What Is Web Hosting and Why Do You Need It?

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Picture of Tim Jones, CEO + Founder
Written by Tim Jones, CEO + Founder

When setting up a brick-and-mortar business, you'll most likely rent an outlet in a location that's easily accessible to your intended clientele. That's the basic premise of web hosting, too; you want your website to be available to the general public.

The simple explanation of web hosting, then, is that it's the process of renting storage space to house your website.

Web hosting is the foundation for your website, and it's essential for any business that wants a web presence. A web host stores your website files on a server and then delivers them to your visitors' computers when they type in your domain name.

That's why choosing the right web hosting company is important. Not all web hosts are created equal, and some will be a better fit for your specific website needs than others.

 

How Does Web Hosting Relate to My Website?

If you want a website of your own, you'll need to find a web host. But how is web hosting related to your website?

Web hosting makes it possible to run an online business successfully. When someone types your website address—also known as your domain name—into their web browser, your web host's server sends back the files that make up your website.

Your web host is what gives you access to a control panel. It's where you can upload your website files, set up email addresses, and more. Your web host is responsible for ensuring your website is always up and running. It also ensures visitors have a smooth browsing experience and, in turn, purchase more of your products or services.

 

Why Is Web Hosting Important?

Choosing a reputable and reliable web host is important because otherwise, your website could go offline anytime, which is not good for business.

Web hosting companies keep their servers running 24/7, meaning your website is available to clients at any time of day. This helps maximize sales while also offering an excellent user experience. Also, web hosting is preferable if you would like to cut costs. An in-house server may provide more granular control, but it is more expensive to maintain.

Think about it this way: would you ever launch a brick-and-mortar store without a storefront? Of course not! The same goes for your website. A hosting plan is critical to making your site visible on the internet.

 

Types of Website Hosting

There are many different website hosting services available, each with benefits and drawbacks. The most popular types of hosting are shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting.

 

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting, and it's where your website shares server space with other websites. It denotes that resources are shared between the various websites. These are great for businesses or blogs just starting out, as they are dirt cheap. 

 

Virtual Private Servers

As the name suggests, virtual private servers (VPS) are a hybrid of dedicated and shared hosting. They offer some features of dedicated hosting, such as guaranteed server space and resources, but at a fraction of the cost. Like shared hosting, your website shares server space with other websites, but VPS hosting is still a more private option than shared hosting.

 

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is what you get when you've outgrown a VPS. You have an entire server to yourself, which means all its resources are dedicated to running your website. The pricing is usually steep, however; hence it's best left for enterprise-level businesses.

 

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a newer type of hosting that combines the best features of shared and VPS hosting. A website is deployed to a network of physical and virtual cloud servers. Other types of hosting have resources in a single location. With cloud hosting, you share server space with other websites, but you have access to more resources than you would with shared hosting. These multiple servers can be spread across continents. These features make cloud hosting a good option for larger websites.

 

Managed Hosting

With managed hosting, your provider takes care of all the technical aspects of running your website. This is a good option for businesses that don't have the time or resources to manage their own hosting.

 

Colocation

This type of hosting involves renting space in a data center to house your server. In this case, you can have your hosting equipment on premises, but you connect it to data centers owned by a hosting provider. You can think of colocation as owning a boat. You may own the vessel, but you'll have to rent space on the dock if you want to use their facilities. Colocation hosting is a good option for businesses with a lot of traffic or that need more control over their hosting environment.

 

Is Web Hosting a Requirement for My Website?

Frequently paying for hosting services can seem complicated, but it's better than the alternative. You can choose to set up your servers, but the cost, time, and effort required to maintain them can be much greater than simply paying for hosting. Web hosting provides a secure and stable home for your website. It also gives you access to several necessary features for your website to function correctly and reach its full potential. 

 

Can I Buy My Own Hosting Server to Host My Own Site?

You may consider purchasing your own hosting server when you're ready to take your business or blog to the next level. Buying a hosting server is an excellent option for individuals who want more control over their website and its content.

It is essential to remember, however, that owning and maintaining your server can be a lot of work. You not only have to worry about the day-to-day upkeep of the hardware and software, but you also need to maintain a high level of security to protect your information.

If you are not comfortable with these responsibilities, it may be best to leave the hosting to the professionals.

 

How Much Does Hosting Cost?

Pricing for website hosting services can vary greatly, depending on the features and options you need. Generally, hosting costs anywhere from just a few dollars to several hundred dollars per month, depending on the size and complexity of your website.

The hosting cost is dependent on certain things:

  • Your intended purpose (website, progressive web application, etc.)
  • Your budget
  • Hosting package
  • Hosting company
  • Attached services
  • Required speed

Shared hosting offers one of the cheapest packages, starting from as little as $5 a month. It works for a simple test website, a blog, or a new website. Still, you may need to switch servers to something costlier when traffic increases. Dedicated hosting can cost upwards of $1,000 a month.

When shopping for a web host, compare pricing plans to find the best deal. You should also consider the host's reputation, customer service, features, and bandwidth and storage allowances.

 

What Are the Best Web Hosting Companies?

There are many web hosting companies to choose from, but which one is the best for you? A few hosting companies rise to the top due to the strength of their services. They include:

 

WP Engine 

This company started in 2010 to support websites built using the WordPress content management system. WP Engine is the best overall website hosting company, providing top-notch managed hosting services to sites of all sizes, from small businesses to large corporations.

 

Siteground 

If you're just starting out, SiteGround could be an ideal option. The company is notable for its nearly flawless year-round uptime and the ease of setting up a shared hosting website. 

 

Amazon Web Servers 

Amazon has branched into offering excellent cloud services, from hosting to databases, networking, storage, and more. After starting in 2016, they quickly became the cloud service for many enterprise-level companies.

 

InMotion Hosting 

InMotion Hosting is one of the oldest hosting companies. They are experts at helping any person or company set up a web presence. Their track record and 99 percent uptime rate make their services worth considering. 

 

1&1 Ionos 

For budget-friendly hosting, consider 1&1 Ionos. They have an introductory website hosting cost that will enable you to set up your business, but the prices rise after a few months of usage. Hopefully, your website will have started bringing in money by then! 

 

Google Cloud Website Hosting

The internet colossus Google wouldn't be left far behind in offering cloud services. As you'd expect, Google Cloud Website Hosting is one of the best cloud service providers—if you can learn their complex purchasing and setup processes. 

 

Need Help Taking Your Business to The Next Level?

When deciding on a web hosting company, it is crucial to consider your needs. What type of website are you going to create? What are your budget and technical requirements? Once you have answered these questions, you can narrow down your options.

At Eternal Works, we specialize in helping companies such as yours attract better leads, drive more traffic to your website, and turn that traffic into paying customers. Would you like to learn more about how we can work together to improve your business outcomes? Let's talk. 

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