How Does Web Hosting Work? 5 Things You Need to Know
For businesses wanting to establish an online presence, building a website can be a complicated task as it involves a lot of technical work. On top of this, setting up a server is complex. That is why many opt to work with web hosting providers, who use technologies capable of powering optimum website performance, providing better features and functionality, and offering stability and security.
While it may seem like web hosts offer similar services, not all hosting providers offer the same quality of service. Thus, it’s important to understand the concept of web hosting to help you choose the right web host for your next website. Now, let’s help you get started!
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the service of providing a secure space to store online website content such as code, text, images, and videos. This allows users to store content digitally, reducing local storage costs, and building a robust web presence with built-in benefits like security and support. Location-wise, web hosting may take place via personal servers and through cloud-based third-party providers.
Web hosting is critical to developing an online presence since, without a durable digital repository, the content won’t be consistently accessible on the web.
How does web hosting work?
Web hosting service providers are companies that rent out their services to host websites online. Once your website files are on a web host’s servers, your website, alongside its content, becomes accessible to your users’ browsers.
Websites may behave erratically without proper maintenance and sufficient host capacity. This, in turn, makes website navigation less smooth for your users.
Key web hosting facts
Different hosting types vary significantly from one another
There are many web hosting types, and they differ from one another.
- Shared hosting – This is a common and low-cost option. However, disruptions should be expected because the server’s resources are distributed between multiple clients.
- Virtual private servers (VPS) – This is like shared hosting, but files are stored in a dedicated space with specific resources. The cost is typically higher, but you get to have your exclusive space.
- Dedicated hosting – This provides a dedicated server, minimizing the security and performance risks associated with shared hosting. As you get more functionality, the need for regular management and maintenance increases, entailing more costs.
- Managed hosting – This allows you to access a dedicated server but without the same administrative privileges. Security and maintenance responsibilities are shouldered by the provider. Clients, meanwhile, manage content via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
- Cloud hosting – This newer option enables you to use multiple servers’ resources, resulting in faster performance, reduced risk of service disruption, and lower costs.
There are the five widely used options. But there are still other web hosting types available, such as home servers and free hosting services.
If you don’t expect much web traffic, and you want to operate within a low budget, you can opt for shared hosting. For larger businesses, high-powered VPS and/or dedicated hosting are ideal.
Good web hosts provide enhanced security
Once your website goes live, you want to ensure your website and its data are safe from possible security breaches by hackers. Hence, it’s vital to choose the right web hosts who can guarantee you improved security levels.
Generally, web hosts provide basic physical security, which means keeping their servers in a secure location. Some web hosts also provide SSL certificates, which authenticate a website’s identity and allow an encrypted connection. SSL also enables clients to get the vital HTTPS protocol and protects them from direct attacks like DDoS.
Google generally prefers websites with HTTPS distinction. It also optimizes their search rankings.
Web hosts cover website data backup
Besides storage, a web host can help you safely back up your website data. However, the storage available for you depends on your web host’s capacity. Therefore, if your website has a lot of data, you will need to work with a web host that offers extensive storage.
It’s crucial to have your data backed up regularly. This helps you avoid losing all your content as well as spending more money and time to have it rebuilt from scratch.
Many web hosts prioritize improving page loading speed
Website speed can make or break your online presence. Per Akamai’s research, a one-second delay in page response can already cause a seven-percent reduction in conversions.
That is why it’s critical to choose a web host that delivers services for both clients and their end-users quickly and seamlessly. When deciding, make sure to also select a web host that’s in the same geographic region as most of your target users for better serviceability.
Reliable web hosts help combat downtime
For users, encountering “404 error” and other web concerns can be downright inconvenient. To avoid this, it’s important to choose a reliable web host that will allow you to keep your website up and functioning well almost all the time. Choose a host that deals with all server-side concerns—one that’ll monitor your site and prevent any speed, performance, and downtime-related concerns. This way, you can also focus on other aspects of your business.
Choosing a good host allows you to provide a better user experience, which then helps boost your business’ integrity. To achieve this further, you can also hire a DevOps engineer who can help you manage your web app better.
Before you can select a web host for your website, you need to identify first your hosting needs and business goals—what features and functionality do you need? Are you expecting growing traffic over time? Do you aim to scale up in the future?
Once you’ve laid these out, start checking your target web host’s costs and functionality. Make sure to also consider its performance, uptime, reviews, reputation, customers, and the type of support it offers.
If you need help in finding the ideal hosting service for your website, you can also check out hostadvice.com.
About the author
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.