Understanding web hosting 101 is essential for establishing your online presence. Whether you want to start building websites professionally, hire someone to do it for you, or simply understand how they work, answering the question "What is website hosting?" is an important first step. Building a website is easier and more accessible than ever before, but you must understand the fundamental principles at work. That's why we've put together this guide to answer one of the most basic questions about website development: what is web hosting.
We put together this comprehensive guide to web hosting basics, demonstrate how hosting works, and what new users should know before getting started. Let's start with web hosting definition, how does web hosting works, and notes on what you should expect from a provider.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting explained: It provides a safe location to store online content. The code, images, videos, and text that make up a website must all be saved somewhere. Without a reliable digital repository, none of us could access web content on a consistent basis. As a result, hosting is one of the most important aspects of developing an online presence for anyone, from large corporations to small-scale personal accounts.
Web hosting allows users to store content offsite, lowering local storage costs and the physical footprint associated with it. The allocation of server resources varies according to the hosting plan selected. To select the best hosting plan, you must first understand the differences between the various options. This does not have to be difficult. Let's use a simple analogy for non-technical readers: Choosing web hosting is comparable to looking for office space.
How do you know which type of office space is best for you? Is a workstation in an open co-working space sufficient, or is an office within a business center the next best thing? Do you intend to grow quickly or do you anticipate a high volume of people coming and going? Would you consider renting an entire building, or would you prefer to build your own space? Aside from the type of office you use, there are a few other factors to consider. The ease with which the rooms can be accessed, the functions they provide (extras such as a whiteboard, high-speed internet, and other amenities), where they are located, and the overall cost. These factors will help you determine your needs and which type of office is best for you. Let's compare this selection process to determine what is web hosting and which is best for you.
Shared hosting: is analogous to renting a workstation in a crowded, noisy open-plan office or co-working space. You have a desk, an internet connection, and some stationary, and you share the space with other coworkers, including the kitchen, printer, and restroom. You are not permitted to change the space, such as installing whiteboards. This is a popular choice for launching small websites, but it is not suitable for large-scale commercial projects.
A virtual private server (VPS) is a great way to get away from shared hosting. Renting an office space in a business park will benefit medium-sized businesses. Users are isolated from one another when using a VPS. You have neighbors, but you are less reliant on them, and you can do whatever makeovers (customizations) you want and organize your workspace on your own.
Hosting an entire office building is similar to hosting on a dedicated server. It is a more expensive option best suited for websites that value dependability and high performance. You have more say over configurations and plenty of space because you control the entire space, but it's not worth investing in if you won't use the space included.
Futures of a Good Web Hosting Service
If you’re researching what is web hosting, you’re probably trying to understand the web host that provides the best features for your site. The following are the most important factors to consider when selecting a website hosting provider:
1. Purchase of a Domain Name
Image is taken from Strikingly
Every website requires its own distinct domain name. While you can register your domain name independently of your hosting plan, many hosting companies include domain name registration (for one or multiple sites) as part of their hosting packages. Because registering a domain name incurs additional costs, including it in your hosting package can save you money. However, when you sign up for a yearly plan or higher at Strikingly, we will host your website, and you’ll get a domain name for free in your first year. You do not need to go to a third party to purchase your domain name. You can access it through the Strikingly website editor. If you are not yet ready to commit to a yearly plan, Strikingly will provide you with a free subdomain name.
To grasp the concept of what is web hosting, you must first understand website loading speed. Your website's loading speed is critical to its success. Slow speeds hurt SEO and impact your customers' experience on your website. Google also considers the speed in their overall score of a site's quality. Look for companies that use Solid-State Drives (SSD), a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and have servers in multiple locations when choosing a hosting service provider, as these factors contribute to faster speeds.
Servers have a finite amount of file storage space, regardless of their size. You should select a type of hosting that can handle the size of your site. Shared hosting, for example, is typically sufficient for text-heavy sites with a few pages. In contrast, larger sites with a large number of high-resolution images and streaming media may require the amount of storage that can only be provided by a VPS or dedicated server. Surprisingly, Strikingly is one of the market's most generous storage providers. We provide free storage starting at 500 MB per site and increasing to 10GB per site depending on your plan.
Bandwidth requirements, like storage requirements, vary by location. A website with thousands of visitors per day requires more bandwidth than a website with only a few hundred visitors. While many shared web hosting services advertise "unlimited" bandwidth, this is usually because most websites, especially new ones, never come close to exceeding bandwidth limits. However, it is essential to read the fine print; some hosting service providers penalize customers who use more bandwidth than is allotted to them. Strikingly provides 50GB of bandwidth per month for free, with the option to upgrade to unlimited bandwidth.
Before we can understand what is web hosting is, we must first discuss scalability. One approach to dealing with storage and bandwidth constraints is scalability. Some types of hosting, such as cloud hosting, enable sites to scale up their resources on the fly. Many hosting services providers provide various types of hosting, so a website that begins with shared hosting can eventually upgrade to VPS or dedicated hosting as its storage and bandwidth requirements grow. At Strikingly, you can start with a free account and then upgrade to any of our three paid plans - Limited, PRO, or VIP - as needed. Each plan includes a slew of extra features that will help your online business grow exponentially.
As previously stated, a good web hosting service provider ensures that its servers are operational as much of the time as possible. A third-party site can be used to verify a company's claims about uptime. So, opt for a dependable web host, such as Strikingly, which has almost no downtime.
7. Email Addresses
Dedicated email accounts with your domain name are essential for establishing professionalism and authority for your company. Now that you understand what web hosting is, know how many email accounts each hosting provider provides. Different hosting packages offer varying numbers of email accounts per website, so figure out what your needs are or will be and look for a package that meets those needs.
It is also critical to have dependable, accessible technical support from your web hosting service provider to effectively run a website. If you or your customers are experiencing problems with your website, you will want to resolve those issues as soon as possible. Look for companies that provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via phone, chat, or email. At Strikingly, you can always find someone to talk to about any of your website building questions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also has a constantly updated knowledge base if you prefer to look for answers on your own before calling for assistance.
As a beginner, it is essential to get the whole idea of what is web hosting? Making the wrong website decision for your business can be costly in the long run. Going with the cheapest option may make sense for your budget right now, but it may result in a slower site and, ultimately, fewer visitors. There are also high expectations when it comes to website speed. In fact, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, many visitors will abandon it. It's a sign that you're providing a poor user experience or that you don't have what they're looking for if you notice people leaving your site. Even if you have all of the answers on your website, it will be useless if not loaded.
Image is taken from Strikingly
As a result, your search engine ranking will almost certainly drop. The further you are from the top of the search results, the less traffic you will receive. So, before you pay for web hosting services, do your homework and understand your company's requirements. Choosing a hosting service that meets your needs and is tailored to your expected growth is critical to your website's success and performance. We hope you found our article on what is web hosting useful.