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What is Web Hosting? Basic to Advanced: The Complete Guide

Do you know the web sites that you visit frequently how they provide uninterruptable fast 24/7 service? Yes, this Karishma is only possible in the blink of your eye when a quality web hosting service hosts your website.

If you are planning to build up your online entity but you are a newbie in this arena. Then from many web hosting options along with diverse attractive offers choosing the right one is a big puzzle for you. So, we suggest you before starting clear all your concept and make your investment-worthy.

Our article will cover all the basic and advanced information in a greater frame including what is web hosting to types of web hosting with their features and shortcomings. Let’s start!

What is Web Hosting:

To make your website visible on the internet, your website’s data must be physically stored on a computer, that is connected to the internet. These PC’s are called hosts. In fact, you can use your PC to host a website, but it needs to have enough power and good internet bandwidth to handle all the requests who are visiting your website.

Nowadays, websites are hosted in large high-power computers, which are called web servers. Several of these web servers in one location is called a data center. Website hosts are companies, which provide the software, security, support, and bandwidth that connects your website to the internet. Your website is hosted under a name, which is called a domain.

Suppose, you want to open a shop. For this, you need a place to open the shop, products to sell, and a name for the shop.  The website host, in this case, is like a shopping center, that contains several individual stores, from which you can rent. The files for the website are similar to the products of the shopping center. And the domain for the website, in this case, is the name of the shopping center. In a nutshell, web hosting is the process of renting or buying space to house a website on the World Wide Web.

Types of Web Hosting Services:

To accommodate a wide variety of customer needs, there are a variety of hosting solutions provided by the service provides. Hosting solutions are broadly categorized, based on the amount of server space you need, bandwidth your site consumes, processing power needed, complexity of your website, customization flexibility, privacy and security services to host your website. Website hosting can be broadly categorized into followings:

Shared Hosting:

Perhaps this is the most common type of hosting available in the market. In this type of hosting, your files are housed on a server along with the files of other websites. The server’s bandwidth and resources are shared among all the websites on that server. In this case, you have very little control over the server settings and operations.

You can think of it like renting a unit in an apartment complex where you share parking space, storage, and laundry facilities with others in the complex. Shared hosting is an affordable solution that is generally well suited to most small and many medium sized businesses that have simple, straightforward websites.

If you’re new in the game, we suggest you go with shared hosting services as all the requirements to set up a server will be pre-configured for you to have a hassle-free experience. But once your website has gotten complex and big in size which draws a lot a traffic then you will either need a VPS hosting or Dedicated hosting.

Dedicated Hosting:

In this type of web hosting, you lease the amount of server space you need, and you have full use of the server bandwidth. It’s similar to living in a single-family home. You have full access to the control and customization of the software and computer operations as needed. Dedicated hosting provides administrative access such as root access and you can also monitor your server usage in order to spot potential issues.

As the server resources in dedicated hosting are not shared, it has fewer security issues and has a lower risk from potential harmful software such as malware and cyberattacks and thus suitable for sensitive websites. Dedicated hosting is scalable, which allows you to upgrade your server space as your business grows. Unlike shared hosting, you are also provided a unique IP address. Generally, dedicated hosting is used for large corporations with high traffic.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting:

A Virtual Private Server Hosting lies somewhere between both spectrum of Shared & Dedicated Hosting.  In this case, using virtualization software a physical server is partitioned, and the service provider will allow you to have your own partitioned space in which you can do anything. Though, the server hosts multiple websites, the resources and bandwidth are not shared like in the case of shared hosting.

A VPS system has its own operating system, bandwidth and resources. Like dedicated hosting, VPS hosting has high degree of control and customization. VPS hosting has the advantage of both shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It is less expensive than dedicated hosting and has more degree of freedom and power than a shared hosting can provide.

VPS hosting is like living in a condominium building in which case, a single building is divided into multiple private units of various sizes. Resources like laundry and parking space are not shared among condo residents. Because VPS hosting acts as a dedicated server, it is a good solution for sites that might need a dedicated server in the future, but not ready yet.

Cloud Hosting:

Like the name suggests, a cloud hosting is a special type of hosting involving cloud computing, which has been on the buzz lately. In the case of dedicated hosing, shared hosting or VPS hosting, the files for your website is hosted in a single server where in case of Cloud hosting, a number of servers are connected together to act as one system and the files are spread among these servers.

