What Is a Web Hosting Service And Why Do I Need It?
The internet, or the World Wide Web, is a network of computers linked together in a protocol called the Internet Protocol (IP). If I want to get access to amazon.com, for example, I request access to a computer Amazon hosts their website files on, and the browser is acting as a decoder that “translate” the websites' files and Data-Base to what we know as a website.
So if you want to start your website, you will need to find a computer to host your website files on. A unique computer that connects to the rest of the world via the internet protocol (IP), and to connect it to a domain name (so its address won't be a numeric one). To do so, some companies that “rent” you space on their computers on a monthly or yearly basis. Those companies are known as Website Hosting Providers.
The best web hosting service would answer a few crucial key factors that are essential to a good experience for you and your potential customers on your website. Hosting your site on the best web hosting company can help you in fulfilling your online goals, whether it's purchasing your product, filling out a form, or just reading your material. The more goals you meet, the more you succeed.
The Different Hosting Methods
As we mentioned in the last section, hosting a website is basically “parking” your website on somebody's computer. So if you think about it, the better the computer, the better the performance. The fewer files and entries to the computer, the less memory used, and again, better performance. But as in regular computers, a better performance computer is more costly. And because the company rents the space, then the fewer renters, the higher the price.
Shared hosting is what it sounds like. You share your computer with other websites. It means that on the same hosting server, you might found hundreds or maybe thousands of websites.
- Compromising performance
- Higher Exposure to security vulnerabilities
- Relying on other websites traffic
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual server within a physical server. Not like shared hosting, VPS hosting is a physical server split into individual virtual machines, each with its resources, allowing you to grow your user base and have better control of security and software installation on your machine.
- Safe and secure
- Flexible resources for a growing user base
- A managed service is easy to configure
- Can become expensive
- Unmanaged VPS need server configuration knowledge
- Managed service is less flexible
A dedicated server is own and managed by the server provider, the web hosting company, but is entirely in use of 1 entity, not sharing any of its resources.
A dedicated server may be used to operate services, applications, websites, and even store files as if it was an inhouse server.
- Full control over everything
- All the resources to yourself
- Very expensive
- Can be overkill for individuals or SMB's
6 Key Factors To Consider Before Choosing A Web Hosting Provider
1. Speed and Performance
Website loading time is a crucial factor in many aspects of your digital business. Your potential customer is expecting a fast website to respond quickly to every action he takes on your website. Whether it's moving between pages, registering to your service, or purchasing a product, speed is an essential factor.
Google and other search engines are adding the uploading speed factor as a critical factor for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines' main product is their search results. They want to provide their customers with the best experience, and the best experience is a relevant website to their query, with the best user experience (UX). That way, the next time the user searches for something online, he will remember them as the best search engine.
Security is another crucial component in web hosting. You might think that all hack serve a bigger purpose, and that hacker targets your site specifically so you don't need to worry about it as you are a small-time fish, etc. That's wrong.
Most hackers work with an automated script. So if your site is on WordPress, and you use the admin username “admin”, you are likely to get hacked sometime in your life. But that's not all, if you're on shared hosting, you might not even be the target of the attack and still be affected as your site is hosted on the same server as the target.
For example, kets say a hacker wants to punish a company that sits on the same servers as you. And they try a brut
Price is a significant factor for us to consider. But we must not regard it as the most critical factor, especially for those of us that rely on our website to make us money. Most people look at hosting as an expanse, while they must look at it as an investment. Researches, as long ago, found that every improvement of performance equals money. And every time the server is down, or you cant reach tech support to help you with an issue, is time wasted. And we all know time is money.
As mentioned before, performance can be the difference from running a successful website to a fail one. And when you think of it, a web hosting provider is an investment in the business, not an expense needed to cut-short.
4. Tech Support
What do you usually do when you get stuck? You talk to someone professional. That's why tech support is such an essential factor. Just imagine your site is an eCommerce, and you have a couple of campaigns running full force on Black Friday, and for some reason, your website is down. In those cases, time is of the essence, which makes excellent tech support an essential item that can be the difference between you losing money or not.
5. Hosting Control Panel
Hosting control panels helps us navigate the server easily
The hosting control panel is the GUI that will accompany your journey throughout the host every time you'll need something from it.
Choosing a host with an easy to use control panel is essential for those of us who are less tech-savvy or know nothing about hosting management, working with the terminal, etc.
if you compare control panels to computers, they are the windows to your Lenovo. Without it, you would be typing the command in a DOS-like terminal, trying to figure out how to open a new MySql Database, install an application like WordPress, etc. With it, it's usually a matter of a few clicks.
Some hosting companies have developed their own control panel. Sometimes it's for the better, but in other cases, it can be a disaster. An easy GUI is important for the long term.
6. Free Features and Addons
Finally, hosting companies provide more than just hosting. They sometimes allow domain registration, email hosting and more. Before deciding and other all other 4 key factors are debated, it's fair to check what extra feature the web hosting service is handing out for free. No shame in that, it's just a product of their competition, and it's all for us.
Now that you know everything you need to know for starters on web hosting, we invite you to check out our brands' reviews and read all about those factors. We basically did all the heavy lifting for you, so you won't have to. As we have over 15 years of web experience, and we've been to everything you could imagine online, we thought to share our knowledge with you. So go ahead, and we would love to hear tour feedback on your chosen hosting provider so we could share it here, with other readers on the website.