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What is web hosting? What do web hosts do? Which are the best web hosts? These are some of the most common questions that we get regarding web hosting. Web hosting makes it possible for website owners to make their sites available on the internet. Web hosting service providers have large servers in which the accommodate websites for different clients, so that people on the internet can access them. The website owners are charged periodically for the hosting services.
In the sections that follow, we are going to explore various aspects of web hosting in order to give you a better perspective of what a good web host is like. The idea is to ensure you get the services of a web host that will ensure your site is always running and accessible.
Features of a Good Web Host
Before you settle on any particular web host, you need to ensure they have the following;
- High loading speed
- No downtimes
- Customer support
What is loading speed? Loading speed is the speed at which your site comes up when one keys in your URL. Why is it important for your site to load up fast? This is an experience you’ve probably had. You try to load a site, and it keeps loading for minutes. Chances are that you will close that tab and try to look for whatever you wanted elsewhere. Studies show that sites that have slow loading speeds receive much less traffic.
An acceptable loading speed is anywhere between 2 and 5 seconds. Keep in mind that every second above the two-second mark increases the bounce rates of your website. That means that visitors will most likely not wait for your slow loading website to load up completely.
Uptime is the most important aspect of any web host. Uptime is the percentage of time the website is up and running in a given period. You need a web host that will ensure your site is accessible at all times. Anything below 96% in a year is unacceptable. Downtimes of more than 30 minutes in one month are unacceptable. You do not want people to look for your website and not find it. That will build a bad reputation for your website and it will affect traffic. Downtimes are very detrimental, especially if you are running an online business.
Web hosting is made possible by physical servers. The web hosts have physical servers in which the websites of their clients are stored. These physical servers are prone to break downs. As such, downtimes and other challenges here and there are inevitable. Also, you may face challenges while setting up or maintain your website from your user end. Whenever you are faced with such challenges, you need someone you can run to so that you can get your site back up in no time.
That’s where the customer support comes in. You need to work with a web host whose customer support is available at all times. You need to be sure that you have someone to run to whenever you have problems with your site.
Web hosting services cost money. You have to pay a certain amount periodically for web hosting services. Different web hosts charge differently for their hosting services. You can only opt for the web host that you can afford. Be careful to ensure that you do not compromise on the quality of services offered while seeking a cheap web host.
Having understood what a great web host is all about, you also need to be able to distinguish between the various types of web hosting.
Types of Web Hosting
There are several types of web hosting. Among the most notable ones are;
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server hosting (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated Server Hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Managed hosting
Shared hosting is a type of hosting where the web host stored multiple clients’ in one server. This type of hosting is the cheapest and is the most ideal for light websites. If you are seeking to start a blog or a simple landing page for your small business, shared hosting might be the best option for you.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
VPS hosting the middle-ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. VPS hosting involves getting a dedicated space for your website within the same server that hosts other websites. Such hosting is ideal for websites that are fairly heavy, but not too big.
Dedicated hosting is the complete opposite of shared hosting. It is the most expensive type of hosting. Dedicated hosting means that the website has a dedicated server. This type of hosting is ideal for large and heavy websites. It is ideal for websites that involve the collection and storage of data. It is the kind of hosting you need if you are seeking to create a portal.
Cloud hosting is the latest craze in the hosting world. It is a type of hosting that involves the sharing of computing resources. That means that there is no one particular physical machine or server that controls a computing network. If your website is cloud-hosted, it means that it will be accessible even if one server goes down. It is the most modern type of hosting, and most online business are gravitating towards it to ensure they never experience downtimes with their sites.
Web hosting services are what runs the internet world today. Websites cannot exist without web hosting. There are many web hosts in the industry today, but you need to ensure you are working with a web host with quality services. You need to make all the considerations discussed above before you settle on any web host. Take time to understand what kind of website you need, so as to understand which type of web hosting you need. If you can, you should not shy away from paying a premium rate for the best web hosting services. You would rather pay a little bit more and ensure your website is always up.