Choosing web hosting is an important step in creating a website. The quality of the web hosting you buy can influence your website in many ways, from its loading speed to the number of traffic you will get.
With so many varieties of hosting options out there, it may get overwhelming for beginners to pick one.
This article will guide you through the basics of web hosting and explain which features beginners need to look for in a web hosting service.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows website owners to publish their sites on the internet by using a hosting provider’s servers.
These servers function as a storage space for websites to store data and send it over to the internet.
When choosing a hosting plan from a provider, you should first research the features of each type of web hosting and see which one matches your needs.
Types of Web Hosting
There are four main types of web hosting that most hosting providers have, although some providers may have additional web hosting plans. For example, Hostinger, a competitive provider offers the four main types like VPS, Shared, Cloud, and CMS hosting. However, there are more options. Let’s break down the main ones:
- Shared hosting — This plan is the cheapest because like its name, you’ll be sharing resources in one server with other websites. It’s a great option for beginners who are starting a personal website, but since users share one server space, problems with downtime and reduced loading speed are more likely to show up.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting — In this hosting plan, the websites still share a physical server, but each is allocated a separate virtual space. It’s scalable and more reliable than shared hosting, but it’s more expensive and may be harder to maintain for beginners. When your website starts to gain more traffic, it’s recommended to switch to this hosting type.
- Cloud hosting — Like in VPS, each website is given an allocated virtual space, but the server is part of a computer network instead of one physical computer. This means that it’s more scalable and secure than the previous hosting types. However, it will bill you for the resources you use, which means you may get an unexpected cost increase.
- Dedicated hosting — With this web hosting type, your website gets its own dedicated physical server. Your website won’t have any problems from sharing resources, but you’ll have to understand how to maintain a physical server. Therefore, it’s only recommended to choose this if you have specialized needs for your website.
- CMS hosting — This kind of hosting typically is specified for a content management system, like WordPress. For example, WordPress hosting would focus on providing users with performance improvement features, easy installation, automatic CMS updates, and enhanced security.
What to Look For When Buying Web Hosting
Now that you already know the different web hosting types, here are some of the most important aspects of web hosting that you need to pay attention to.
Server uptime is the amount of time that a server is online and running. This uptime is measured by a percentage.
While many providers will claim to have more than 99.9% uptime, not all will give a refund when an unscheduled downtime happens for more than the amount of time it guarantees.
When looking for a web hosting provider, check customer reviews about its uptime and see if it also offers an uptime guarantee.
Most web hosting services claim to have 24/7 customer support, but you should cross-check their statement through customer reviews. Note how long it takes for the customer support team to respond and resolve a problem.
Web hosting providers also differ in the method of support they offer to their customers. The most common form is email, but response through this method tends to be slow.
Consider choosing a web hosting service with at least a ticketing system to solve your website’s issues. The ideal methods are phone support and live chat since they allow you to talk to a representative directly.
Most web hosting has features to protect their websites from security threats and ensure their data safety.
One of the most common security features is an SSL certificate. Many web hosting providers include a free SSL certificate in their hosting plans, so this should be a consideration.
A scalable web hosting makes it easy to grow your website and add more resources to your website when it gains more traffic.
Many web hosting companies will explain how to scale or move to a more powerful server on their website.
Compare different providers and see which one has the easiest procedure to scale and add resources, especially if your website is for a business that will eventually gain more traffic.
Most websites don’t have lots of media like images or videos, so they don’t need a lot of storage space.
An important consideration is to check if the web host uses SSD storage instead of standard hard disk drives.
A website that’s stored in SSD will load much faster. However, web hosts that use SSD also tend to be more expensive than those with regular hard disk drives.
Compared to the other features, backup is often overlooked but is also just as crucial.
Every website is still vulnerable to data losses, even with the most cutting-edge software and security measures.
Consider choosing a web host that also provides regular automated backups in its features. This way, you can focus on building your website. Your website will be safe if there are threats that make you lose your data.
Choosing a web host may seem hard or complicated at first, but once you know which features to look for, it’s much easier to compare between providers before buying.
Now that you know all the essential factors you need to consider, you’re ready to start buying a web host and build your site.