The vast majority of people who have little or no knowledge about website hosting believe that finding the right hosting provider for their website or blog is really difficult.
After all, many entrepreneurs have a decent idea of creating an online presence for their businesses (eCommerce and other types of online businesses) but don’t exactly know how they should go about it.
That’s perfectly understandable. Truthfully, if you are a business owner, you know how difficult it was for you to finally act on the idea to start a business. No beginning is easy. And, the same holds true for going online with your business.
You must have heard that your online business largely depends on website hosting. But, do you really know what it is exactly and how it can affect your online shop?
If you want to clear that up, learn what good hosting is, and how to choose a good hosting service to suit your needs, keep reading.
What is website hosting actually?
In order to have a website, you need to have ‘space’ where you can store your website. It sounds simple and it really is. Web hosting is a designated space that stores your website and the connection needed for others to access your site.
This ‘space’ is located on a server. A server provides storage and access to your website through the internet. Oftentimes, servers are actual machines. Machines that you can touch, machines that really exist in a physical form. However, servers can also be created virtually.
You buy web hosting from a web hosting provider. Think of the provider as your online landlord. You can pay on a monthly or yearly basis, depending on the deal you negotiate with your ‘landlord’.
Finally, your website has images, text, files, videos, and other types of content. A web host can store and manage all of that. And it is good to know that there is more than one option that web hosting companies provide.
Domains and IP addresses – why they matter
A domain is basically the name of your website. People visit your website by typing it in the address bar. And even though this isn’t all that a domain is about, it is enough to understand the basics of it.
On the other hand, an IP address is the numerical address of your website. It serves the purpose of the online mailing address. It’s very common that each server has a single IP address. However, there are ways to set up more addresses.
Websites can be changed, they can migrate, go down, and come back up, but an IP address usually stays the same. With no IP address, no online traffic can arrive at your website.
Bottom line is that a domain is your website’s name, while the IP address of your website serves the purpose of the actual address. These two are essential, and you won’t be able to create a website without them.
This part should interest you the most. Selecting a bad plan can lead to many problems with your website. That is, it’s all about your website’s performance. And, you don’t want to mess up anything that could lead to website performance issues.
All hosting is fairly similar, but the server setup can either make or break your website. In general, hosting variations can come from how resources are allocated to your website and the server your website is on.
That’s why it is important to learn the types of hosting plans so that you gather a better understanding of what kind of plan will best suit your needs.
That way, you won’t have a blank stare when someone starts talking about shared hosting or the best-managed WordPress hosting solution.
Take a look below to find out what are the most common hosting plans.
Sharing may not be a good thing when it comes to hosting plans. Oftentimes people have many problems with their websites due to shared hosting plans they have selected.
When you select a shared hosting plan, you are sharing the server with all other websites that are on that same server. All resources on a given server are shared, which includes storage space, bandwidth, and so on.
This kind of hosting is the most commonly offered and the cheapest. That’s why many websites experience slower load times, crashes, and other problems. Many companies offer shared hosting plans with unmetered or unlimited sites, bandwidth, space, and so on. This puts a lot of strain on the server and problems arise from there.
Virtual private server hosting reserves resources that only your website has access to. In short, partitions are set up on physical servers, and several virtual servers can be set up inside of a server.
Even though there may still be a strain on universal server resources, the website won’t suffer the same strain as it would with shared hosting.
If you have any doubts about shared hosting, VPS hosting may be a better solution. It is more secure and more reliable than shared hosting. In addition, it isn’t expensive at all. At least not to the extent where you’d rather suffer from potential issues that can arise from shared hosting.
A dedicated hosting plan is an absolute winner if you have a huge website or a big online shop that must always perform well and stay online at all costs. As you can probably tell from its name, dedicated hosting reserves a whole server for your website.
This is, therefore, one of the more expensive options. However, it guarantees that all server resources go to your website and to your website only.
Should you go for this option, you will be able to set up the server however you want to. This will give you the capacity to have a secure, reliable, and fast-performing website.
Finally, if you have to handle sensitive financial or personal information of any individuals (oftentimes shop customers), you should definitely invest in dedicated hosting.
This type of hosting connects more than one server together with the aim to share resources which, in turn, power your website. Cloud hosting could be portrayed as the exact opposite of VPS hosting.
It utilizes multiple machines to create one or more virtual servers shared across them.
When you have a website on a cloud of servers, you will enjoy less downtime. Should one server crash, your website can still work thanks to other servers that are connected to it.
Bear in mind that cloud hosting is known to be pretty expensive. Companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google use it. But, there are some cheaper options now, and that may be a good solution for smaller companies that don’t have an unlimited budget.
Co-location hosting leases the physical space that a server is located on instead of the server itself.
You can rent the space from a data center and provide your own server. If you don’t opt for managed hosting, you will be the one responsible for maintaining all aspects of your website. This includes everything from the hardware to any app you install.
On the other hand, with a managed hosting solution, someone else manages these things instead of you.
Hopefully, you now have a good understanding of hosting plans. But, before you start looking into various options, you should know that you still have to do some research first.
You may have learned the ropes here, but it is essential to do your own research. That way, you will see that this is a bit more complicated issue and that there are many aspects to each hosting option.
For example, there was a time when people didn’t do the digging and they thought that Namecheap didn’t offer hosting services. While, on the contrary, Namecheap does have hosting and it is a worthy rival right there among GoDaddy and other giants.
So, do your homework first and only then go shopping for the best hosting plan.