What is Web Hosting and why do I need it?
If you’re not sure what the purpose of a web host is, or maybe you’ve never even heard of web hosting, then you may mistakenly think that it doesn’t affect you, as you will never need one.
It is an easy misconception to make by people who are less tech savvy but if you own a business and are looking to boost your marketing strategy with online presence by launching a website, you will most definitely require a web host.
However, if you are looking to research the best web hosts yourself, then a good starting point is to understand the functionality of web host and the different types that area available. If you’re completely new to using and setting up websites then you might find these basic definitions of common web related terminology useful.
So what is a web host?
In very simple terms, a host provides server space so that your website can be accessed via the Internet. Different web hosts offer varying degrees of additional services including support, back ups, security etc.
Different types of web hosting
You can take a look at this 27 page document that provides a thorough description of the different types of web hosting, or if you don’t have that kind of time, here is a quick summary of the various types available:
Shared hosting–Where you pay for space on a server but there are also lots of other websites housed on the same server. The benefit of this option is mainly the cost, as it tends to be cheaper as the cost is spread across the various website owners that are sharing the server.
Free hosting– This type of host typically comes with the popular Wordpress or Wix websites, where you are offered the host service for free. The drawback is that you have little or no control on the host in terms of adverts that the provider chooses to display on your website, or you have to feature their name in your domain name. This option tends to work okay for people who are creating a website for a hobby rather than for business use.
Dedicated hosting – As the name suggests, this type of host is dedicated to your own use. You do not share the server with other users, which should result in a faster website. This type of host is recommended for larger websites and websites that require robust security. Of course, you will pay more to have a dedicated host but it could well be worth it in the long run.
Collocated hosting - This is similar to dedicated, in regards to the fact that you have the full server to yourself but the difference is that the server is owned by you, rather than the web host provider. What you are actually getting is the space to house your own server, rather than renting someone else’s server.
This are the four most commonly known types of web host but there are a number of others that youmay be interested in finding out about. Have a look around to see what other hosts are available or if you’d like some advice, speak to a web host specialist s they can advise which type will work best for your circumstances.
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