Web Hosting: What It Is and What You Need to Know About It
Despite the considerable amount of time people spend browsing through websites, the majority of them don’t know how these websites actually work. Nevertheless, an interested party is not required to have extensive knowledge with technical computer terms to publish a website of his own. All he needs is the web content and a server from a web host.
To put it simply, the relationship between a web content and a server is like that of goods being sold and a physical store. If you have products to sell, you will need to rent a space to display them so that customers can see, touch, examine, and buy them. Likewise, if you have a website, you will need a server to publish them on the internet so that users can view and interact with it.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting pertains to the service provided by a host to an organization or individual who wants to publish a website on the internet. Contrary to the assumption of many, websites are not something that entirely exists digitally, rather, they require physical resources to be made available online, primarily in the form of servers.
Servers are powerful computers that house the elements comprising a website, which include the files, codes, images, texts, etc. Although it is possible to buy and run your own server, it is a lot more complicated and expensive, especially for small businesses. Hence, renting a server space from a web hosting company is a more feasible option since they already have the resources, connectivity, and other associated services to host a website.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Hosting Plan
Choosing a web host for your business is a critical decision to make and even overwhelming due to the significant number of options to choose from. Summarized below are the key factors you must consider in your decision-making:
1. Server Reliability / Uptime Scores
Cheap hosting plans often have unstable connections and weak servers, which commonly lead to frequent crashing of the website. When this happens, your website goes offline and denies you with possible viewership, which further translates to loss of potential sales.
Premium plans feature a 99.99% uptime score, which guarantees that your website will operate 24/7. The standard uptime score today is 99.95% and any offer below 99% should be avoided because they will only lead to problems later on.
2. Security and Site Backup
This cannot be stressed enough!!
With the recent wave of cyber threats, it is paramount to ensure that your web data is safe in case of an attack. Make sure that your web host conducts regular web data backup so that you can restore a working website in case you encounter severe server failures or other critical damages. A good web host should be able to recover all, or most, of your data with minimal downtime.
3. Server Scalability
A shared hosting plan is commonly the first pick of new businesses due to its cheap price. However, as your business grows, the number of unique customers visiting your website will also grow until it reaches a point when this plan can no longer accommodate the amount of bandwidth. Hence, it is important to ensure that your hosting plans permits you to upgrade to a more powerful server.
4. Multiple Domain Hosting
Through the years, you may find your business branching towards other areas and thus, requiring you to create additional websites. Hence, before deciding on a hosting plan, check first whether or not it allows you to run multiple websites under the same account. Keenly compare your web host provider options so you will not end up with one that’ll potentially impede the growth and diversification of your business.
5. Customer Support
Make sure that the company you are considering has active customer support. You would not want to see your website down and not have live support from your web host. Prioritize choosing companies with an in-house tech support department since they have a better grasp of their operation and will be able to provide comprehensive assistance.
6. Custom Email Options
Having an email linked to your website’s domain name not only makes you look more professional but it also attracts more feedback from customers. When deciding on the right web host company, choose one that provides this type of add-on service.
Shared Hosting vs. Cloud-Based VPS Hosting
Shared hosting is when numerous websites are hosted by a single server. It is considered the entry-level web hosting plan due to its cheap price, low specs, and simple interface. The specifications of this type of web hosting is good enough for individuals and small businesses. However, it is not ideal for websites with a high traffic where the bandwidth is significantly greater.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, on the other hand, is when a single server is divided into several virtual spaces, which can be used to host individual websites. Unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting allocates you with a dedicated space and reserved amount of memory and resources, enabling you to smoothly run heavily trafficked websites.
Advantages of Using VPS Hosting
VPS hosting has four major advantages over shared hosting:
- VPS hosting provides you a dedicated space that allows you to accommodate more bandwidth. Unlike shared hosting, traffic surges from other websites does not affect your website’s performance.
- VPS hosting gives you root access to the server, enabling you to highly customize and freely manage software changes within the server.
- VPS hosting allows you to quickly configure your business operation. You can easily scale it up and down without interrupting the server and causing major downtimes.
- VPS hosting has superior security compared to shared hosting. Since your website is secluded from others on the same server, they will not be able to easily access the space dedicated to you. Your root access to the server also allows you to put up additional security tools and firewalls.
Knowing your server needs, then assessing your options based on them allows you to choose the most suitable web hosting plan for your business.
A shared hosting is good for starters but is not advisable for long-term use due to its inferior reliability, customizability, scalability, and security.
VPS hosting, on the other hand, offers great features that makes it an overall excellent server choice. It has a high uptime score, provides root server access, handles heavy traffic better, and allows business scale configuration.
Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting is guaranteed to result in a greater website functionality and better customer experience.
Opt for an All-Inclusive Web Development Service
Choosing your Web Host is just the start of your web development journey. You still have a long way to go. If you are not sure how to go about the process or you do not have enough technical knowledge to build your own website, get an all-inclusive web design and development service that will take care of all the aspects of creating your business website.
At Design and Host, we offer an all-in-one website package that covers all your web development needs, including domain name registration, hosting, website security, web design, logo design, custom email, and so much more. If you are ready to put your business online and create a website that perfectly matches your brand, contact us, and let us discuss your requirements.