What is Web Hosting?
Web Hosting is the service needed in order to put your website onto the internet. It is probably one of the most confusing parts of getting online because there are so many choices. This article will be a little longer than my other introductory articles in order to introduce you to it.
To continue the analogy from the last post, the domain name is like the empty lot. The web hosting service is like the foundation on which the website can be built.
Not all web hosting is the same. Some web hosting is built for small websites. Other hosting is built for large websites. Some web hosting helps things load more quickly. Everything the hosting service does for you is one more expense. But in general web hosting is fairly cheap.
What Should You Look for in a Web Hosting Company?
First, look for a major name. There are some web hosting services out there that are very cheap. If it is an unknown name, then it might not be a well-serviced company. I would look for a big name. The web hosting companies that I affiliate with are HostGator, Hostinger, and BlueHost. There are also other reputable companies out there too. What you will need is a company that has good customer service. The three I affiliate with all have good, helpful customer service.
Second, look for a decent price. Let’s face it: the large websites that have millions of users on a daily basis need better web hosting than a small business which will get a few thousand people on their site per month. You don’t need to pay for the expensive web hosting until your website needs it. And, if you are just starting out, that might be quite some time. Look for a base package that suits your needs.
Third, how many websites are you building? Some web hosting accounts permit you to host an unlimited number of websites on your hosting account. If you have a ton of websites you are planning, it is not that much more expensive to get one webhosting that fits all. But, if you only need one site, then just get the basic one site web hosting package.
Fourth, are you going to want to build email followers? If you are building an email list, much of the shared web hosting will not work for you. There are certain standards that protect clients like MailChimp, etc. Those standards are maintained by Akamai. Most of the basic one-site web hosting packages are shared on the web hosting end. For example, HostGator will put a few hundred people on one dns server. This way they can scale costs. However, if you want to build an email list, you will need a dedicated IP. It is not usually too expensive to get one, but the Akamai standards tend to require it.
Fifth, make sure the webhosting you choose has a free SSL certificate with it. There are many reasons why you should want a free SSL certificate. Not least of which is that Google Chrome tells its users if you have one or not. Many web hosting companies will charge you for one. A group called Let’s Encrypt offers free SSL certificates. I would recommend using a webhosting company that offers a free one through their service.
What are the Types of Web Hosting?
Shared Web Hosting – This web hosting is shared between multiple small websites. You can get one with unlimited domains, free SSL, and even a dedicated IP address.
WordPress Hosting – This WordPress hosting is for very large WordPress sites with heavy daily traffic. This is not for those just starting out. Once you have tens of thousands of people coming to your WordPress site daily. You will want to switch to this. If you choose BlueHost WordPress Hosting, their prices are right for those just starting out. They do this because they specialize in WordPress. For other hosting companies, this option would be a second step.
Cloud Hosting – Cloud hosting is similar to Shared Web Hosting, but it is based in the cloud. It offers a speed that is three times faster than regular shared hosting, yet it does not take any of the server-side knowledge. This option can be found at reasonable prices and should be considered as your second step.
VPS Hosting – Virtual Private Server is for larger, complicated websites. Typically, you have to have advanced knowledge in how servers work, and you have to have the need for something this expensive.
Dedicated Server Hosting – This is the most expensive type of hosting. It is only needed for the very large websites. I hope your site becomes this powerful though, because it never hurts to be that successful.