If you want to create your own website, one of the first things you need is web hosting. What exactly is web hosting? This is a service that many companies provide. Web hosting companies offer many different plans and packages, which can make the whole process of choosing one a little confusing.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the basics of web hosting, explained with an exclusive web hosting infographic.
(Click on the above infographic for the higher resolution version)
The Purpose of Web Hosting
A web host is a company that provides the technology necessary to create and maintain websites. They provide disk space on a server as well as a data center that allows sites to connect to the internet. A web host must be able to keep websites online at all times and also keep users’ data secure.
There are web hosts of all sizes. A small one may only serve a handful of customers, while the large ones host millions of domains and websites. The majority are somewhere in the middle. Even a brief search on the web will show you just how many web hosts are out there.
Types of Web Hosting
Now, let’s move on to the second section of the infographic. There are many different types of web hosting. Many companies offer a selection of different services, while others may specialize in one or two kinds. The following are the most popular types of web hosting.
Free Web Hosting
If your hosting is free, you are usually limited in how much control you have over your site. In most cases, you will not even own your own domain (your URL or address on the web). You may also have to display the company’s ads in exchange for getting hosting for free.
There are some good free web hosts, and some even let you use your own domain. Good examples are Blogger.com, WordPress.com (these two are more specialized for blogging), and Weebly (for general websites). In this case, of course, you will have to purchase the domain separately. Free hosting can be a good way to start off if you can’t afford to pay for hosting.
Most website owners, however, eventually move on to hosting where they have to pay something for a higher level of services.
Shared Web Hosting
This is the most common type of web hosting. When you see ads offering hosting for $5 or $10 per month, this usually refers to shared hosting plans. All this means is that many users share one server to make the service more economical.
While shared hosting isn’t as secure or flexible as more expensive types, it is generally safe. Even though you are sharing a server, a reputable web host will have security measures in place to ensure privacy and prevent attacks or data theft.
The main advantage of shared hosting is the cheap pricing. For a few dollars per month you can have your own website that comes with a wide range of features.
To give just one example, Web Hosting Hub is a popular and well regarded web host that allows you to have unlimited web sites, disk space and bandwidth with its shared hosting plan. It also provides a premium website builder that makes it easy for even complete beginners to build a site from the ground up.
Web Hosting Hub also gives you access to more than 280 free applications when you sign up with them. This includes blogging scripts such as WordPress, shopping carts such as PrestaShop, content management systems such as Joomla and many others.
Even if you aren’t familiar with such applications now, you can learn about them and find out how they can help you add all kinds of features to your site.
This is a type of hosting for people who want to sell web hosting to others. This isn’t as complicated as it might sound. When you sign up for reseller hosting, you can sell hosting to local businesses in your area or to people you sign up online.
Many web hosting companies offer reseller hosting. While it’s more expensive than shared hosting, it isn’t out of reach for most people. For example, you can get reseller hosting from HostGator for as little as $20 per month.
This is hosting where you have your own server. This gives you the most control over your site. This is the most expensive type of hosting, and is mainly for large business sites or for people with many websites.
There are several other types of hosting as well, including VPS (virtual private server) hosting and cloud hosting. Each of these has its own advantages, but these are seldom used by people just starting out.
If you are planning to get web hosting for the first time, you will most likely start with either free hosting or shared hosting.
How to Learn More About Web Hosting
To learn more about web hosting, you can browse the websites of each web hosting company. You will see that they have many similarities, but some differences as well. Keep in mind that they are all trying to get your business, so they will naturally focus on their strong points.
You can also read reviews people have written about the web hosts. This will give you a more objective view of what the different companies have to offer, and a good such resource is WebhostingHulk.com.
Another way to understand web hosting better is to simply pay attention to the various features you see on different websites you visit. Keep in mind that every website uses some type of web hosting service. So everything from the smallest personal blog to the largest corporate site is using a technology that is also available to you.
Do you like our infographic? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Stay tuned for more specially designed infographics from us.