When creating a website, it is easy to get lost in the big picture items and forget about the logistics. This is why many people overlook the importance of web hosting.
If you want to have a website live on the internet, you will need web hosting to accomplish this.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting involves a website’s files getting stored within space on a server. When a visitor to the website types in the domain address, they will connect to the server and the files will be available to them.
It is possible to host your website on your own, but it can be very difficult, particularly if you do not have a high-powered computer and a very strong internet plan. More often, people will use a web hosting provider to make the process simpler.
Web Hosting Services
The first step to web hosting is choosing a provider. The hosting provider will be responsible for storing your files on its server. It is important to be selective when choosing a web hosting provider because they greatly impact your website’s loading speed, uptime, and virtual security. For instance, a web hosting site like Green Geeks will offer the client an uptime of at least 99.90% and a speed of approximately 445ms per page.
There are a few main types of web hosting, which include shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller plans. A shared web hosting plan means that your website will be sharing the server space with up to hundreds of other sites. There will be fewer resources to go around, but this tends to be the cheapest plan.
A VPS hosting plan still involves sharing server space, but only with a few others. With a dedicated hosting plan, your website will have an entire server to itself. This means it will be very fast and reliable, but it will cost more money. Finally, a reseller hosting plan is when an account holder sells or rents out their sever space to a third party. This may be because they have more space than they need.
Features to Look For in a Web Host
One way of determining which web hosting provider to choose is by examining the features they offer.
This is important because it gives you an idea of whether or not their service is cohesive with your business objectives.
Bandwidth is referring to the amount of data that you and your website visitors can upload and download. If your website uses 1mb of data and you have a monthly limit of 15mb, this could cause issues. This would mean that every time a visitor looks at your site, they will download 1mb of data, so you will have a restriction of fewer than 15 visitors per month.
Domains and Subdomains
If you have an interest in creating more than one website, you will likely want to inquire about this feature. Some web hosting providers offer the option for multiple domains and subdomains. This means that you do not have to create a separate hosting account for each site. You can keep the same one for all of them.
Even if you have a good idea of what you are getting into, there is always the chance that something might go wrong. Make sure to take the time to research what tech support options are available for each provider. You might feel that you need a 24/7 phone connection available, so investigate to ensure that they have that.
Always remember to have a backup option in place just in case the worst should happen! Web hosting servers have the potential to crash just as your personal computer does. A web hosting provider should offer backup protection for your website. If they don’t, keep that in mind, as you may need to figure out a backup plan on your own.
Uptime is referring to the amount of time that your website is operational and available to visitors. Realistically, it is almost impossible to achieve 100% uptime, so be wary of providers that guarantee this. The industry standard for uptime is 99.90%, so try to find a provider that offers this at a minimum.