What is website hosting?
A website is basically a set of files linked to each other through a navigation system. Web hosting is making the files of a website available to all Internet users. To do this, you need a computer or a network of computers where you can store your site. These computers or “servers” rest connected to the internet permanently.
A server is a computer that serves web pages to the internet users when it receives a request.
Different types of hosting
Because websites are different sizes and the amount of traffic varies greatly there are several types of hosting. A small 2-page website with a few visitors per month needs a minimal web hosting package compared to a multi-page website of a multinational with thousands of visitors per month.
Free hosting may be OK for a 1 or 2-page site but, if it’s free what can you expect!
The biggest advantage with free hosting is obviously that there is no cost.
On the downside:
- the hosting company may place advertisements on your website, these may take the form of pop-ups, banners or any other sort of publicity.
- no or very little customer service
- low bandwidth
- your website might disappear overnight
- low reliability
- not rapid
With shared hosting your site will be on a server with normally hundreds of other sites. Shared hosting is suitable for personal sites and small to medium business sites. The cost of shared hosting varies between $3 and $20 per month depending on your requirements.
- possible to upgrade if necessary
- possible to have a good range of services
- low budget hosting probably will equate to low quality
Shared hosting varies greatly as does the price, as with most things you only get what you pay for.
Cloud hosting allows multiple servers to act as one system. Other hosting solutions (shared or dedicated) depend on one server. A cloud-hosted website may be more reliable as other servers in the cloud can compensate when a server goes down. Price depends on what you need from $12 per month
- increased reliability
- rapidity – fast page load speeds
Reseller hosting is a form of hosting where the account owner can use his account to host websites for third parties. A typical user might be a company that specializes in web design. Price from $25 to $150 per month.
- if you have several sites a reseller account could cover the hosting for all the sites for 1 monthly charge as opposed to several different monthly charges.
- reseller accounts generally have more features than standard hosting options.
- less expensive than a dedicated server
- possible to make money by reselling space
- no maintenance – you are not responsible for problems with the server
- you must be able to provide assistance and customer service for your clients
- your reseller plan might include features that you will never use, but you will pay for
As the name implies with dedicated hosting you are not sharing the server with anyone. You have complete control of the server. Can be managed (the hosting company provides support) or unmanaged (no support the maintenance must be carried out by you) A dedicated server is useful for websites with extremely high traffic volumes Price varies from $75 to $375 per month depending on your needs.
- extremely rapid
- increased reliability
- expensive – generally too costly for an individual
- maintenance can be very time-consuming. You need someone with technical knowledge.
Choosing your web host
When you choose your hosting plan you will need to know what disk space you will need and also have an idea of the bandwidth you will require.
Disk space – is the amount of space the hosting company gives you on the hard disk. Everything on your site – documents, images, videos must fit into this space.
To calculate the disk space required check the file size of your entire website (right click, then properties will give you the file size)
Bandwidth– is the amount of data that can be downloaded by visitors to a website. Hosting plans usually, include bandwidth in terms of Gigabytes (GB) per month. What you will need depends on the number of visitors you will have per month, the number of pages viewed per visitor and the average size of your pages.
Which hosting should you choose?
If you intend to build a website that generates an online income then you will need a reliable web host. This rules out the free hosting plans.
The majority of sites are hosted with shared hosting, which is cost-effective, has a good range of services and can be upgraded if your website grows. Shared hosting is suitable for personal websites to small or medium-sized businesses.
My site is hosted at Wealthy Affiliate (an online internet marketing training platform) on their high-performance cloud-based web hosting. The great advantage with this is that the hosting price is included in the monthly subscription which includes all training, tools, and services. There are no limits on disk space or bandwidth. The support is incredible, they usually reply in a matter of minutes and you can even buy your domain name on the same platform.
Another big advantage, if you are a Premium member, you can host up to 50 sites (25 premium sites and 25 free sites) without any additional cost. If you have multiple sites or are thinking of starting your own affiliate marketing business it’s worth checking out.
If you have any experience with web hosting or have any feedback I would love to hear from you.