Web Hosting Perks and Benefits

To launch a website on the internet, one needs the services of a web host. No matter what kind of website one has, no matter how simple or complicated the site is, it needs to be hosted by a web host provider for it to be displayed on the World Wide Web.

Websites are stored in a server, a specialized computer that other computers can access through a browser’s specific request. Web pages on a server can be seen by just about anyone around the world. However, not everyone has the resources to create their server and publish their website or a page by themselves. Theoretically, one can use one’s own computer as a server, but this is quite impractical and not feasible since home-based Internet connection simply doesn’t have the capacity to serve multiple users at once.

Web hosting agencies provide the right technology and services for websites to be displayed on the internet. Obviously, in order for the web host to hold a website, one needs to pay a certain amount for the hosting charge. The cost of hosting services depends largely on the type of web hosting one chooses but, generally, the owner of the site will have to pay for the hosting per month.

Web Hosting vs. Domain Name

Some people are under the misguided assumption that simply registering a domain name is the same as already paying for a website. A domain name, for those who aren’t aware, is the web address that directs a person to a specific website. Each domain name is unique. No two separate websites can share the same domain name since the name is how web browsers can find the exact server to reach the website. 

Registering for a domain is usually the first step in building a website. One registers for a domain name on a registration company known as a Registrar. These Registrars reserve domain names, protecting the registrant’s chosen name from being taken by other entities. 

Some web host providers offer domain names together with the web hosting account, but it’s typically more expensive than signing up on a separate provider for domain names.

Web hosting is more on the space one rents on the internet to store one’s website files. While one can design and build a website on a personal computer but without being uploaded on a hosting server, no one can access it but the owner.

Generally, those who create a website to promote a service, profit from their own blog, sell their products online, or even just display their portfolio are the ones that need a web host

Three Reasons Why Web Hosting is the Best Option

1. Safety

Unless one uses a reliable web hosting provider, there’s always a high probability of security risks of the website. One of the services web hosts provides is taking care of the backend concerns which includes the overall security of the site. 

These days, one can never be too careful when it comes to protecting one’s data. Many big name websites have reported having suffered security breaches, risking the users’ information and data. Without a proper web host to handle the first line of defense, a website can be easily hacked into. 

Web hosting allows the site owner to choose the security plugins, the content management systems, and other additional measures to ensure top-level security. They also offer customer support, so whenever an issue arises, the owner can contact the web host provider and fix the problem.

2. Control

For those using a free website hosting platforms such as Blogger, the main disadvantage is always the very limited control one has of one’s site. The user is required to agree to the platform’s terms and conditions which can be quite restrictive depending on the site. Even if the user manages to make a profit from their website, there’s still the risk of one day losing it all. Worst case scenario, the user’s site is deleted and the individual blocked from the website due to violating the platform’s rules. People can contact the site’s administration for an appeal, but this could take a lot of time since the platform likely handles thousands of cases per day.  

If one uses a web host, on the other hand, one has almost complete control of the website. The user will be free to move about their site without worry of breaking a rule or condition. Unless one fails to pay for the hosting charge, one’s website will be kept online with no chances of being taken down by the higher authorities.

For websites that deal with e-commerce, getting a web host is an ideal option. Not only will the owner be assured that their website (and business) will stay online, they won’t have to split the profits with the platform. Those that have a substantial following should also seriously consider using a web host instead of staying on a blogging platform for better opportunities.

3. Customization

Lastly, owners can design and customize their site when they use a web host. With the free hosting platform, users can only use a selection of web templates with very limited plugins and tools. As a result, one’s website might not look as decent as one would like or be able to perform services that the user needs. 

Moreover, with a web host, companies and small businesses will be able to maintain their branding much more accurately than with a free hosting platform. Businesses with a website tied to a free platform don’t exude professionalism either. In fact, visitors will be more than likely suspicious of the legitimacy of the site. A web host – and a domain name – will make the website more credible and trustworthy. 

