Every website, whether it's a personal blog, a small business, or a major corporation, has one thing in common: web hosting. While there are various forms of web hosting, in generally, web hosting is the process of securing server space to house your website's content. Each area can be rented or purchased.
Web hosting can be perplexing, especially if you lack a technical background, so don't worry. We've got everything you need to know to start — and keep — your website up and running.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the provision of a location for a website or application to be stored on a server on the Internet. Once your website is available on the Internet, it can be viewed by other Internet-connected computers.
The server is a physical computer that runs continuously, so your site is always available to anyone who wants to see it. Your web server is responsible for the operation of this server, its protection against malicious attacks and the transmission of your content such as text, images, files, etc. from the server to the browsers of your visitors.
When you decide to launch a new website, you need to find a web host that will provide you with server space. Your web server stores all your files, assets, and databases on the server. Every time someone enters your domain name into their browser's address bar, your host transfers all the files they need to process that request.
Therefore, you should choose the hosting plan that best suits your needs. It works like renting an apartment: you have to pay rent regularly to keep the server running continuously.
How does Web Hosting Work?
Your site essentially lives on the server. The server contains your entire website as files that can be sent on demand. When a visitor arrives at your site, the server must actively send information to the visitor.
Let's say your visitor wants to see your blog. The server sends the blog to your browser screen. Once they have selected a particular blog post, the server will display that post on their screen. The type of website hosting service you need depends on the size of your subscribers and the specifications you need.
Types of Web Hosting
Most web hosting services offer different types of hosting to meet the needs of different customers, whether you are starting a simple personal blog or you have a large online business and are in dire need of a complex corporate website. The following are the most prevalent options:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Email Hosting
It's best to start small, and as your site gets higher traffic, upgrade to a more advanced plan type. In any case, we will describe each in more detail.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is web hosting where the provider hosts multiple websites on the same server. The advantage is that multiple sites share the cost of the server, so shared web hosting is usually very inexpensive. This is a cheap web host. You can get a plan that costs less than $10 per month.
Hosts often offer more than one plan for each type of hosting. For example, at Hostinger, our shared web hosting services offer three different hosting plans.
This type of hosting is the most common answer to most web hosting needs and is a great solution for most small businesses and personal blogs. You share a server with other customers when you choose this type of hosting. Websites hosted on the same server share all their resources such as memory, processing power, disk space and others.
- Low cost, ideal for small online business websites.
- No special technical knowledge is required.
- Preconfigured server settings.
- Easy to use control panel: cPanel.
- Server maintenance and administration are done by you.
- Little or no control over server settings.
- Traffic spikes on other sites can slow down your site.
VPS Web Hosting
VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in that multiple websites share the same server, but that's where the similarities end. In terms of accommodation, VPS hosting is like renting your apartment in a big house. You are much more isolated than in the roommate situation mentioned above; it is always possible to be disturbed by the neighboring apartment, but much less. When it comes to web hosting, an increase in traffic from website A doesn't affect website B or website C as much. As you might expect, VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting. They pay between $20 and $60 per month.
- Dedicated server space.
- Traffic spikes on other websites do not affect your performance.
- Root access to the server.
- Easily scalable and highly customizable.
- More expensive than other types of accommodation.
- Technical and server administration skills are required.
Cloud hosting is now the most dependable solution on the market. With cloud hosting, your host provides you with a pool of servers - your files and resources are replicated to each server.
If one of the cloud servers is busy or has problems, its traffic is automatically redirected to another server in the cluster. This results in virtually no downtime, which is great if you have a busy website.
- Virtually no downtime.
- Server failures do not affect your website.
- Allocate resources as needed.
- A la carte pricing strategy: You only pay for what you use.
- More scalable than other types of web hosting.
- The actual costs are difficult to estimate.
- Root access is not always available.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting means that you have a physical server dedicated exclusively to your website. Thus, you benefit from incredible flexibility in the management of your site. You can configure your server the way you want, choose the operating system and software you want to use, and customize your entire hosting environment to suit your needs.
Renting a dedicated server is just as efficient as having your local server but includes professional support for your host. This is generally geared more towards large online businesses that deal with heavy traffic.
- Full control over server settings.
- High reliability and security options.
- Root access to your server.
- High cost, more oriented towards large companies.
- Technical and server administration skills are required.
WordPress Web Hosting
WordPress hosting is for people who want to build their websites based on the popular content management system (CMS) WordPress.org. There are multiple ways to set up this free, open-source blogging and website-building platform.
