Having an online presence is vital in the digital age, and with the advent of content management systems such as WordPress getting your company’s website up and running is easier than ever before. There is, however, one part of the process that can leave business owners frustrated and confused – hosting.
So, what is hosting?
Hosting is the process needed to get your beautiful new website out to a wider audience. Without a hosting account your site simply would not have a place on the web. In theory you could host your website from your own computer, but in reality this isn’t at all practical.
Web pages are very similar to the files that you have on your computer’s hard drive. However, in order to be able to allow multiple visitors from across the globe to be able to view those files they need to be stored – or hosted – on extremely powerful computers with superfast internet connections.
These specialist systems are generally referred to as web servers and they are owned by hosting companies. Each server has the capability of storing a large number of different web pages. These web pages collectively make up websites, and the websites collectively make up the World Wide Web.
Are there different levels of hosting?
Yes, and this is where it can become a little confusing for those who have never dipped their toe into web hosting waters before. Luckily, we are here to help. Let’s take a look at the three main types of hosting available:
Shared hosting is the most popular option for those who are just starting out with their website. It is by fair the cheapest, but that can come at a price for business owners.
You see, shared hosting works by placing multiple website all on one server. By doing this, web hosts can keep costs down significantly and these savings are then passed on to you, the customer.
However, because there are multiple users all on the one server they can be prone to crashes should you receive high volumes of traffic. If you are expecting a lot of visitors to your site, what you save in costs may not be worth it if you are going to lose customers because your website is constantly down.
Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is the opposite of shared hosting. Dedicated means just that; you get one server dedicated to your website. Naturally, this comes at a price, and for many small businesses that price can be too much.
Despite having more control, greater uptime and faster server response time with a dedicated hosting package, the cost is generally prohibitive which is why dedicated hosting is normally associated only with larger businesses.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
Thankfully, there is another way to get your website online. VPS hosting is very much a hybrid form of the two hosting methods mentioned above. This gives you the best of both worlds and can be perfect for the small business owner.
A hosting company, such as VPS servers from Host1Plus, will give you a section of a dedicated server rather than the whole thing. This keeps costs down, while giving you more room to play with, and that will help your website stay live even if your traffic spikes suddenly.
Hopefully, that sheds a little light on the hosting world for you and you can go on to make a more informed decision when you come to launch your website. One thing is for certain, without a web presence your business is missing out.