Do you want to build a website and want to know what are web hosting services all about? Then you are in the right place!
Web hosting is an absolutely essential service that you will need to build a website. Web hosting allows your website to be accessible on the Internet 24/7 and without it, no one will be able to find your website, let alone view it.
Whether you are an individual Blogger, a startup, or an established business, you will need website posting of different sizes and capabilities to power your website.
In this article, We will give you an introduction to web hosting and why is it essential for every website. There are two more articles in this series where we will talk in detail about the types of websites that are available and how you can choose the right web hosting for your needs.
What is website hosting?
Web hosting is one of the two basic requirements for building any website, the other being a domain name. Also referred to as website hosting or simply hosting, web hosting is the service that allows website developers to place their websites on the Internet so that visitors can find them easily.
If you store your website on your own computer then there will not be accessible when you shut your computer down. Hence these files need to be placed on servers that will be online 24/7 without you having to worry about it. These servers are known as ”hosting servers”.
Who are website hosting providers?
Website Hosting Companies (also known as “Web Hosting Services” or “Web Hosting Providers” are technology companies that provide the infrastructure that enables websites to become accessible to users around the world via the Internet.
They have large servers which they rent out to website developers and also provide other resources like bandwidth, CPU, website management capabilities, etc. They will give you the server space and give you the facility to access your hosted website at any time via a login id and password.
You can either take entire servers on lease or rent just a part of it. This space and resources that you will be getting for storing your files will depend on the plan that you take. For example, a basic entry-level shared hosting plan on a web hosting company called Hostinger provides:
- Ability to host 1 website.
- 50GB SSD storage.
- 100 GB bandwidth.
- 30 Days Money Back Guarantee.
- 24/7 Support.
- 99,90% Uptime Guarantee.
Most web hosting services typically provide a complete package of internet services, including domain name registration, storage space on their servers, and bandwidth for serving the website to the customers. Their Customer Service Executives will also help you with any technical or billing issues you might face.
The types of web hosting available
There are many varieties of hosting plans available, ranging from basic services to very advanced enterprise-level solutions. The entry-level plans are very affordable and the cost will go up when you opt for more storage and better resources.
Some of the most popular hosting types are as follows:
- Shared hosting: this is the most common type of web hosting service which is offered by every web hosting company. In shared hosting, many websites are stored on a single server and they share the resources (i.e. Disk space CPU memory, and bandwidth) of the server.
- VPS hosting: In virtual private server (VPS) hosting is ideal for websites that need more resources and customization than shared hosting can offer. In this hosting also multiple websites are placed on a single server but typically each website has its own dedicated resources which guarantee better performance and security.
- Dedicated hosting: in this type of hosting, only one website is hosted on a single server. This website has access to the entire space and resources of the server and the server can be completely customized to serve the needs of the website. Dedicated hosting is ideal for large enterprise-level websites or those sites which need advanced-level customizations.
- Cloud hosting: this is the type of hosting service that provides more scalability than the types of hosting discussed earlier. The resources in cloud hosting can be increased by Web hosting companies on demand in real-time. For example, if your website witnesses a sudden surge of traffic that goes beyond what your normal plan offers then the web hosting company can quickly provide extra bandwidth so that your website does not go down. Needless to say, cloud hosting ensures more uptime, scalability, and flexibility to the website, and in a few years, it has become the preferred type of hosting for many companies.
- Managed hosting: this is the type of hosting service where the hosting company manages all the technical aspects of web hosting including updating the server, taking website backups, and providing security. This relieves the Webmaster from having to worry about maintaining the server and they can focus on developing the website and creating content.
Each plan has its own advantages and disadvantages. You must choose the plan which will be more suitable for your needs and your budget.
Self-hosting or third-party web hosting?
When it comes to website hosting, there are two main options: self-hosting or third-party web hosting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and goals. Here are some things to consider when deciding between self-hosting or third-party web hosting.
Self-hosting means that you will host your website on your own server, using your own resources. This option requires a high level of technical expertise, as you will be responsible for installing and configuring the necessary software, managing security and backups, and troubleshooting any issues that arise.
On top of this, you will have to keep it turned on continuously, which can easily cost you an average of $1,000 per year in energy costs. This can make web hosting an expensive service unless you are hosting a site with a high amount of traffic.