Features To Expect from a Web Host

Besides paying for server space to host one’s website, a web host provider also offers these extra features:

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Access

FTP is the transferring of files between different computers. It is the method of sending and receiving files on the internet. Obviously, a web host allows the website owner use of the FTP so the owner can upload their files to their respective server. 

Email Accounts

When one utilizes a web host, it’s understood that one also has a domain name. The web hosting company actually offers the owner email account features so the one can create domain email accounts. The email account would look like this: username@domainname.com. This is quite beneficial for website owners especially to appear credible to whoever they contact through email. 

Content Management System (CMS)

Websites need a CMS to organize its content. Web hosts will usually inform you if their plans are compatible with WordPress, a popular and powerful CMS. A quarter of the websites on the internet are actually powered by WordPress, that’s why most web hosting companies make sure that their plans are compatible with that CMS.  

Extra Features and Apps 

Since the competition online is incredibly tight, websites do whatever they can to stand out from other similar sites. Hosting services offer additional features that increase visitor interaction. To name a few:

Online forums (where visitors can post and comment on topics related to the website’s service or products)

Shopping carts (for e-commerce websites)

Comprehensive databases (typically containing details of the products offered on the site so that readers can easily compare the products)

Forms for users to fill in (such as for suggestions and recommendations)

Comment section (to encourage readers to share their thoughts and opinions on a piece. this is especially useful for content-heavy websites)

What to Look Out for in Web Hosting Companies

Finally, like with most things, web hosting also has its pitfalls that one needs to be aware of. 

Domain Ownership

As mentioned earlier, some hosting companies will register the website’s domain name for the owner. While this is easier for the owner, this could pose a few problems in the future. Since it’s the web host that registered the name, legally, they are the owners of the domain name, not the website owner. However, this can be easily remedied by the owner by registering the domain name themselves instead of relying on the company.

Hidden Charges

It can’t be denied that there are a lot of unethical businesses online and it can sometimes be quite difficult discerning the good from the bad. For instance, some hosting companies will actively hide certain extra charges (bandwidth, VAT, even setup costs) and the owner will only be aware of them once they get the monthly bill. Some of these charges may be small but, when they are added up, they can turn out a substantial amount that the owner will have no choice but to pay. Website owners must read the hosting company’s terms very thoroughly to avoid these hidden charges.

Lack of Support

Customer support is how one can really tell how much the hosting company cares for their clients. While all companies are obligated to offer technical support, some are better at providing it than others. Website owners need to make sure that the web host company of their choice can respond to customers quickly and efficiently.  

Common Types of Web Hosting and How to Choose Your Own

Keeping a website is essentially like renting space on the internet. One can decorate and fill the website however one chooses; one has to pay a certain amount per year to maintain the site, and people can visit the website by following the specific address. On the internet, one would have to approach a web host to have one’s website available for the world to view and visit.

In recent years, web hosting (a service that allows people to post a website or web page so that it appears on the internet and others can view it) has become a widely popular business as a vast majority of entrepreneurs, organizations, and individuals have taken an interest in having a professional website. People nowadays are more connected than ever thanks to the Internet. Businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity by having their company readily available online. People can know all about a certain company or brand with just a few clicks on the keyboard.

However, just as it is difficult finding the appropriate commercial space in real life, finding the right web host can be a real challenge, especially since there are a lot more than people realize. Different types of web hosts that cater to different website needs as well as the owner’s budget. 

To provide a little bit of context, websites are hosted or stored in a specific type of computer known as a server. This web server does two important things: store the files the website is composed of and deliver those files to users who visit the web address. So when users visit a particular web domain, their device is directing them to the server in which the website is held. 

Majority of the web hosts offer several packages with varying prices depending on the service. Before tackling the commonly known types of web hosting, one must first understand what managed hosting and unmanaged hosting means.

