What is web hosting?
If you want to understand web hosting easily, you have come to the right place. As the name suggests, Web hosting refers to a web service that does the hosting job for websites. This means it is a service that provides its client’s storage and access to website applications. Still confused? Think of this as buying a plot of land or some property to open your shop or a business. Without a hosting service, organizations or individuals will have no place on the internet to publish their web content.
So, when it comes to Website building and management, web hosting is an absolute necessity. Anyone looking to build an application or a website needs a hosting service to store their content. And have easy 24×7 access to their website applications at all times.
How does it work?
Hosting a website service requires that it stores and keeps the content safe and running. The web contents are stored in a web server, a high-configuration computer system that includes hardware and software. The web server stores manage and deliver any content requested through browsers.
Web hosting services can be of varying types, depending on various factors. Let’s look into them one by one.
Shared hosting is when multiple websites share one hosting service. You can think of this as sharing an apartment or having roommates. There are several advantages of sharing a hosting server. But, there are also some disadvantages.
- This option is best for beginners or first-time online businesses. The hosting company will look over the technicalities and management.
- Shared hosting is relatively cost-effective. Since the hosting cost will be divided by the websites, you can obtain the services of an excellent hosting company at a low price. You can compare this with sharing rent with your flatmates. Thus, it is best for websites looking for cheap hosting services.
- Shared hosting is easy to set up with a built-in cPanel. This makes administering your website simpler.
- Businesses that have multiple websites can host them all from one server. A lot of companies require more than one website for different purposes. They may have one site for online shopping and another for blogging. Hosting them from the same server helps such businesses to keep and manage their sites in one place.
- Sharing a server with other websites may hamper your website’s performance. If you use shared hosting, you might have to share it with thousands of websites. In such cases, traffic from the most popular sites will affect your website’s online presence.
- You will have fewer options for customization.
- If one of the websites crashes the server, the other websites on the server will also suffer
Dedicated web server
The entire hosting service is dedicated to a single website in dedicated hosting. This means all the server resources exist to store and manage one website.
- Since the server only hosts your web page, you will have fast network service. This is good for maintaining the optimal performance of the website.
- This is best for high traffic management. Popular websites are constantly bombarded with massive traffic on their web page. High traffic can be challenging to manage for shared servers.
- With dedicated hosting, you get total control over the server. You will have the entire storage space and its resources at your disposal.
- Another advantage is high security. Websites with dedicated servers are difficult to hack.
- Using a dedicated server gives you more flexibility. You can use other software and customize it however you need.
- Dedicated hosting can be costly. This is only suitable for businesses that receive heavy traffic on their website. Otherwise, a dedicated server will not benefit low to medium-traffic websites.
- This requires technical knowledge to manage the server. You will need to handle all administrative issues on your own.
Virtual Private Server, or VPS hosting
VPS hosting is somewhere between a shared and a dedicated hosting service. In this, you will share a server with other websites. But, the server will provide you with a separate space for your web content on the server. This means you will receive an allocated amount of resources on the server for your use only.
- With VPS, you receive a dedicated server space without paying for the expenses of a reliable hosting service. This is helpful for low to moderate traffic sites that can’t afford a dedicated hosting service.
- Your website will have better speed and performance since you don’t have to share your allocated resources.
- Unlike dedicated hosting, you don’t have to manage everything on the server. Most VPS hosts will offer maintenance and security.
- Compared to shared hosting, this provides good security and good customer service.
- You can use any operating system and software. You also get optimization options, unlike shared hosting.
- It is more expensive compared to shared hosting.
- You may require some technical knowledge and server management skills. Some VPS hosts do not offer such support.
- You will face problems if there is an inadequate distribution of resources.
Cloud web hosting
Presently, this is the most reliable hosting service available. And it is pretty new to the market. This refers to a hosting system that uses resources from multiple servers. This means your web content is stored on more than one server.
- The best advantage of cloud hosting is that even if one server crashes, you have other servers keep your website going. Servers can go down when there is heavy traffic. But with cloud hosting, you don’t have to worry about that.
- It ensures your website speed and performance are at their best.
- With cloud hosting, you only pay as much as you use. This provides room for growing websites.
- It is also helpful to measure your website’s performance.
- The price estimations can be difficult to guess at times.
- It can be vulnerable to attacks and information theft because other websites use the same servers as you.
- Cloud hosting may not be the most suitable for having better control over your web content.