020
- VMware Reports Fiscal Year 2021 Third Quarter Results - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host News - November 28th, 2020
- Automation to shape cybersecurity activities in 2021 - Help Net Security - November 28th, 2020
- Professional Services Automation Market Share, Size, Analysis, Growth, Industry Statistics and Forecast 2025 - Khabar South Asia - November 28th, 2020
- End-user spending on India public cloud to rise nearly 30% next year - iTWire - November 28th, 2020
- This Week in Jobs DE: Gigs and giblets for the hungry job hunter - Technical.ly Delaware - November 28th, 2020
- Financial services companies are starting to use the cloud for big data and AI processing - TechRepublic - November 19th, 2020
- Latest Update 2020: Cloud Hosting Service Market by COVID19 Impact Analysis And Top Manufacturers: A2 Hosting, SiteGround, InMotion, HostGator,... - November 19th, 2020
- ICE plans $100 million in cloud spend on AWS and Azure - DatacenterDynamics - November 19th, 2020
- The Hyper Digitization Era Blessing in disguise for the technology industry - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host... - November 19th, 2020
- 'China-Backed Hacking Group' Allegedly Works on Global Campaign Targeting Automotives, Pharmaceutica - Tech Times - November 19th, 2020
- Application Hosting Market Report Examines Analysis by Latest Trends, Growth Factors, Key Players and Forecast to 2028 - TechnoWeekly - November 19th, 2020
- Latest Study explores the Microserver Market Witness Highest Growth in near future - AlgosOnline - November 19th, 2020
- DLT Solutions Bolsters Hybrid Cloud, AI, Security and Other Software Offerings for the U.S. Public Sector with IBM Solutions - Inside NoVA - November 19th, 2020
- 8 Valuable Tips for Securing your Data on the Cloud in 2020 - DC Velocity - November 10th, 2020
- Public Cloud: The Indispensable Component for Businesses - HostReview.com - November 10th, 2020
- Datto Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results Conference Call - Web Hosting | Cloud Computing | Datacenter | Domain News - Daily Host News - November 10th, 2020
- Managed Hybrid Cloud Hosting Market Size, Drivers, Potential Growth Opportunities, Competitive Landscape, Trends And Forecast To 2027 - Eurowire - November 10th, 2020
- Google Cloud and OVHcloud team up for European 'trusted cloud solution' partnership - Cloud Tech - November 10th, 2020
- Microsoft: New VS Code update is out plus here's what GitHub Codespaces will cost - ZDNet - November 10th, 2020
- Cloud service provider DC Two to float on the ASX as DC2 - iTMunch - November 10th, 2020
- Global It Infrastructure Services Market Analysis and Forecast to 2026 by Recent Trends, Development and Regional Growth Overview - Zenit News - November 10th, 2020
- Global Sales Force Automation Software Market Size, Analytical Overview, Growth Factors, Demand, Trends and Forecast to 2025 - AlgosOnline - November 10th, 2020
- SAP HANA Hosting Super-Powered by WorldPosta's Cloud "Pool of Resources" - PR Web - November 8th, 2020
- Global Cloud Hosting Service Market 2020 | Know the Companies List Could Potentially Benefit or Loose out From the Impact of COVID-19 | Top Companies:... - November 8th, 2020
- Create your own VPN for pennies with the cheapest virtual compute instance around - TechRadar - November 8th, 2020
- Web Hosting Services Market 2020 and Forecast 2021-2027 Includes Business Impact Analysis of COVID-19 - Eurowire - November 8th, 2020
- How IONOS is looking towards privacy and Europe for a solid share of the cloud market - Cloud Tech - November 8th, 2020
- Cloud Infrastructure Services Market Research, Size, Share Analysis by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application to 2026 - PRnews Leader - November 8th, 2020
- Cloud Computing Market Analysis, COVID-19 Impact,Outlook, Opportunities, Size, Share Forecast and Supply Demand 2021-2027|Trusted Business Insights -... - November 8th, 2020