What Is Website Hosting?

What Is Website Hosting?

If you’re looking to make a WordPress website, you’re going to need website hosting. Once you start searching your options, you’ll quickly discover that there are different types of hosting, each with a different price range and technical capabilities. If you want to make the right decision for your website, it’s important to know what each hosting type is, along with its associated pros and cons.

Website hosting is the hardware that powers your website and makes it available to visitors around the world. In other words, it’s where you store your website’s files and content and it’s also what serves those files to visitors when they access your site (by typing in your site’s domain name). Every single website has some type of web hosting behind it, whether it’s a big website like Google or your favorite restaurant's website. When you purchase web hosting, you’re essentially renting space on a computer. This could be part of a computer that you share with other people, an entire computer, or even space on a network of computers. Different websites will have different hosting needs when it comes to the resources that are needed to power the website. A high-traffic, high-resource website will need hosting with a lot of power to handle the workload, while a low-traffic site will be fine with less power. In general, more powerful hosting will cost more money.

Types of Hosting

1. Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is where many people start their hosting journey because it’s one of the most affordable ways to host a website. With shared hosting, your site/account will share resources with other accounts and websites on the hosting server. By sharing resources like this, hosting providers are able to keep their costs down and offer low prices. That’s really the only benefit of shared hosting — it’s cheap. Shared hosts also typically advertise high-resource limits such as “unlimited websites”, “unlimited storage”, and/or “unlimited bandwidth”. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as truly “unlimited” hosting and every shared host will still apply a “fair use” policy. But still, shared hosting can be a very affordable way to host multiple websites because of this. While the low prices of shared hosting are attractive, there can be some very real downsides when it comes to performance, reliability, and security. For example, if the other accounts that you’re sharing resources with are consuming a lot of resources, that could have a negative effect on your site’s performance because there aren’t enough resources to go around. For this reason, many people move beyond shared hosting once their websites start growing, as other types of hosting can offer major upgrades in key areas like performance and reliability.

2. Cloud Hosting

With cloud hosting, your website gets its own dedicated resources on a huge network of computers called “the cloud”. That’s one of the key differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting — instead of sharing resources, you get resources that are 100% dedicated to your site. This generally leads to improved performance because you don’t have to worry about someone else’s websites affecting your site. Cloud hosting also offers excellent reliability because there’s a network of computers powering everything, rather than a single point of failure. It’s also easy to upgrade or downgrade your hosting resources because all the hosting provider needs to do is allocate your account more (or fewer) resources on the network. Because of this, cloud hosting is one of the fastest-growing types of hosting. For example, you might’ve heard names such as Google Cloud Platform, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean, etc. There are a variety of services the cloud providers provide which can meet the hosting requirements.

3. VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting is a lot like cloud hosting. The main difference is that your site gets its dedicated resources from a single physical server, rather than “the cloud”. While you don’t get the whole server to yourself, the resources that are allocated to your site are 100% your own (unlike shared hosting). While traditional VPS hosting used to be quite popular, it’s kind of taken a back seat now that cloud hosting has grown. Most people will be better off with the cloud hosting approach because it offers more flexible scalability. That is, it’s easier to add more resources to your server if needed (or reduce resources). Despite that, you still will see a good number of hosting providers advertising VPS hosting, so it’s worth knowing about this type of hosting.

4. Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a special type of hosting that’s unique to the WordPress space. You can host a WordPress site on all the other hosting methods, so this is definitely not the only way to host a WordPress site. However, unlike the other hosting types, managed WordPress hosting can only host WordPress sites, which can be limiting in some situations. It can use different types of hosting environments such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, and so on. In this way, managed WordPress hosting also isn’t entirely separate from the other types of hosting. The key thing that differentiates it from “regular” hosting is a suite of concierge services that are added specifically for WordPress sites. Typically, this includes the following types of services: The main benefit of managed WordPress hosting is convenience. You’re getting more than just web hosting, and those other services can save you time when it comes to maintaining your site. The main downside, however, is the price. Assuming you’re talking about plans with identical resources, managed WordPress hosting will always be more expensive because you need to pay for those extra services somehow. This means that managed WordPress hosting can be a good option for people who are willing to pay a bit of a premium for convenience and extra features.

Instead of worrying about technical details and which type of hosting is best, you can focus on building business. Let us guide you on the right hosting for you. Reach out to us today to know what hosting would work for your business. Talk to us today.