There are currently more than 1.5 billion websites on the internet. Let that sink in.
A lot goes into getting a website up and running from the initial concept to the site going live. One of the most important elements is the hosting service. The hosting service that you use for your website will make a huge difference in terms of the quality of your site and the results that come from it. You might be thinking, will it really though?
Let me put it this way. Once we tell you what a website host is and what it actually does, you’ll want to hug us. Which will be awkward for you to hug a computer, luckily, we don’t judge.
What Is a Website Host?
A website host is a service that provides a space for individuals or organizations to store their website files, making them accessible to users. These files will typically be things like HTML and CSS as well as other content and media that make up a website. All of these can be stored on a server, then people can visit the site through any device that's connected to the internet.
Web hosts generally operate, maintain, and configure physical servers. Once your site is stored on one of these, users can enter your website URL and it will connect them to the server so that they can actually see your page.
Types of Web Hosting Services
So now you have a clearer idea about Web Hosts, here are the range of website hosting service types. They work in different ways. So knowing how they work will help you decide which is best for your website.
Sharing is caring! Which is why this is the most common type of hosting. Multiple websites share a single server. As these sites are sharing one server, they also share the resources that it has, such as storage space and bandwidth. Basic websites with low traffic will work fine on a shared server.
A dedicated server is one that's used by a single website. If you use one of these you'll have more control over the server, and your site will be the only one using its resources. These are generally ideal for websites that need a lot more resources to operate properly.
A VPS (virtual private server) is similar to a shared server, but you'll have specified amounts of resources. If you need more resources than a shared server can offer, this can be a good solution.
Cloud computing has made cloud hosting possible, where your website can be hosted across multiple servers. This makes it incredibly easy to scale your site up or down as and when needed.
What Is Domain Hosting?
Domain hosting is a service provided by domain hosts (domain name registrars). Who? What? Why?
The domain website hosts purpose is to host different domain names, which are what users type into the address bar when wanting to access a specific website.
A domain host will use DNS (domain name system) records to link your website's domain with the IP address of the server it's on. The domain name is the first thing a person will see when visiting a site, so it's best to have your brand name, or something suitable for your brand.
You can create your own domain name, or some website hosts offer domain registration services. Doing it through your host can make things a bit easier as you'll be able to manage your website hosting and domain hosting through one account. That is what we recommend our clients at Your WP Guy do anyway!
Why Is Web Hosting Important to Your Small Business?
Website hosting is crucial for making it possible for people to access your website. While self hosting is technically free, hosting a website yourself is often quite impractical. You need to have your server turned on and connected to the internet at all times, which presents several drawbacks:
- High electricity bills
- Website issues in power outages
- Complicated to set up
- Poor search engine rankings
Yeah, no thanks to any of that.
There are many benefits of website hosting with a hosting provider. For starters, it's much easier as they'll take care of all the administration. You won't need to go through the lengthy setup process or manage the server moving forward.
Using a web hosting service will generally improve your SEO (search engine optimization). This is one of the most important elements for increasing traffic to your website. You're also likely to experience better speeds and reliability from your site. Bring on the fast and furious!
Many web hosts also have control panels that you can use to adjust your website as needed. This includes things like domain names, media files, and website applications.
What to Look For in a Web Hosting Service
There are plenty of website hosting services out there. When trying to find the ideal one, there are several things that you should look for in a good website host.
Many consider this to be the most important factor. Any downtime can cause losses for your business, so you want a provider that's going to keep your website up and running consistently.
If your website is too slow, visitors will quickly move on to a competitor's site. Having a host that can provide high speeds is essential.
While you don't want things to go wrong, it's always a possibility. If there are any issues, it helps to be able to contact the host to find out what's wrong. Some website hosting services have 24/7 customer support, so you can get assistance at any time of the day.
Cybersecurity is crucial, so you want a host that takes this seriously. Look for services such as DDoS protection and malware scanning, as these will help keep your website and its users safe.
As your business grows, your website will grow too. If you're with a host that can't support this, you'll end up having to switch to another hosting service. Find one that can scale from the start, and you won't have to worry about this further down the line.
Most website hosting services offer different pricing plans. Look for something that provides good value for money and is within your budget.
You're no longer wondering "what is a website host?" but there are still many other elements to getting your website up and running. Fortunately, Your WP Guy can help with this. We offer a range of WordPress services such as plug-in updates, security monitoring, technical fixes, and more.
What Does a Website Host Actually Do? Summary
• Web hosting services provide space for users to store website files and typically operate, maintain, and configure physical servers.
• Different types of web hosting services include Shared, Dedicated, VPS, and Cloud.
• Domain hosting links a website's domain name with its IP address.
• Website hosting is important as it provides access to your site, improves SEO and increases speed and reliability.
• When looking for a web hosting service it is important to consider Reliability, Speed, Customer Support, Security, Scalability and Pricing.
If you want to make your website the best it can be, we've got you covered. To find out more about we can help you, click here to schedule an appointment.