If you’re ready to set up your own website, it is crucial that you understand the concept of website hosting. Every website you have ever visited has relied on hosting services to be viewable and accessible to the public. There is no getting around it: without website hosting, your website would have no space to exist on the World Wide Web. Hosting allows people to connect to your website, keeps your information protected, and stores your files and data within a reserved space on the internet. While tackling this topic can feel daunting, Americaneagle.com, a website hosting and security company, offers resources that can help you get your website up and running. Below, we have laid out a comprehensive yet digestible guide to website hosting.
What is Website Hosting?
Website hosting refers to renting or buying a space to house a website on the internet. While it is possible to handle website hosting on your own, it is often a complicated and expensive endeavor. Nearly all businesses employ a web hosting service provider who will supply the resources and services required for a website to be publicly viewable.
Websites are stored on servers. A server is a physical computer that connects your website to other users and runs continuously, allowing your website to be viewable at all times. Operating a server yourself is unadvisable as you will have to regularly maintain the equipment, infrastructure, hardware, and software. A web hosting service provider will offer you the opportunity to rent space on their physical servers to store your website’s files, data, and information. In essence, website hosting is like renting a virtual storefront property; in order to run a business, you have to consider buying a space to operate, which applies to the real world and the internet alike.
Why is Web Hosting Important?
Without web hosting, no one can visit your website! As described above, when your website is hosted, its files are stored on a large server—this makes it available for people to access. Operating and maintaining a server is complicated and expensive. Ultimately, employing a web hosting company is the most convenient and cost-effective way to host a website. Additionally, it is important to consider the security of your website’s information. Web hosting service providers will ensure that your website is protected by advanced technologies for the security of you and your customers.
What are the Main Types of Hosting?
There are multiple website hosting options available, all with their own benefits and drawbacks to consider when deciding what would work best for your website. Most web hosting service providers will offer different hosting packages that suit various customers. For example, if you are looking to start a personal blog, you may require a different package than someone operating a business website. Ultimately, the traffic your website brings in will determine what website hosting method you require.
Here are the most popular website hosting options available:
This cost-effective option is great for new websites that won’t see much initial traffic. For small businesses and personal websites, this option will save you money while functioning perfectly for your small-scale needs. While affordable hosting is great for beginners, pursuing this option could disallow you from viewing in-depth website data and statistics that dedicated business owners may desire. Additionally, since you are sharing a server with other websites, the speed of your website could depend on the traffic of another website on the same server.
WordPress hosting is perfect for those looking for fast loading times, minimal technical issues, and WordPress compatibility. It makes sense to pursue this route only if your website is built on WordPress. Another benefit of this option is the easy setup. WordPress hosting comes with preinstalled plugins, themes, and security functions that simplify the setup and installation process. Be mindful, however, that this type of hosting is not ideal for non-WordPress websites. Another alternative is to choose a service provider with hosting experience and a dedicated WordPress team, so they can continue to support you whether you move to or from the WordPress platform.
Cloud hosting utilizes a network of servers in the cloud, rather than a single, physical server. A benefit of working on these virtual servers is that you can hop from one to another as issues arise, ensuring that your website will remain up and functioning no matter what. This type of hosting can also be scaled to meet varying business demands and is not limited to the abilities of a single server. This type of hosting is great for large-scale sites as there are rarely technical issues or downtime. While this is a more expensive option, it should be noted that you only pay for the resources you use, so the price will vary depending on the volume of traffic to your site.
Dedicated hosting is for those looking for the highest level of performance and customizability for their website. When working with a dedicated hosting service provider, you will have full control of your website, including your choice of operating system, hardware, hosting environment, and more. Dedicated hosting will give you peace of mind as its high reliability makes for high-functioning sites able to handle large amounts of traffic. With this option, you will have root access and absolute control of your server’s configuration. Keep in mind, however, that this type of hosting is the most expensive. It is perfect for large businesses that depend greatly on online sales and interactions.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
When using Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, like shared hosting, your website will be sharing a physical server with others. However, the single server that is being used is partitioned so that each user is allocated their own resources and space for their website. Unlike shared hosting, your website’s performance will not be impacted by the traffic of other sites due to the partitioning of the server. Functionally, this server operates much like a dedicated server, offering high customizability and root access. However, this type of hosting will not allow for the performance that a dedicated server can offer, and may struggle with heavy traffic. Although, it is a much cheaper option than dedicated hosting. This type of hosting is perfect for medium-sized businesses and popular blogs.
How to Choose a Hosting Provider
In order to choose a reliable hosting provider, multiple factors need to be taken into consideration. As you continue your research, bear in mind that you are not just looking for a hosting provider that suits your website’s current needs, but its future needs as well. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider:
- Do they offer multiple hosting options: The type of hosting solution that your website needs might change as your website becomes more popular. Therefore, it is advisable to find a hosting provider that can help get your website off the ground in addition to offering a more advanced hosting solution if needed.
- How much support will you receive: Once you’re set up with a web hosting provider, there won’t be much to think about for the most part—but when issues arise, it’s truly valuable to know you have someone you can call to assist. The amount of support you will receive will vary depending on the hosting provider. Be sure to choose accordingly.
- Resources and technical specifications: Make sure that the hosting provider is offering enough disk space, processing power, bandwidth, and meeting all the technical specifications needed to support your website. It is important to understand the capability of the hosting service you are paying for. Additionally, look to see if the provider offers an “uptime guarantee” as keeping your website live, especially for businesses, is crucial.
- Reviews: There are many online resources that offer reviews of website hosting providers. It may sound obvious, but make sure a provider has reliable and positive reviews before trusting them with your website.
- Security: Inquire about the security measures taken by the website hosting provider. Protecting your website from malware is essential, and you want to make sure the hosting provider utilizes advanced security measures for your website.
Make sure the hosting provider you choose has plenty of experience hosting websites of a similar size to yours. If you’re a big-name brand or experience extremely high traffic during sales or particular events, look to a provider who has demonstrated these abilities – for example, hosting sites with ads playing during Super Bowl Sunday.
Cost of Website Hosting
The cost of hosting a website can vary significantly, and it’s important to bear in mind that choosing the right provider is about more than keeping to a budget. Luckily, there are statistics that allow you to be prepared for the cost of hosting a website.
Of course, the price will differ depending on the type of hosting you choose and the provider you work with. However, this relative price range should help you prepare for the costs of website hosting in addition to aiding you in your search for cost-effective providers.
Americaneagle.com offers a range of secure hosting services. To learn more about our services and pricing, email us at [email protected].
Free Web Hosting
We only suggest working with a free website hosting provider if you are a small business or blog outlet that is not expecting much traffic. Free hosting solutions will struggle with heavy traffic, and your site may even perform poorly regardless of how many people are visiting the website. Additionally, working with a free web hosting provider may have SEO implications that could be avoided. These websites are deemed low quality by Google’s algorithm and struggle to rank highly. And, if this provider takes down your website, you will lose everything you’ve worked for in terms of SEO. There is nothing wrong with using a free web hosting provider for a personal website, passion project, or your non-online-based small business, but consider looking elsewhere if you rely on online sales, expect heavy traffic, or desire high performance.
Your Website Hosting and Security Partner
Americaneagle.com is proud to provide exceptional website hosting services, no matter how much traffic you expect to come your way. Trust us to keep your website up and running, and provide the experience your customers expect. Contact our hosting team today.