Managed and Unmanaged

Managed Hosting

As the term implies, the web hosting company will aid the owner in managing the server the website’s files are stored in. Essentially, the web host provider will be responsible for the maintenance of the website. This also includes upgrades and repairs. 

Managed hosting is ideal for those who aren’t tech savvy or who don’t have the time or resources to keep the website updated. 

Unmanaged Hosting

Contrary to managed hosting, in unmanaged hosting, the hosting provider offers very limited services to the customer. The owner is only given the server space to store their site’s data. The web host isn’t responsible for how the owner proceeds with the site. The website’s owner has to look after the website by themselves (though most web hosts have customer service but, depending on the plan, they could be rather general).

Those with the right technical skills are better suited for unmanaged hosting. Better if they have experience with web management too since it takes a lot of work maintaining a website, even a simple one.

Three Common Types of Web Hosting

Shared Web Hosting

Probably the most recommended type for beginners This type is where a website is hosted on a server shared by other websites. There could be hundreds to thousands of websites sharing the same server. Because so many are sharing server space, many are also sharing the cost so this means the price for this hosting plan relatively low.

Additionally, because it’s a shared server, the basic web set-up is also taken care of by the provider. The owner can configure and personalize their website but, for the most part, they can focus on the content of their site.

The main disadvantage to this type of web hosting, on the other hand, is the very limited resources. Remember, up to thousands of websites could be sharing a server, so thousands are also using up the server’s resources. Loading speed could get slowed down, and the site could even experience frequent downtimes. 

This is basically for entry-level websites, the ones that don’t garner as much traffic, don’t have a complex web design, and maybe even aren’t for commercial purposes. 

Dedicated Server Web Hosting

This is the complete opposite of shared web hosting since it’s the type where owners exclusively rent the web server. This type offers the owner full control over every aspect of the site and the server which includes the operating system, security, and resources. Most big name companies or brands utilize this hosting. 

Because only one website occupies a server, the site enjoys all of the benefits such as faster loading time, more customization options, larger memory drive, lesser security risks, and many more. The main downside, however, is the cost. There’s a reason why only huge international companies use a dedicated server. Monthly payment can reach up to the hundreds so definitely not for small and start-up businesses.

Moreover, owners also have to deal with the maintenance of the server as well as the website, so they have to either have the right technical skills or has a team responsible for the site. Most web hosts of this type offer managed to host but, for the most part, the owner has to handle most of the important aspects. 

One only really needs to resort to a dedicated server when the website gets an insane amount of traffic, and the online business (if there is one) blows up exponentially. A dedicated server will make sure that the website stays up no matter how much traffic it gets.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Web Hosting

Lastly, there’s the middle ground, the virtual private server (VPS). This type offers the customer a service a bit like a dedicated server but in a shared server environment. A VPS web hosting server hosts multiple websites but only ten to twenty at a time. A fraction of what a shared server has. This type is mostly for those who need more control and stability but can’t yet afford to invest in a dedicated server.

Because there are fewer websites sharing the server space, resources are split evenly. Moreover, no single website is allowed more access to resources than others. In this manner, VPS is more stable than a shared server. The cost of this type is also quite reasonable, though perhaps not for those with a tight budget.

Unlike the other two types of web hosting, VPS is that’s the most balanced, which makes it the more popular choice among small businesses and the like.

Beginner’s Guide to Web Hosts and How to Choose One

Whether you’re a start-up business trying to build an online presence, an established brand looking to migrate to a more stable website, or an individual needing somewhere to organize your portfolio, getting the best web hosting service is absolutely crucial. Websites are now becoming more and more in demand, and they don’t come cheap, so obviously, you’ll need a web host that will give you a bang for your buck.

First and foremost, one should understand what web hosts are. Web hosting service providers or web hosts are online entities that allow businesses, organizations, and individuals to post their website on the internet. These web hosts offer the technologies and amenities that are required for people to have their websites displayed on the information superhighway. 