This system has multiple advantages. For example, in case of other types of hosting, failure of the server will result in the failure of the website; but in case of cloud hosting, as the data is distributed among multiple servers, the failure of a single server doesn’t cause the whole website to fail. It allows load balancing across multiple servers, resulting in less strain on any one server and better user experience.

Cloud hosting services can instantly detect which server is closest to a given user using CDN (Content Delivery Network) so they receive content from the nearest source; making far faster data access, minimizing delay, and page loading time. Cloud hosting also provides redundancy in data storage and guarantees the use of server resources such as processing and memory.

Cloud hosting provides great flexibility and scalability, making it easy to upgrade and downgrade the hosting environment and accommodate for periods of higher or lower traffic. The biggest advantage of cloud hosting is that you pay only for the resources you consume. The main disadvantage of cloud hosting is that managing cloud hosting is difficult and requires the skill of an experienced IT professional. So, it is not a good solution for most small business owners.

Managed Hosting:

This type of web hosting is specialized hosting service made for the convenience of the clients. In this case, the service provider will host a server for the client, but rather than allowing the client to manage it, they will manage the whole back-end operations by themselves. Main features of a managed hosting are automatic security updates & patching as well as maintenance & monitoring will be done for your website by the service provider. It also has other advantage of faster sites, faster recoveries from problems, and very high security.

On top of hardware and software level expertise, a managed host typically includes additional services and add-ons to further increase the potential of the website, but it will come with a cost. The main disadvantage of Managed hosting is that you are fully dependent on the service provider.

So, if your someone who doesn’t like to go to hassles with other types of hosting and can focus your time on things that you’d rather be doing, we suggest you go with a managed hosting.

Combined Pros & Cons

Although not all hosting is applicable for everyone, but here you can have a glance about them in a single table:

Hosting TypeProsConsApproximate Pricing (monthly)
 Dedicated hosting1. High degree of control and customization
2. Administrative access and root access
3. Fewer security issues
4. Unique Ip address
5. Performance reliability
6. Scalability
7. Server monitoring
1. Expansive than shared hosting
2. Higher technical skill is needed to manage the server
3. Doesn’t have access to the actual physical server
4. Doesn’t come with pre-installed software and feature
Starting from $79.99
 Shared hosting1. Very cheap
2. Very simple and user friendly
3. Very fast support
4. The server is very well maintained by hosting provider
1. Little control over the server
2. System crashes more often than other types of hosting
3. In the case of high traffic, there can be a performance issue
4. More prone to many security issues such as glitches, hacking and intruders gaining access to data
Starting from $2.75
VPS hosting1. Increased reliability compared to shared hosting
2. Less costly compared to dedicated hosting
3. Dedicated resources
4. Increased performance
5. Freedom in choosing an operating system and software
6. Root access
7. Good technical support
8. Have the option from, semi-managed services to fully managed services
9. Server monitoring
1. More expensive than a shared hosting
2. Experience may vary according to the service provider
3. Technical skills are required  
Starting from $29.99
Managed hosting1. Almost as easy as plug and play
2. Website is managed and rich with features
3. Very good support if you choose the right service provider
4. Better performance and faster sites
5. High-security
1. Fully dependent on the service provider
2. Very costly Plugin restrictions
3. Not very flexible ?
Starting from $35.5
Cloud hosting1. More Scalable than any other type
2. Better Performance
3. Cost is only based on the resources consumed
4. Faster data delivery speed from CDN
5. Prevents failure of a website from a single server failure
6. Redundancy in data storage and processing power.
1. Cost savings are reduced as user demand grows
2. Risk of data confidentiality
3. Managing is very difficult and requires an IT expert
4. Lack of control when it comes to data ownership and location
5. Risk of downtimeVulnerable to attack
6. Limited control and flexibility
7. Performance is heavily dependent of internet connection
 

Final Thoughts

We hope you have got a clear idea about ?what is web hosting?, how does it work & the comprehensive analysis of various types of web hosting services which will assist you to choose the right web hosting. We highly recommend you check the mentioned deals to get yourself a web hosting & domain name at a cheap rate. Let us make something great for you.    

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