You may have been told that you need a web host for your website. But what is website hosting?
In short, website hosting is a basic infrastructure that puts and keeps your site on the internet.
But what role does a web host play in all this, are there different types of web hosting, and what’s the difference between web hosting and domain hosting? Don’t worry, we’ll cover all of that in this blog post.
Before we get into all that, let’s clearly define what web hosting is.
Web hosting definition
Web hosting is the process of storing and maintaining a website’s files, making your site more accessible across the internet while providing web space on a server.
A hosting provider typically offers services such as security, domain name registration, email services, bandwidth administration and more – all of which ensure that websites can be accessed quickly and reliably from around the world.
What is a web hosting service?
As mentioned above, a web hosting service is a type of online service that allows individuals and organisations to make their websites accessible on the internet. But what does a web host do?
A web hosting service provider provides the technology, space and support services necessary for a website to be viewed by users in an efficient manner.
These can include domain name registration, storage space, bandwidth, security measures, database management tools, and email accounts.
In addition to these support services, some web hosting companies or design/tech/marketing agencies may monitor traffic levels, perform backups, and provide technical support if and when needed.
The web host also works closely with the website developer to ensure that all the components of a website work together seamlessly.
All of these tasks ensure that website owners can focus on other aspects of their business, without having to worry about the technical details behind the scenes.
Do I need a web host for my website?
You may be wondering, ‘Why do I need a web hosting service?’.
If you’re looking to create a noteworthy online presence, you’re going to need a web hosting service.
Just purchasing the domain only gives you access to use only that domain name for the set period, whereas web hosting allows you to store your website files – but more on this in the next section.
A web hosting service provides an online home for your website and ensures that your site is accessible, fast-loading, safe and secure.
Through professional web hosting, you can ensure that your site is always up and running, secure from any malicious attacks, and visible to potential customers all over the world.
Web hosting vs domain hosting
Web hosting and domain hosting are often confused, but they are two separate, distinct services.
Domain hosting is the process of registering a website domain name (such as www.example.com) with an official registrar on the web.
This allows people to find your website online when they type in that domain name into their browser address bar or conduct a query in a search engine.
Meanwhile, web hosting is the process of storing and maintaining website files on a web server – such as images, videos, HTML files, etc. – so that your website can be accessed online when someone visits the domain name you own.
It is the web host’s responsibility to deliver those files to the users when they visit the website domain.
Your domain name system (DNS) will point to the web host’s server, and it’s their job to make sure your website is constantly available for anyone who visits it.
In other words, if you want to have a successful website presence, you need both domain hosting and web hosting.
Six key benefits of paid website hosting
There are many benefits to opting-in for a paid web hosting service, such as:
- Maximum uptime and speed: Paid website hosting services usually guarantee a certain level of performance, meaning your website will be up and running more often. This ensures a consistent user experience because people visiting your site won’t have to wait for the pages to load.
- Reliable security: A paid web hosting service provider typically offers enhanced security features such as SSL certificates, DDoS protection, malware scanning, and real-time website monitoring. This ensures your site is secure from any malicious attacks.
- Technical support: Paid website hosting services often provide 24/7 technical support in case you encounter any technical issues with your website.
- Domain-based email address: Most paid website hosting services allow you to set up a domain-based email address, which can make your business look more professional.
- Improved SEO: As user experience becomes more of a key ranking factor on Search Engine Results Pages, having a fast and reliable website can help your SEO efforts.
- Shorter domain name: Paid website hosting services often allow you to use a shorter domain name, which makes it easier for people to remember.
Different types of web hosting
Now we have established the key benefits of the service, it’s time to look at the six key types of web hosting.
The most common and cost-effective form of web hosting is shared hosting, which places multiple websites on a single server.
This means that you share space with other sites, so it can be slower than dedicated solutions, but it’s the perfect solution for beginners or small businesses who are working within a budget.
This cost-effective solution is ideal for smaller sites that need less configuration and don’t have a big demand for resources.
The opposite of shared hosting, dedicated hosting is where you get an entire server to yourself.
This provides more control and flexibility over the server’s resources and performance, so it’s a great solution for bigger sites with higher levels of traffic.
Dedicated servers are also perfect if you need secure storage space or want to host multiple websites from a single server.
WordPress hosting is specifically designed to run the WordPress content management system (CMS).
This type of web hosting includes a number of features to make your site faster, more secure and easier to manage, such as automated backups and updates.
Through a WordPress hosting service, you can benefit from on-site and technical SEO plug-in tools, helping to better reach potential customers.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
A VPS hosting service is a combination of shared and dedicated hosting, as it provides you with the resources of a physical server but in a virtual environment.
This type of web hosting offers customisation and flexibility when compared to other services, as well as more control over your server’s performance.
It can be an expensive choice, however, so it’s not usually the first choice for small businesses.
Cloud hosting is a form of web hosting that relies on a network of virtual servers to store, manage and process data.
Unlike traditional web hosting, cloud hosting services provide users with resources from multiple sources, rather than having them all stored in a single physical server.
This means it is highly scalable, allowing you to scale your bandwidth and storage space as needed – perfect for eCommerce sites or larger businesses that may have sudden spikes in traffic volume.
How to find a quality web hosting service
Thank you for reading our beginner’s guide to web hosting.
You may still be wondering how to find a great web hosting service for your business.
Truthfully, you don’t need to look much further than Inc Studio.
Our comprehensive web hosting solutions provide you with all the features and resources you need for a successful website presence.
Simply visit our contact page and let us know about your business. A member of our team will be in touch to discuss custom hosting solutions that meet your needs.
We look forward to hearing from you!
For more information about Inc Studio’s services, make sure you check out our blog, where we provide tips and advice on everything related to design, SEO and more.