For a lot of people, the idea behind how websites are actually shared all across the globe is mostly taken for granted. Visiting a website, after all, is as easy as typing down an address on a web browser. It’s simple and immediate, so one would assume that creating and publishing a website should work the same. However, all websites are stored on these specialized computers known as “servers” which users can connect to in order to view the websites. And the process is a lot more complicated than people might think. Web hosts provide people with server space as well as web maintenance to make sure your site is displayed properly. These businesses also typically include file storage, some application features, and web security.

There are a lot of web hosts available right now, and each of them offers their own advantages and disadvantages. For beginners though, sorting through the long list of web host options might be a little bit complicated. One could easily get lost in the jargon, terms, and numbers that choosing the right web host would seem impossible. 

This article is aimed at providing beginners and non-tech savvy folks a rough guide on deciding which web host to choose. From factors to consider some practical tips, this article will definitely make your web host search much easier. 

What to Consider in Advance

Before scouring the web for the ideal web host, you must first take a few things into consideration in order to narrow down your choices.

Figure out the type of web hosting you need

There are three general types of hosting: shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. Without going into too much detail, the main difference between the three types is as follows. Shared hosting is the simplest type where several people/organizations share the same server. This is mainly ideal for small and medium sites, but for big (and growing) websites, shared hosting isn’t going to cut it. 

VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a bit more versatile and great for fast-growing sites. This type still has several people sharing a single server, but customers have larger portions and control compared to the previous plan. 

Dedicated hosting, like the name, suggests, offer customers an entire server to themselves which means more resources and more security. This type is for those who want to settle down with a web host for an extended period of time. Maybe even for good. 

You need to decide which type your website is going to need. If you’re still testing out the waters, better stick to shared hosting (or VPS hosting, if you have the resources). Don’t immediately take the plunge with dedicated hosting since that type doesn’t come cheap.

Consider how much resources and customer service you’re going to need

All types of websites require certain resources for maximum user experience. Web hosts will barrage customers with a litany of resources, and as attractive they might seem, you need to concentrate on the resources you’ll be needing the most. 

Moreover, web hosting providers will offer different levels of customer service, depending on your plan. You can choose the basic customer service if you’re capable of managing the website mostly on your own (or with your team) but there’s also the option of delegating management of your site completely. This is known as managed service, and if you settle for this kind of customer service, the web host will be the one configuring your website, maintaining the software, and even keeping an eye on the security. 

Know what type of website you want

Different websites have different needs. For instance, if your website has a lot of content, you would be better off with a web host with excellent content management. If you’re planning on doing direct online business with your site, look for a web host suited for e-commerce functionality. 

Tips on Choosing the Right Web Host

Pay attention to loading speed and reliability. Choose a web hosting providers that have fast servers since visitors are going to appreciate a site more when it doesn’t have a problem loading. Also, choose a host that can guarantee your website will be operational as often as possible. Frequent downtimes are a huge turn off for visitors.

Don’t neglect the security features. We all know by now that one should always be careful with one’s online data considering all the security breaches in major sites. Make sure the web host has a solid and dependable security plan, especially if your website handles sensitive personal data. You can never be too careful nowadays.

Purchase your own domain name. Professionals recommend that everyone, even beginners at handling a website, should have their own domain. This is to ensure that even if you change web hosts, you’ll still keep the SEO benefits. Plus, your website will appear more professional with a private domain.

Study the different prices of different hosting packages. Compare prices and choose the one that suits your allocated budget. If you’re not careful, you might end up burning through your budget in just a few months. 

Also be aware of how much add-ons and extra services are going to cost. 

Don’t believe in unlimited offers. Because, there are so many web hosts available, some would resort to offering “unlimited” bandwidth or storage for a ludicrously low amount. Obviously too good to be true. And it generally is. These web hosts might say that they’ll give you these unlimited features, but there will definitely be something on their Terms of Service (which you’ll likely not bother reading) about limiting and maybe even shutting down services of your website if you don’t get this or that upgrade. 

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