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What is website hosting?

What is website hosting?

Hosting is necessary, but what is it?

Website hosting is a term that many of our clients find confusing. Hopefully, after reading this, you will have a better understanding!

A website cannot be viewable to anyone on the internet, without hosting. This is a critical piece to launching a new website. A server must hold your website files,so that when someone types in your domain name, the website shows up for them. Imagine trying to get your US Mail without an actual mailbox, it’s impossible.

Your website is comprised of images, files, code, database, and all of this is stored on a computer server. It is “Serving” up the files to be viewed. Without a home to store your files, no one would be able to view your website online. This is essentially rental space for your website files.

It is very important to make sure that your server computer is running the latest versions of software and has security precautions in place in case there is a breach. You need a firewall, backup, and an SSL certificate.

There are different types of Hosting

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting and is acceptable for most website owners. With shared hosting, your website files sit on the same server (Computer) along with multiple other websites.

These are a few examples of hosting providers

Your web company may need to confirm that the host has

  • Backups and Security
  • Up to date software and equipment
  • Good customer service
  • Reliability and fast upload 
  • Scalability, if your needs change

There are several advantages to shared hosting including:

  • Affordability — It’s much cheaper to share the space on a server than to rent the entire computer.
  • Ease of use — Your server is preconfigured, well-organized, easy to use, and your hosting company does all the maintenance and security updates for you.

Although,  it is crucial that your host has a firewall, backups (in case your website becomes infected), and security programs. It is also critical that every website on this shared environment is up to date on its own website plugins. You don’t want one website infecting other websites on the server. This is very important!

Dedicated Hosting

Rather than sharing space, you get a server all to yourself. No need to make sure that other websites are up to date. 

Advantages to dedicated hosting include:

  • Customized— You can customize the software and hardware to meet your individual needs
  • Unlimited Resources — Since you don’t share the server with anyone, all the storage space is yours
  • Full control — You can configure the setup however you’d like

Of course, this is a pricier option but may make the most sense for those who are running very large websites, such as e-commerce and other large sites.

Virtual Private Hosting

This is a blend of shared and dedicated hosting, This is designed for users whose website may have outgrown their shared hosting environment but don’t need a server all to themselves. Virtual Private Hosting or VPS for short allows for multiple clients to use a single server.

Each website on a VPS server is partitioned into its own space so that it uses its own allocation of server resources and can run its own operating system and applications.

  • Space – Each website has its own allotment of resources
  • Safe from other websites on the  server – Users can only access their own control panel and are not affected by malware and other contaminants from other websites on the shared server
  • Control –  Each website has its own virtual space and users have complete control over their site files

VPS hosting could be the right choice and makes it less likely that a sudden spike in usage from someone else on the VPS will slowdowns other websites, unlike shared hosting. 

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is often considered the most reliable of all of the services. Rather than relying on the disk space of a single server, it pulls its power from several resources, making sure you never have any downtime. Other benefits include:

  • Scalability — You can add to your cloud space at any time.
  • Unmetered bandwidth — You don’t have to worry about your site going down due to a server failure.

However, Amazon’s cloud service recently went down. So, when it comes to anything computer-related, things can happen!

WordPress Managed Hosting

Periodically our clients come to us to either build a new website or make updates to their website. If they happen to have WordPress-managed hosting, this limits what files can be edited. Managed WordPress hosting, is an all in one service, where all technical aspects of running WordPress are managed by the host.

  • Updates to WordPress — all updates to WordPress core and plugins taken care of for you
  • Daily backups included — You don’t have to worry about your site going down due to a server failure.

More often than not, our clients ask us to handle their hosting. This way, all of the website services are under one roof, so to speak.  We have a shared server for the convenience of our clients. Many times, we also host our client’s emails as well. If something goes wrong, you just need to reach out to Grateful Web Services and we will handle the situation and get the website up and running! Only one phone call with a live person 😊 We are also very attentive to emails as well if you prefer.

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Give us a call or drop us a note and let’s see what we can do for you!