If you’re new to using web hosting servers, it can be a little confusing when it comes to picking your first provider. There’s a lot of technical jargon that may seem foreign to you, and without the right knowledge on web hosting, you may find it difficult to choose the right plan that is best suited for your web hosting needs. As a leading website design agency, we’ve put together a guide for beginners!
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a type of service that allows individuals and companies to launch a website on the internet. This service is typically provided by a web host or a web hosting service provider who will provide the support and services that are needed for a website to run smoothly and efficiently.
Websites are hosted and stored on different servers. When users are looking to view a website, they simply need to input the desired URL into their browsers and they get redirected to the page. Their device will then connect to the website’s server and display the relevant web pages!
In most cases, hosting providers will ask that you own a domain already in order to host with them and use their services. If you do not have one, they usually will assist in helping you purchase one.
Why Do You Need It?
If you’re looking to have a website to call you own, it’s highly recommended that you invest in web hosting.
When you use websites that offer free websites, you’re not always in full control. Investing in web hosting will allow you to control every aspect of your website, rather than having to play by someone else’s rules.
You will also be able to customize your website freely when you make use of proper web hosting services. You will be allowed to use as many tools and plugins as you desire, something that you wouldn’t be able to do with free hosting platforms.
Terms You Should Know
If you have never used a web hosting service, it’s important to be aware of certain terms so that you aren’t confused.
- Servers refer to computers that are almost always online, whose sole purpose is to host websites and web applications.
- Domain names will enable visitors to identify each website and navigate to them through their web browser. Essentially, this is your URL.
- Subdomain: this enables you to set up many websites all while using the same domain name. For example, blog.yourdomain.com.
- Top-level Domains (TLDs): The TLDs are the suffixes present at the end of each domain (.com, .org, etc).
- Content Management Systems (CMS): The CMS is a software that was built to help website owners create and manage different types of websites and content. A popular example is WordPress.
- Bandwidth: Web hosts will usually restrict how much data you would be able to send and receive from your server. Most web hosting plans will make sure to inform you how much bandwidth they can handle or if they are able to provide unlimited bandwidth.
Types of Web Hosting
There are different types of web hosting options available and it’s important that you’re able to differentiate between them.
Shared hosting is your go-to if you’re looking for entry-level website hosting. With shared hosting, your website will be stored on a server that is home to multiple websites. All domains will share the same resources (RAM, CPU), making the cost relatively low and is a great option for those website owners just starting out.
Virtual Private Server
A VPS hosting plan serves as the middle ground between a shared server and your own dedicated server. This plan is ideal for website owners who want more control over their pages, but don’t really require their own server. Although it still shares a server with other websites, VPS hosting allows each website to be hosted within its own space, providing more customization options and storage space.
A powerful dedicated server gives website owners the most control over servers that their websites are stored on. As this server will be rented by yourself and no one else, you will have full root and admin access, allowing for full control over the operating system and security. However, dedicated servers are one of the most expensive options when it comes to web hosting. They are usually used by website owners who require full control and have higher levels of website traffic.
Most of the hosting packages you would find online are most likely to be managed by hosting companies. They will provide many technical services like hardware and software setup, hardware replacement and even technical support. The provider tends to look after the day-to-day management of all hardware, operating systems and applications.
Cloud hosting refers to how scores of computers work together to run applications using combined computing resources. It is a hosting solution that works through a network, allowing companies to use resources as a utility. In turn, it also allows users to use as many resources as they need without needing to build or maintain their own infrastructure, as resources are spread across multiple servers.