Choosing the right Web hosting supplier for your website can be a little daunting, especially if you have never done it before.

There are so many different factors to take into account, to help you our blog post will give you guidance on what is web hosting and what kinds of web hosting are available.

What is Web Hosting?

It’s pretty simple. When you view a website in a browser, what’s happening is that your browser has downloaded a number of files (HTML) and converted the markup into something you can see and read.

Just like on your computer, these files were stored somewhere so you could access them. However, instead of your local hard drive, they were on another computer, a server.

Servers are more powerful than your computer (so they can manage multiple visitors accessing your website at the same time). Servers are usually made up of things such as a CPU, memory and other components. Servers usually have their own operating system.

Web Hosting companies rent out server space to the person who owns the website. They often provide other services like server management, support, and backups. The process of providing this infrastructure is called web hosting.

What are the different types of Web Hosting?

Web hosting packages are usually offered as more than one thing. These packages will vary a lot in terms of price and what you get for your money.

The first and easiest thing to decide on is what type of hosting package is right for you and your business. You can do this by looking at what technology is used for the server.

The three common types of hosting are Shared, Dedicated and Cloud hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is exactly what it says it is, you share a server with other websites.

Blog Post - Web Server

The biggest advantage of this option is that you will be sharing the cost of the server space with other people.

Shared hosting is definitely the most affordable. You can get it for as little as £3 per month. This is a great option for businesses who have a limited budget or are just starting out.

Usually, with a shared hosting account, the setup is taken care of for you, so you can focus on building your website.

Since all websites on a shared server, this puts a demand on the server’s resources, you can run into performance issues if one of them is using all the processing power. This could leave everyone else to compete for the rest, leading to downtime (meaning your website is not reachable) or slow loading time.

Dedicated Hosting

Unlike Shared hosting, and as the name suggests, Dedicated hosting means you have a server all to yourself.

One of the big advantages of dedicated hosting is that it solves all the problems of resource issues, which shared hosting can have.

Since you get your own server, many companies allow extensive customisation, for example, you may be able to choose things like the Operating System or the amount of memory. This gives you a lot of flexibility.

This option for website hosting comes with a cost as renting a dedicated server isn’t cheap. Prices can start at $200 per month

However when your business is at the stage when a dedicated server is a requirement then you should probably be able to cover the costs. You might also need to factor in that fact whilst there are managed dedicated hosting solutions you’ll still need to do a lot on your own. Hiring your own dedicated server administrator could be an option to explore.

Dedicated hosting is really only for those businesses who really need specialised/specific hardware needs.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting means your website is running on a virtual machine in the cloud. This means that instead of one physical server, your website is part of a whole network of computers, dynamically utilising resources.

Blog Post - Cloud Server

One of the biggest advantages of cloud hosting is scalability as it combines several computers into a powerful virtual server that can then provide resources on a demand basis.

You are usually only billed for the resources you actually end up using which means it’s a better solution than paying a fixed price.

Cloud servers are more resilient when it comes to things like DDoS attacks. Usually, In those types of hacks, the server is overwhelmed by a large number of parallel requests until it crashes. In a cloud network, the requests are spread among many different computers which mitigates their effect much better than on any single-server system.

Cloud systems are great if you want to be able to scale your website a lot further than traditional systems. Well known operators in this space or Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

In Summary…

Choosing a hosting package for your website can be pretty overwhelming and takes a lot of consideration.

If you’re just starting out, then go with shared hosting as it’s always possible to transfer to a more powerful setup later. In short, Cloud hosting will give you scalability and Dedicated hosting is really for businesses with specific needs.

Once you have made a decision, take a look at different companies, look at what’s on offer and compare the packages.

Narrow your selection down to two or three providers at this stage it will probably come down to personal preference. However don’t overlook the support which is offered, think about what you would want if you need to contact someone when your website is down.