What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is explained differently and is therefore not equally clear to everyone. Let’s take a look at the Wikipedia definition: “web hosting is a service that provides individuals or businesses with space to store information, space, images, or other content that can be accessed through a website.” Interesting, but what exactly does this mean?
If you have a professional website, it will be on a server somewhere with access to the internet. This server, computer, hosts your website and makes it possible to access it via the internet. By everyone! Well, preferably not. Of course we want to be able to keep out unwanted visitors or at least ensure that they cannot cause any damage. After all, websites are being hacked every day. So, the safety and security of the server where you host your website is important. But, your website must be available to your visitors and potential customers 24 hours a day. So there is a more to it than just space on a server.
What should you pay attention to when it comes to web hosting?
Before I answer this question, I have a few more questions for you. Questions to find out what you need when we talk about web hosting, so that you can make a solid choice for collaboration with a hosting provider. Answer the questions below for yourself:
- How important is your website?
- What do you want to achieve with your website?
- Who do you think is responsible for safety?
- What service or support do you expect?
- What about personal contact by telephone?
- What about a problem after office hours?
These are all questions that partly determine the choice of your web hosting provider. I often compare hosting with a mobile phone subscription. A business subscription that is. We expect a lot from this when it comes to clarity, accessibility, availability and support with questions or problems. I am sometimes shocked by what has already been paid without us thinking about it in advance. We just need to make and receive calls, right? On the other hand, it surprises me how easily things are taken for granted when connections are lost in a part of the UK. Well, it’s kind of a remote area, I hear you say. But if you choose wisely and are willing to pay a fair price, you will have no problems with connections and that includes remote areas.
So, how can it be so different with web hosting? We do know what this involves, not just from the idea that you have to reserve some space for your website. Oh well, for £1 a month you got it sorted right? Well, then what? I can’t imagine looking at the above questions for yourself, that you believe it to be arranged for only £1 a month.
Compare hosting apples to oranges.
The so-called apples and oranges comparison. Before we can even make a comparison, the basic principles must be clear. What do we mean by web hosting, what do you need, what expectations do you have of support? We can compare a package of requirements with the many offers by hosting providers. However, it’s not so easy because many providers use different names for features and there’s always the question if a feature is included or not? Do you still see the forest for the trees?
What is the best web hosting for you?
There are so many providers and just as many flavors in web hosting. There’s hosting for individuals, companies, enterprises, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, web shops, VPS, semi-dedicated hosting, dedicated hosting, shared hosting etc. To get well informed, let me help you clarify this. I will briefly take you to how the hosting world is flooding you with information packages.
A web hosting package, why?
A web hosting package often focuses on a number of components that are included in the hosting. I will briefly touch on them, as you often see them on sites of hosting companies.
But what is all this and how much of what do you need? Just a little explanation.
Hard disk – disk space.
This is the disk space or hard disk space on a computer server that is reserved for your website. This space is often shown in MB’s (Megabytes) or GB’s (Gigabytes). This is the space where you store your pages, images, and other multimedia from your site. The installation of your website’s CMS (content management system) is also included in this. Think of web applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento and many others.
Data traffic, like a mobile subscription, is a data bundle that is consumed by visitors to your website. Every time a visitor comes to your website, data is downloaded to show your website properly. We call this data traffic and this is often offered in a bundle.
Almost every website nowadays uses a database or even several databases. A hosting package is often limited to the number of databases. This is where the data, the content of your website is stored to make it quickly accessible when calling it. This just has to be arranged properly.
The other concepts.
The other concepts, as often mentioned in a hosting package, such as email accounts, SSL, FTP access and backups are also parts of hosting and are often split up in sub components. As a layman you often have no idea what they mean, but this is not necessary since a reliable hosting company will explain it all.
But what should you choose. Well, it’s simply what you want:
- Your website must be online 24/7.
- Your site should load as fast as possible.
- You don’t want to worry about space, data traffic, databases and backups.
- You want a safe environment and if something unexpected happens, you want to be sure that professional help is always there.
- You just want to be able to call with questions, problems or other kinds of support issues at any time of the day including after office hours.
Web hosting, as the definition implies, is space on a computer server where you store information, images, and other content from your website. As explained above, this space is only a small part of what web hosting is. When I ask experts about what they mean by web hosting, they answer me that it’s the total concept that is provided to optimally display the website or web shop on the internet 24/7. Without having to think about exceeding limits, backups, security, and technical problems.
So, is web hosting just space?
No because if it’s just space, who will take care of components like security, updates, support for questions and/or problems? Who is that and under what conditions? Where is the limit in responsibility? Avoid being sent in the wrong direction by understanding that web hosting is much more than just space. This way your chances of finding exactly the ideal hosting company for you, will increase dramatically. Good luck finding the best service provider for you!
Do you like to know more about this subject? Here are a few related articles. Happy reading!