Web Hosting: What you need to know!
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosts are companies who provide the necessary skills, services and technology you need for your website to be searchable on the Internet.
Now don’t confuse this with a domain name …
What is the difference between web hosting and domains?
A website is made up of a lot of different files. These files need to be stored somewhere on a server and then ‘served up’ when searched for via a web browser, such as Google. Think of your web host as your websites home, the actual ‘building’.
Your domain name is the address which points to your website’s home. Like your street address for your actual brick and mortal home.
How do web hosting and domain names work together?
When an Internet user types your domain name – OpenHost – into a browser, such as Google, it is translated into an IP address (Internet Protocol) which is sent to the your web host’s server, which in turn ‘serves up’ or sends your website files back to the user to view.
To recap, you need a web host (website home) in order to have a website, and you need a domain name (address) so your website can be found.
Types of Web Hosting
Web hosts may offer different types of web hosting options. In this article we will look at Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting and Cloud Hosting, but there are more options available.
When multiple websites are hosted together on the same server, it’s called Shared Hosting. This is a good option when just starting out as it’s more affordable. In addition, it’s easy to manage your website on a shared hosting server, as the site usually comes with a built in control panel such as cPanel. Often technical maintenance is part of a shared hosting package, so it’s ideal if you are not tech savvy!
This is the highest level of hosting – it means that you rent out the entire server for just one website. It is ideal for a large organization, with high volumes of traffic on their website and comes with multiple added benefits. The web host may offer dedicated managed servers, therefore providing technical support such as setup, maintenance and configuration.
This option spreads your data/files across several servers, where traditional hosting is usually one single server with all files. The different servers are all virtually connected to each other and therefore often referred to as a virtual server or cloud server. It offers minimal to no down time and a vast number of resources to tap into. It offers high levels of functionality and low levels of infrastructure investment to your own pocket.
Free vs. Paid For Web Hosting
Like most things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to choices we are offered. Free vs Paid For web hosting boils down to no cost vs. reliable service.
What to do?
- Do your research
- Ask the right questions
- Make an informed decision
What to look for?
- Advanced, modern features
- 24/7/365 support
- Security and Privacy
- Ease to use control panel
- Enough storage space
- Creative freedom
And more …
Professional Web Hosting
When considering a professional web host, look for:
- Great, around the clock technical support – downtime costs you time and money!
- Enough space for top performance and quick loading of website
- Email hosting included
- Your own domain name
- Customizable design and style
- Best practice SEO with plugin options
- Best security to protect from hacking, data loss and viruses
There are of course, more questions you need to concern yourself with, and a reputable web host will have all their benefits readily available to put your mind at ease!
Choosing your Web Host
Looking at all the above information and adding to it your own, unique requirements, you have some guidance as to where to start and what to expect. Consider how your business and website may grow and choose a web host that will allow you to easily upgrade at an affordable rate. Ask around, do your homework, read reviews. Make an informed decision!
Maybe you are not satisfied with your current web host and are considering transferring to a new host. Read more about this in our previous article – Consider THIS when thinking of transferring to a new web host?!
OpenHost offers all of the above!