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What is Website Hosting?

If you are trying to understand how to build your website, web hosting is a very important aspect. In fact, you can’t simply create a site out of nowhere. You need somewhere to host it. 

When it comes to creating a website, there are a few steps involved in the process that starts with registering a domain such as HostGator, GoDaddy, Google Domain, or Bluehost. Once you have picked a unique address, now it’s time for the nameserver such as CloudFlare, OpenDNS, CleanBrowsing, and Google Public DNS that points your visitors toward the correct IP address. Next comes web hosting, the place where your website sits on – like a throne.

We’ll help you understand all about web hosting, why you need it, and how much it is going to cost you so that you can get your website up and running.

What is Web Hosting?

If you plan to have an online presence through a website, you need reliable web hosting. 

Web hosting is an online service that allows you to publish your website on the internet. It lets anyone access your website if they have an active internet connection and a device like a desktop or a mobile phone.

Theoretically, you can host an actual server for your website, but several hosting service providers allocate space on a web server for a website to store its files. The space allocated to a website on a server depends on different types of hosting such as shared, dedicated, and VPS, among others.

As for a server, it is a computer that connects other web users from anywhere in the world to your site. So, web hosting service providers leverage servers, connectivity, and associated services to host websites.

Web hosting makes all the files such as code and images that comprise a website available for viewing online. It means every website you have ever visited is hosted on a server.

So, web hosting is the process of buying or renting space to house a website on the World Wide Web (WWW). It’s like renting an apartment. You don’t own it but you get to live there for a small fee (rent) and enjoy the amenities offered. 

Why do you need hosting for a website?

As we have been talking about earlier, web hosting is required to make your website available on the internet.

When we refer to your website, we mean a website is your own, as you have full control over it. If your website is on a free platform, it means you agree to their terms and conditions, and we all have heard of several stories where how many profitable websites have been taken down, hurting the owners and their years of hard work.

You get more customization options with your own website and today’s web hosting companies also offer 24/7 customer support if you ever run into an issue. A safe web host keeps your site data and client’s personal data safe by fighting online threats, hacks, and other cyber-attacks.

So, the web hosting service provider you choose offers all the hardware and software necessary to add your site’s resources and data to a server. This server is then connected to the internet so that everyone can access your content.

Many hosting companies also offer other helpful features such as website builder resources, email accounts, and security tools that you can further leverage to manage your website.

Different Types of Web Hosting

Once you have chosen your domain name, you would have to sign up for a hosting plan, which will make your website accessible on the internet. Then your web hosting service provider will be responsible for storing all your files, assets, and databases into the servers. They will also make sure that your server is up and running and prevent any security breaches.

So, what is the process of hosting a website? The web hosting process begins with files that make up a website. These files are uploaded from a computer to a web server. Here, the server’s resources, such as hard drive space, RAM, and bandwidth, are allocated to the website.

Today, there are different types of web hosting available, so let’s take a look at the most commonly used ones.

Shared hosting – This is an economical option where your hosting service provider manages multiple clients/websites on the same server system. However, much like a co-working space, you will have all modern conveniences here, but you cannot really add anything new to it.

Not to mention, sharing a server could lead to problems in case there is a spike in traffic. But these days, generous amounts of resources are offered to ensure good performance. So, if your needs and budget are limited, and you are starting with a small website, it is a great option.

Dedicated hosting – Here, you get a dedicated server that provides you with reliability and substantial functionality. While this option cuts down the security and performance risks associated with shared hosting, it also means higher costs and more need for regular management and maintenance.

Having the entire server to yourself is the best option for highly demanding enterprise-grade websites. Small and medium-sized businesses do not need to spend thousands each month on a dedicated web server for their business.

Virtual private servers (VPS) – While similar to shared hosting, it is a nice step up from that. This hosting service uses virtualization technology to provide private resources to multiple users. Virtual private machine web hosting is a more secure and stable solution chosen by website owners having medium-level traffic.

The cost here is typically higher than shared hosting, as your files are stored in a dedicated space with dedicated resources, but it is cheaper than renting an entire server. The risk of sharing hardware with other clients of the provider, however, is reduced.

Managed hosting – Here, you have access to a dedicated server, but the administration work, including setup, management, security, and support, are handled by your hosting company. While it is affordable and reduces the risk, there are issues in terms of slow-loading sites, the risk of the site crashing if there is a spike in traffic, and finding IT help.

Cloud hosting – This is a newer option that involves sharing resources that makes it more affordable compared to other options. It uses scale to drive down the costs and further reduce the risk of noticeable service disruption by providing more resources in case of sudden traffic spikes to keep things running smoothly.

But make sure you understand what you’re getting and for how much before signing up for this option, as there would be more variable pricing models.

How much does it cost to host a website?

So, now that you know why you need web hosting and the different types of options available in the market, and just how much does web hosting cost?

Web hosting costs vary by provider, and though you can get a free hosting service, it is best to avoid them.

Free web hosting basically comes with a cost in terms of limited disk space and a lower bandwidth in terms of data transfer or traffic. Their servers often overload, which means downtime.

Opting for free hosting may result in problems like the domain name in your URL. They may also impose advertising on your website, which is not good for your website, as such websites are considered low quality and even spammy.

There is also a limit to just how many images and videos you can upload. Not to mention, there is a higher risk of a security breach that could result in your customer’s information and other data being stolen.

By paying for web hosting, you gain full control of your website and its content. There are numerous reasons for going with paid web hosting over free hosting.

Reliability is a big one as a paid hosting plan would offer you reliable servers and stable network connections. Visitors find websites that are slow to upload or are down frequently very frustrating. So, check out the host’s uptime history before you decide on one.

Besides high bandwidth, paid web hosting comes with much higher security as well. Additionally, a commercial host will provide you with a control panel so that you can manage various aspects of your website’s hosting account yourself. Most hosting providers also allow add-on domains, hosting more than one domain from a single account.

Much like with everything, you get what you pay for, and these website hosting services can easily cost you up to $150 per year in case of shared hosting if you are not expecting a large amount of traffic. Higher capacity hosting plans will cost you much more and may start at $150.

There is usually an option to choose between monthly and annual payment plans, so you can make your decision based on if you want a cheaper option or want to first see the reliability of the service.


Overall, web hosting is a service you will need if you want to build an online presence by publishing a website that enables you to easily reach millions of users worldwide. And a trustworthy web host provider is a must for your website so that it doesn’t buckle under pressure. 

There are tons of web hosts service providers available that provide all kinds of web hosting services specialized to cover the spectrum of hosting needs, from a small blog to large organizations.

A third-party hosting service is a preferable option for most users as it helps avoid the hassle and the risk of a home server which is expensive `and time-consuming. Most web hosting services also offer support services through phone, email, and 24/7 live chat.

While some users may enjoy the manageability and control of a home setup, constant maintenance and security aren’t for everyone. Not to mention, professional service providers streamline services, including interface support and visitor metrics.

Web hosting plans range from free, but they come with limited options to exclusive web hosting services specialized for your business. So, the plan you should choose depends on your budget and how you plan to use your website.

When going shopping, make sure it fulfills your specific needs in terms of stability and security. With a plethora of options available, it’s good to compare costs and functionalities.

You can opt for simplicity if you are not anticipating a dramatic growth in your website’s traffic. But you should consider services beyond just domain registration and hosting if you have a larger business.

After all, choosing the right hosting plan means having access to the resources to make your website reliable and up and running for your visitors so that your business runs smoothly.









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