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Web Hosting

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that makes websites accessible on the internet. 

This service is provided by a website hosting company, which equips you with all the tools and services needed to publish a site.

A web host stores your site’s files and resources on a web server. An internet browser will send a data request to the server when users access your site.

Because of this, you cannot publish a website without web hosting.

Features to look for when choosing web hosting

Because hosting has a significant impact on your website’s performance, it’s vital to choose the right web host. 

Here are several features you can expect from a web hosting provider:

Storage space

Storage space is the amount of server space rented by a web hosting company. It varies depending on the hosting type and plan. 

Consider the size of your databases, files, and media resources when choosing a hosting provider.

Content-light websites will require less storage space than those that incorporate large media files.


Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred to and from your website per month. The higher your bandwidth, the faster your website loads.

The amount of bandwidth your website needs depends on the type of content you produce and the expected traffic volume.

Going over the bandwidth limit will prevent visitors from accessing your site or result in additional costs.


Uptime is the percentage of time the web host’s server is up and running uninterrupted. It’s a metric to measure the web host’s performance and quality of service.

Most hosting providers pledge to give up to a 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, you shouldn’t take them at face value, and instead check their services using uptime checker tools.


A hosting provider will be responsible for your website’s data, so it must have the tools to protect your assets against hackers and malware.

Standard security measures that your web host should provide include password protection, backups, network monitoring, DDoS protection, malware scanners, and a firewall.

Technical support

To make sure your website is always up and running optimally, a web host’s technical support should be easily reachable whenever needed.

Cross-check your chosen hosting company’s support channels and whether they are convenient for you to use. You can also check review articles to see their response time.

Email accounts

Most hosting companies offer email hosting services you can use to create a custom email address, which boosts your site’s credibility.

Similar to web hosting, email hosting resources and tools vary depending on the offered plans.

Do you need web hosting?

While you cannot publish a website without web hosting, there are instances where you don’t need to separately purchase hosting services.

Website builders, for example, include hosting as part of their service. Publishing your content via blogging platforms also eliminates the need to find your own hosting.

The difference between web hosting and a domain name

Web hosting is responsible for making your website accessible on the internet, while a domain name directs people to your website.

A domain name is an address people use to access your website. It has a similar function to an IP address but easier to remember and use.

Both web hosting and a domain name have an integral part in website development. 

The domain name registration fee may vary depending on your chosen domain extension, duration of the contract, and the registrar’s ongoing promos.

How does web hosting work?

To publish a website, you have to make all of its files and resources available online. 

You can do so by purchasing a hosting plan, which translates to renting a portion of the hosting provider’s server space and the technologies needed to support your site’s availability on the web.

A user can access your site by looking up its domain name on a web browser. 

The software will send a request to the server where your files are stored, then delivered the requested data once a secure connection between both parties has been established.

What are the different types of web hosting?

Web hosting services are divided into several types based on the technology used, resource limit, and the management level.

Make sure to choose the right hosting type for your website to avoid overspending or lack of resources and proper technologies.

Shared hosting

As the name suggests, websites hosted on the same web server must share server resources. Because of this, shared hosting plans cost less than other hosting types.

Shared hosting is a perfect fit for small to medium-sized websites with low traffic volume. It is also easy to set up, making it suitable for beginners and non-tech-savvy users.

Virtual private server (VPS)

While you still have to share a physical server with other websites, VPS hosting allocates dedicated resources you can manage due to its virtualization technology.

It is ideal for websites that do not find shared hosting adequate for their needs but are reluctant to rent a dedicated server. 

That being said, VPS hosting works best for accommodating websites with low to moderate traffic volume. 

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting hosts websites on a network of cloud servers. If one server encounters an issue, other servers will take its role to minimize the chance of downtime.

It also has great scalability as you only need to pay for the resources you use. Therefore, there is no risk of overpaying for unused resources.  

Cloud hosting is excellent for medium to large-sized websites planning on scaling up in the future. It is also a convenient option for websites that cannot afford any downtime, such as eCommerce and government sites.

Dedicated hosting

This type of hosting provides you with a dedicated server along with its resources you can use however you want. Since you have an entire server all to yourself, you have admin access over the server settings.

Because of this, dedicated hosting costs the most and has the steepest learning curve compared to other hosting types.

Dedicated hosting is ideal for large-scale websites that expect high traffic volume.

Reseller hosting

Reseller hosting is a hosting type that allows you to rent out a portion of their server space and bandwidth to other people.

This kind of hosting is popular among web developers and designers who include hosting as part of their services. That way, you can make a steady stream of income while saving clients’ time as they do not need to buy a hosting plan from a third-party hosting company.

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Olivia is a writer for Zyro and an eCommerce know-it-all. Having spent many years as a retail buyer, she loves writing about trend forecasting, brand building, and teaching others how to optimize online stores for success. She lives in London and spends a lot of time exploring the city’s parks with her whippet.

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