There are a number of businesses and startups in this world. Almost all of these have their own websites. Have you ever wondered how exactly do they get a spot on the internet? If not then continue reading our blog. Suppose you decide to open up your own boutique. The first thing you would do is search for a suitable location to rent or buy to open up your store. Similarly, web hosting involves the process of buying a website from the hosts. Buying a website basically means that you are buying a spot on the sever. This server stores the information on your website and produces it on your computer through a web browser when needed. A good hosting service provides maintenance and support for your website which keeps it running 24 * 7.
The basic features provided by a web hosting service comprise the following – Email accounts, FTP file uploads, Databases, Website building tools and the website itself. Most of these websites come with WordPress Support which is a powerful website content management system. It is useful for blogging websites. So what exactly is website hosting? What should be known to you before purchasing a domain and taking your business online? Let’s find out with this blog –
Hosting – How does it work? –
Generally, when you buy a website, you are basically purchasing space and resources of a supercomputer called a server. The quantity of this space depends entirely on the price you are paying. So it is very important to determine the exact plan that is suitable for your website so that you can get the best value for your money. For non-technical users, this is basically like purchasing an office space. Do you plan on expanding quickly or do you plan on keeping a small team for your business? Do you want your office to be in a shared working space or do you want an entire building to yourself? All these questions are the same that arise while buying a website and a web hosting.
So basically there are 3 basic categories to buy a website –
Shared Hosting – This basically means having an office in a busy co-working space where you have the basic facilities such as the internet, desks, and stationery to do your own work but space such as the washroom, dining room, etc. You cannot change stuff according to your choice such as installing a coffee machine. This is the cheapest type of hosting and can by small businesses.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) – VPS basically means an upgraded shared hosting, where a user has more control over their website. They have the same server but different hosts. In terms of office space, let’s just say that you have your own office in a proper building which is being shared by other offices too.
Dedicated Server – This is the most expensive option recommended for big businesses for reliability and high-speed performance. Owning your own server basically means owning your own building but then you have to pay a lot more and should have enough content to utilize a huge amount of space.
So these are the 3 categories. One should choose very wisely which one they should go for according to their business model and future expansion prospect. If you own a small business and are on a tight budget, then shared hosting is the one to go for. Want more access? VPS all the way. Have a business that is growing fast? Get your own server!
What is a Domain? –
Buying a website basically means buying a domain. When a user adds all the web site’s information to the server, it to store it and produce it when needed. Since a server stores many website’s information, it adds a specific tag to each one of those called an IP address. This IP address is stored in a domain. When your computer connects to the server. Your domain’s IP address is shortlisted first and then your browser connects to it. So buying a website basically means buying a domain and then adding your files and information to it to form a website.
Which host should you pick? –
Free – A free hosting service provides you a domain on a shared hosting basis. Now it’s true that this exempts you from paying charges every month but it does come at a cost.
Limited Bandwidth Allowance –
What is bandwidth? Bandwidth is basically referred to as traffic that is transferred to your website. It is also known as the number of bytes required to open your website. This includes pictures and videos on a visitor’s browser. Usually, new websites require a bandwidth of fewer than 3 GB which is provided by the free hosts. A free hosting service is good enough if you have a less number of visitors on your website. But never opt for a free hosting service until and unless you read all the terms and conditions.
Some hosts terminate your website when you exceed the allotted bandwidth. Some may not terminate your website but may send you a bill for the extra space. This may cost you more than that from a paid host. So, it is only advisable to go for a free host only if you have a small, slow-growing business or when you need to make a website on a temporary basis. This may include fest websites, conference websites or college society websites.
Remember when I told you there comes a cost with these free hosting services? Well, nothing in this world is free and the same is the case here. To cover the costs of free websites, these hosting services impose a lot of advertisements on your website. Nobody likes advertisements as they are extremely annoying. These hosts generally put a lot of those which also include pop-ups. This may lead to people believing your site to be spam which will affect your views in a negative manner. Only choose a free hosting service that imposes little to no ads on your website to get a positive outcome.
Future Growth possibilities –
While choosing a hosting service, keep in mind about future prospectus. Check if the service provides you with more bandwidth allowance in the future easily and more support. It is always better to check these beforehand so as to avoid trouble at the last minute.
Paid – These are the hosting services that implement a monthly or annual charge to maintain your website but in return provide proper services.
Paid websites are a lot more reliable than the free ones. You being an owner of the website would always want your website to run 24/7. When you pay a host to manage your website, not only do they provide customer support, they also make sure that your website has zero downtime and opens up at a good speed. A slow website may frustrate the viewers leading to the views going down. When your website is down, many potential new users may never visit your website as they may not see it. This can hit your revenue really hard. So before choosing a host, always go through the reviews of a number of them to get the best one to provide you with the most reliable services.
The Bandwith allowance on paid hosting services is much better than that of the free one. A user gets enough space for the traffic of their website and can expand whenever necessary. The bandwidth from these paid hosting services also provides support for PHP, .htaccess, SSH, MySQL, and FTP. The number of supported content may vary from service to service, but a user can go through the plans and opt for one accordingly.
Email and Technical Support –
When you own your own domain, the ultimate flex is to show that to people in the form of an email ID. An email ID with your domain’s address sounds very professional indeed. There are other ways to get a personalized e-mail ID but getting some from your hosting service provider is just an added bonus.
The technical support is the part that makes paid hosting services much more preferable to free ones. Suppose your site goes down due to some unknown reason, you just call the helpline number and it is up back and running. A team of highly trained professionals is available 24/7 to help you out in every other way possible. In case you have a non – urgent issue, their FAQ’s and chat support will help you clear that out in a matter of minutes. Customer support also varies from provider to provider so do check the reviews and the perks offered before selecting your preferred choice of host.
So these were the basic ideas to get you started about what exactly is web hosting. It all depends on your business model and your budget. Choosing the right hosting feature and the right host can make or break your online business. In the end, it all depends on user-friendly and reliable your website is to the masses. A paid hosting service is always the one to go for in the long run but a free one is not bad either for a small website or a one time use.
If web hosting is not your game and you want to promote using YouTube then head to our blog about it.