A web hosting platform is a virtual computer (aka server) where websites on the Internet are stored. It can be likened to a house that stores your personal effects but in place of furniture and clothes, it stores computer files such as videos, HTML, images, documents and so on.
The term “web hosting” is often used to refer to the company that leases out their servers for you to store your website and provides Internet connectivity so that your site’s visitors can access the files on your website.
What Are The Types Of Web Hosting?
1. WordPress hosting: With this service, a web hosting provider will keep your WordPress installation up-to-date and protect your site from security threats from hackers like phishing. This option is not as expensive as shared web hosting and is a great choice for start-up businesses and already established businesses that use the WordPress platform.
2. Shared web hosting: With this service, your website is hosted on a server that is shared with other websites. This setup offers many advantages, top on the list is the shared cost. You get the benefits of a super server for as little as $5 to $10 per month because you share it with hundreds or thousands of other websites.
This is a great option for new e-commerce businesses as shared hosting plans would help minimise hosting costs. It is also ideal for new sites or blogging sites that do not currently have a lot of traffic.
3. Self-service web hosting: This is a DIY (do-it-yourself) type of web hosting. You buy the server, install and configure the software yourself. You are also responsible for cooling and powering the server. Some of the other things you’ll be responsible for include:
● Data integrity and backup
● Data Centre space
● System Administration
● Power (with backup)
● Server hardware
This type of hosting service is probably beyond what you require as an online business owner.
4. Web hosting reseller: Web hosting reseller packages are basic shared hosting accounts with additional tools that you can use to resell hosting space. Hosting reseller plans often come with more server control, mostly through the WHM(web hosting manager) control panel, invoicing software and a host of other features, some of which include: cleaning service, website templates, technical support and many more.
5. Co-location web hosting: With this service, you basically rent a server space at a data centre. With this service, you have to bring your own server hardware but the data centre will provide Internet uplink, power, physical security, and cooling. You will be responsible for your servers backup procedures, software, storage and so on.
If your hardware crashes or fails, you would also be responsible for getting the server up and running or replacing it. Unless you have the technical experience expertise, co-location is not worth the investment in money and time for small businesses
6. Cloud-based web hosting: Cloud-based web hosting is a new hosting device that allows hundreds of single servers to work together to look like one big server. The goal is that, as hosting needs grow, the hosting provider can just include more hardware to increase cloud space.
One of the major advantages of cloud-based web hosting is, it can handle sudden traffic spikes, for example, when you get a sudden increase in website traffic. This web hosting plan can handle the spike, so your website won’t become unavailable or shut down as a result.
7. Dedicated web server: With this service option, you are renting one physical server from a hosting provider. This is the highest level of web hosting service any online business would require as it grows into getting a lot of website traffic.
However, the cost of a dedicated server is higher than the shared hosting option. So before going for this option, your business needs to be at the point where it needs and can afford the extra cost of having its own server.
8. Virtual Private Server (VPS): With this web hosting service option, one physical “special computer” acts like many separate individual servers. A virtual private server is a cross between a dedicated web server and shared hosting. Although each VPS shares hardware resources with other VPSs, they are assigned a certain amount of computing resources from the get-go.
This way, you can avoid your website being slowed down by other websites sharing your server but also not incurring the same cost with a dedicated server.
What Are The Benefits Of A Good Web Hosting Service?
The right kind of web hosting plan can offer your website a lot of benefits. Some of these benefits include:
High Reliability And Uptime
In your search for the right hosting company, you probably come across this term “uptime”. This is because it is important. Your site’s uptime in simple terms is how often your site will be online. You would want to go with a host that has the reputation of high uptime rates but ensure that you confirm the validity of this claim.
A good way to do this is to check out online reviews from past and current customers. In some instances, a host will offer payment credits for the duration your site is off-line outside of the guarantee. A hosting company with high uptime is very essential for your bottom line because people cannot buy your services or products if your website is off-line.
Improved Site Performance
If you hire the services of a high-quality web host, slow loading speed would not be an issue for you. However, you could have a very high performing host but still have a slow loading site because of poor optimisation. Once you fix the optimisation problem, you would find that your site will load much faster.
Improved Website Security
At the very core of your website security would be your web host provider. After all, the service provided by your web host is where your site’s files would be stored. A quality host would have multiple levels of security in place to safeguard these files – for example, physical security at the data centre, and up-to-date relevant firewall protection for the servers themselves. In some instances, depending entirely on the kind of web hosting service you have, you would have an extra layer of security in place that protects your site from other sites using the same server.
How Does Web Hosting Downtime Impact Your Business?
Website downtime is a term used to refer to time periods when your website is inaccessible to its online visitors. It could be anywhere from a couple of seconds to several hours and in some extreme scenarios, several days. Choosing a reliable web host company like Bluehost, Hostgator, Heart Internet, Domains4Less Web Hosting or 1& 1 IONOS would mean that your site will suffer little or no downtime.
We hope you have a better grasp of web hosting, what it entails and the many advantages of choosing a high-quality web hosting service provider. Remember, you should always go with the web hosting plan that meets your current website needs as you can always switch packages or do an upgrade as your website grows.