For anyone who has thought about starting an online business or even simply wanted to put up a personal blog, there’s one aspect of the whole process that often stops people in their tracks – web hosting.
What is it? Why do I need it? What type is best? These are just a few of the queries that those new to building websites face when they begin to look at their hosting options. Here we look at those questions and give you the answers you need to make the right decision when you come to take out your next hosting package.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the process of storing a website’s data so that it can be accessed by anyone who searches for a given website or enters the site’s unique address. Commonly handled by web hosting companies, it allows a business or an individual to present a series of web pages to visitors whenever they wish to view the site.
Why do I need it?
In theory, web hosting could be handled by a primary home computer. The web pages that make up a website are nothing more than files similar to those already found on your PC. However, in order for them to be viewed by multiple people at once, they need to be stored on a piece of hardware that is powerful enough to cope with the demands of serving multiple access requests at any one time. That’s where hosting packages come in, as they are a considerably cheaper option than buying all of the kit necessary to serve your website to your visitors.
What are the different types of hosting?
There are generally three different forms of web hosting available to those looking to serve a website to the general public. Let’s take a look at them in a bit of detail:
Shared hosting is where one server is used to accommodate lots of different websites, hence the name. Shared hosting is great if you only have a small, personal site, but for those with loftier ambitions, shared hosting can prove to be problematic.
While it is the cheapest option by far, shared hosting has its downsides. Traffic spikes can cause your site to crash or incur slow load times, both of which are not good for user experience. If you are running a business online, shared hosting probably isn’t suitable for you. Thankfully, there are other options available.
Dedicated hosting is where a single website is stored on just the one server. This allows the site owner to have complete control over how the server is operated and also gives far more flexibility in terms of the amount of traffic that can be handled.
However, this exclusivity and flexibility do come at a price, and there is also the need for some technical expertise to consider before taking out a dedicated hosting package. In most cases, this form of hosting is generally only used by more giant corporations that have both the budget and the expertise necessary to be able to the most from having a single server all to themselves.
If you are looking for an option that brings the best of both shared and dedicated hosting together, look no further than a Virtual Private Server. As a hybrid of the two aforementioned hosting options, VPS hosting is often seen as the best way to go for small to medium-sized businesses.
Linux VPS hosting by Host1Plus gives the site owner more scope for growth and lessens the amount of technical knowledge needed, as hosting companies generally offer support in with the hosting package. Although you are still essentially sharing a server, the numbers are limited on a VPS, so the likelihood of incurring the same problems associated with shared hosting is far less, and the cost is not as prohibitive as a fully dedicated hosting package.