You get more website building options when you create your website. This usually involves migrating a free WordPress CMS to a server or subscribing to a hosting company’s WordPress-optimized plan. With a streamlined plan, the host automatically manages the backend, so you don't have to worry about updating plugins and CMS or enabling automatic backups. In these cases, the WordPress environment is usually pre-installed on the server.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but this is different from the type of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code as WordPress.org, but hides the server code and does the hosting for you. In that respect, it's similar to the entries in our online website builders review. This is a simpler but less flexible and customizable approach to WordPress hosting. It's easier, but if you like tinkering, tweaking, and tweaking every aspect of your website, this might not be for you.
- Cheap and easy for beginners.
- One-click WordPress installation.
- Good performance for WordPress sites.
- The customer support team is trained in WordPress themes.
- Pre-installed WordPress plugins and themes.
- Recommended for WordPress sites only, which can be a problem if you plan to host multiple sites on your server.
If you want to have a web presence, you need an email. This is a convenient way for prospects and customers to send you a message, Word document, or other files. Fortunately, most web hosts include email in their hosting plans. Some web hosts offer unlimited email account creation (great for future growth), while others offer a limited number. Of course, you need unlimited email.
However, not all web hosts offer email. WP Engine, for example, is not. In such cases, you need to register email accounts from a company other than your web host. GoDaddy, for example, sells email plans starting at $5.99 per user per month. It may seem complicated and there is only one thing to consider, but actually, there are some webmasters who find it useful to separate email hosting and web hosting services. Therefore, the provider going offline will not destroy your business.
If you're not sure what type of hosting your business needs, start small with shared web hosting. In the future, you can always upgrade to a more reliable and feature-rich package, such as VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting. Unfortunately, some hosts do not offer all types of hosting. Before committing to anything other than an annual plan, consider how much growth you expect your site to have and how fast it will grow. It's worth taking the time to make sure that the web host you choose can provide the expected growth for your website because switching web hosts during the validity period is not a trivial task.
Once you've decided on your price range, you need to figure out how long you'll need your web host. If it is a short-term project, i.e. less than a month or two, you can usually get a refund if you cancel your stay within 60 days. Some companies offer a 30-day money-back guarantee while others offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. Again, it helps to do your homework.
Frequently Asked Questions - Web Hosting
How much does web hosting cost?
It all depends on the type of property you decide on. Shared hosting and WordPress, for which typical web hosting costs start at $1.39/month and $1.99/month, respectively. You will have to spend a little more for VPS hosting, prices start at $3.95 per month.
Because cloud hosting provides the most resources, it's more expensive than other types, with plans starting at $9.99 per month. You should also consider hosting costs like SSL and CDN.
What is the most secure web hosting?
If you want to protect your website from malicious attacks and potential threats, I recommend the best secure web hosts: WP Engine, SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator and InMotion Hosting. These services offer great security and excellent customer service.
What is the difference between domain and hosting?
Web hosting providers rent storage space on their servers to store all your website files. On the other hand, a domain name is a URL that people type into a browser's search bar to visit your website. For example, the domain name of StorialTech's website is www.storialtech.com.
You can't create and manage a website without hosting, and people can't access your website without a domain name. When visitors enter their domain name, the host sends the content of the website to the browser for them to access.
Is WordPress a web host?
One of the best content management systems in the world, WordPress allows users to create their websites on the web. However, you must have a separate web host to use your domain name to run your website.
Can I host my website?
To host your website, you need to use a Windows or Linux computer and place the HTML and CSS files in a folder and then use a tool to publish them to the web. I don't recommend you to go this route as it leads to many security and performance issues.
Can I host a website without a domain?
You can use free hosting to build a website without one. However, they usually have to use a subdomain on their servers, e.g. For example, "site_name.wordpress.com". It is best to choose a paid provider so that you have full control over your domain and website.
Can Google host my website?
Google does not provide hosting services directly but does provide options for maintaining a presence on the site. You can use a third party and link it to a Google domain. You can also use the web redirect feature to redirect traffic to your existing website.
Should I pay for web hosting?
Yes, you should invest in your hosting as the free options are very limited and offer discounted services. This can include service interruptions if you don't pay for bandwidth and availability "as needed". With so many options available, it's important to invest in your website and take it seriously.
Is shared hosting secure?
Shared hosting is not the most secure type of hosting, but it can be secure if you take the right precautions. Because you share server space with other websites, attacks on other websites can affect yours. It is important to use security tools and plugins for your website. If you are afraid of problems, go for dedicated hosting.