Self-hosting is typically recommended for those with a high level of technical knowledge or those with specific needs that cannot be met by a third-party web hosting service.
It is also a good option for large enterprises that run large e-commerce or SaaS applications. In their case, using a paid cloud hosting service from Amazon or Google can prove to be prohibitively expensive. In their case, they can save millions of dollars by setting up their own servers.
Large SaaS companies like Zoho are known to have set up their own data centers around the globe. However, they serve millions of customers which makes it viable to set up and maintain their own servers.
Advantages of Self-Hosting:
- Complete control over your server and website
- Ability to customize your server and software to your specific needs.
- No ongoing hosting fees.
Disadvantages of Self-Hosting:
- Requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise.
- Time-consuming to set up and maintain.
- Responsibility for security and backups
Third-Party Web Hosting:
Third-party web hosting means that you will host your website on a server provided by a web hosting company. This option is typically recommended for most website owners who do not want to get into the hassles of maintaining their own servers. Third-party web hosting typically comes with a range of features, including automated daily or weekly backups, security protection, and 24×7 customer support.
Advantages of Third-Party Web Hosting:
- Easy to set up and maintain.
- Automated backups and security measures
- Customer support available
Disadvantages of Third-Party Web Hosting:
- Limited control over your server and website
- Ongoing hosting fees
- May not be able to customize the server and software to your specific needs.
Another huge benefit of using third-party web hosting is the peace of mind you will get. Third-party web hosting services provide an uptime guarantee, i.e., an assurance that their hosting servers will be functional for at least 99% of the year. Hence, you will be able to focus on creating websites instead of having to worry about maintaining and upgrading the hosting servers.
The decision to go for self-hosting or to use a third-party web hosting service ultimately depends on your specific needs and level of technical expertise. If you have a high level of technical knowledge and require complete control over your server, then self-hosting may be the best option. If you’re a beginner or have a smaller website, a third-party web hosting service is going to be the better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a web hosting service?
Web hosting services are services that allow you to host your website on the internet. They typically offer space for your website, bandwidth, and other features like domain registration.
Can I host multiple websites on one hosting account?
Yes, you can host multiple websites on one hosting account if your web hosting service offers adequate storage space. Some web hosts offer unlimited storage space, and others limit this to a certain amount. It is also important to remember that each website requires a different amount of space. You will just need to be careful with the number of websites that you are hosting. If you have too many websites, then your website may slow down or stop working properly.
What if my website hosting provider closes suddenly?
If your website hosting provider closes suddenly, you will need to find a new provider. This can be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s important to have a backup plan. You may want to consider using a cloud-based hosting service so that you can avoid this type of situation in the future.
How do I know if my hosting provider is reliable?
Make sure to research your options carefully and choose a reputable provider. First, check out online reviews. See what other people are saying about the company. Second, see if the company has been in business for a while. A longer history usually means a more reliable company. Third, contact the company directly and ask any questions you have. By doing your research, you can be sure that you are choosing a reliable hosting provider.
What is website hosting and maintenance?
Website hosting is the process of making a website accessible to users on the internet. This involves storing all of the website’s files on a server and making sure that the server is connected to the internet. Maintenance is the process of keeping a website up-to-date and running smoothly. This includes ensuring that all of the website’s files are backed up, fixing any broken links or errors, and adding new content regularly.
How do I seek support from my web hosting services provider?
Website hosting companies offer Customer Support via email, phone, or chat. Some web hosting services will give you a help desk ticketing system to make it easier for you to reach out to their support team. You will be able to access this facility from the account settings page on the control panel of your hosting service.
How much does website hosting cost?
The cost of web hosting services depends on the company that you choose to host your site. Website hosting is often part of a web design package and can cost anywhere from $10-$100 per month depending on the hosting company and features.
What is included in web hosting services?
There are a few different types of web hosting services, but most include some combination of domain name registration, website design and development, and data storage and security. Some web hosting providers also offer email hosting, eCommerce features, and other website management tools.
If you have a business, website, or blog and you want to get a great hosting plan with great service, then you need to know about the several types of web hosting services available. There is shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud hosting, and co-location. Each one has various drawbacks and strengths that will fit your needs.
To know about these types, head on to our next article on the types of hosting that you can choose for your website.