web hosting

Web Hosting: Know These Before You Host Your Website

Every website you see on the internet is hosted. Without web hosting, a website cannot be available to the public. This article talks about What is Web Hosting, Types of Web Hosting, and How to Choose a Web Hosting Provider.

What Is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting is when you have space on a server to store the files of your website. These files include the codes and images of your website. Hosting makes a website available on the internet. Without hosting, people cannot see your website on the internet.

After you register your domain name, find a web hosting provider. You can learn about domain names here. Web hosting providers are the companies that will provide you with a server on which you will store your website so that the public can access it. Websites are made up of files. Just as you store files on your personal computer, so you must store the files of your website on a server. A server is a super-computer but with no monitor on which they store website files. So when anyone requests for your website the server “serves” that person with files from your website. 

Types of Web Hosting

There are different Web Hosting packages. The main ones are Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Virtual Private Seller (VPS) Hosting, and Cloud Hosting.

Shared Hosting

It is the type of hosting that stores about hundreds of websites on the same hosting server. In Shared Hosting, you and other website owners share the same server. One disadvantage is that any adverse activity of one website account will affect the rest. Besides, high traffic websites cannot use shared hosting. Shared Hosting is good for small businesses because it is affordable. You can start with a Shared Hosting package and when your website traffic increases, you move on to another package.

Dedicated Hosting:

Dedicated Hosting dedicates an entire web server to a single website or owner. With this web hosting, you have an entire server to yourself. You do not share with it anyone. However, that means you will pay for the server alone. That makes Dedicated Hosting expensive. Companies that are interested in reliability, security, and high performance go for Dedicated Hosting. 

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting:

VPS hosting is like dedicated hosting. But with it, they divide the web server into several partitions and each VPS account controls a single partition of the server. This hosting package is a hybrid of Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The activities of the VPS accounts do not affect one another that much. VPS Hosting is good for medium-size businesses. 

Cloud Hosting:

Cloud Hosting is when different servers host a single website. Instead of a single server, different servers host the website or a mirror of it. Cloud Hosting usually works with a load balancer to increase scalability, reduce downtime, among others.  

How To Choose a Web Hosting Provider

Before I give the list of factors to consider when choosing web hosting providers, let me give you a list of web hosting providers. This list is in alphabetical order: A2 Hosting, Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy, GreenGeeks, HostGator, Hostinger, Namecheap, SiteGround, WP Engine, etc.

What to consider when choosing a web hosting provider:

Bandwidth Allowance: This refers to the amount of traffic coming to your website. Websites with videos and audios will demand a higher bandwidth. If you are expecting to have a high number of visitors on your website, check the bandwidth limit the hosting provider is offering. The bandwidth also determines the amount of files you can upload to your website.

Uptime: You do not want your website to go off because the server was down. The uptime is the percentage of time the web server is up and running. A 99.9% uptime means the web server is always up and running. That means the server hardly goes off.

Control Panel: This is the application you will use to manage the hosting of your website. When you have access to your Control Panel, you have control on installations (such as WordPress), FTP, account passwords, email addresses, and other basic server configurations. 

Number of Domains: Check whether the hosting provider allows you to have other domains on your website. If yes, find out the number and the cost associated. Some hosting packages do not allow for additional websites; pay attention to that. Add-On Domains is the name given to the additional websites they will allow you to host beside your main website.

Cost: Check the prices the hosting provider is offering both for the first year and that for renewal. Some hosting providers can give you a low cost upfront but a high cost when renewing your hosting package. 

Email: If you want to set up a custom email for your website e.g. [email protected] then check whether your hosting provider allows for emails.

Technical Support: This is my favorite item. Sometimes, you will hit a brick wall and you will need professional support. Or maybe you want to make some enquiries. Make sure your hosting provider has 24/7 technical support. You don’t want to be left in the loop when you are in dire need of urgent help.

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