Understanding the Essentials of Website Hosting and Options to Choose
There are plenty of providers and many different packages for web hosting. When in need of reliable hosting service, all these come into the picture and confuse the website owners to choose an appropriate service. The needs for website hosting service seekers may vary from hosting business to a hobby or personal websites, and it is important to find the most appropriate package to enjoy the best return on investment. To provide better insight to service seekers in terms of web hosting, here we are discussing the essentials of web hosting services.
What is Website Hosting?
Basically, web hosting is the technology service which enables the organizations and individuals owning a website to make it available on the World Wide Web for public access. Hosting services provide a space on the servers owned by them located at the data centers which are connected to the internet permanently.
A hosting server is a machine which needs to major components as:
- High-End server hardware, and
- A server operating system (Windows or Linux)
- Web Server software like Apache, Nginx, IIS, etc.
On servers, you can install and run the applications like database, server software, file manager, email client, etc. The critical components of a hosting server are:
- CPU and Clock speed
- Random access memory (RAM)
Options of web hosting
To better understand the confusing web hosting scenario and different packages, it is ideal to look into how web hosting has evolved. Initially, the server hardware used to utilize the same machines we use at the office or small business premises. But, as the hosting services had grown as a business specialty, hosting has moved to centrally-managed rack-mounted servers. Now, the primary hosting options available are:
- Shared hosting
The server hardware and software are much powerful and functional than primary systems, and so are much expensive too. Share hosting helps to reduce pricing, which makes it ideal for small business websites and businesses with limited hosting requirements. In this mode of hosting, multiple websites are hosted in a single IP web server.
Even though cheaper and comfortable, this arrangement may cause trouble if any of the websites in the hosted servers tend to take more space and sever capacities more compared to others. It the traffic is high to a few, then all websites hosted in the server may get affected.
2 Dedicated hosting server
As the name suggests, a dedicated server is used to host a single website. The cost of the server hardware and software are expensive as we had seen above, and so the cost of dedicated hosting is also higher. Large organizations and most functional websites go for the best web hosting providers for dedicated hosting, with which the users get better control over server management. You can easily install and configure your applications on this server.
- Virtual hosting
A virtual server is created with virtual machines, which means single hardware runs on multiple OS. The virtual servers will the same physical server infrastructure but will act like an independent server by using their own server OS. For the users, it will give the same effect of a dedicated server in terms of website management and administration perspectives.
- ROOT Access and managed servers
The dedicated servers and virtual hosting server packages are offered usually as root access or managed the server by the providers.
- Root access – In this hosting server option, the users will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of your software and server.
- Managed Server – As software installation and maintenance of dedicated servers or virtual servers will demand a fair deal of technical expertise and management skills, hosting provider offers managed server services where the expert administrators at the provider end will install and manage the servers on your behalf.
Cost of web hosting
The cost of hosting may largely vary based on the features and provider services. As we know, most of the websites now use a shared hosting service. This is the most inexpensive mode of hosting, which may cost anywhere from $7 per month. There is a huge competition in the field of web hosting services, and the providers tend to structure their hosting services into various packages. On searching, you can make a significant difference in terms of hosting packages for the same kind of services.
Here are some expert tips for those who look forward to cost-effective hosting:
- Many prefer Linux hosting over Windows hosting as its more cost effective and also secured.
- With the scalable hosting services, it is ideal to start with the most basic package and then slowly upgrade based on the growing needs in the future.
- Choose a hosting provider who lets you upgrade packages anytime or cancel the hosting service to get a full refund if not happy with the service.
- It’s better to use the same company to register your domain name and also to host your website. Take both of these into consideration while comparing the costs.
- There is no need to choose the providers who offer everything at a cost. Check if you have an option for customized services and pay only as you use.
- Check for any special offers or introductory pricing, which many of the providers tend to offer due to intense market competition.
WordPress is now one of the top CMS (content management system), which may of the website builders tend to use to develop functionally rich and aesthetically pleasing web applications. The best option to choose for WordPress website hosting is Linux-based servers with PHP and MYSQL database.
There are many hosting providers now offer Managed WordPress hosting by taking care of the upgrades, security, backups, and speed of loading, etc. WordPress hosting services also provide scripted installs and high-end customer support too.
In fact, there are free hosting services also now, who find revenue from you allowing their ads to be played over the hosted websites. But, many of the features like control panel hosting, multiple domain names, and higher space availability, etc. will not be there with free hosting. So, it is not an ideal option for business websites or e-commerce sites, etc.