You want to know what is web hosting? This guide will teach you everything there is to know about web hosting and all its related terms.
So before beginning, you should bookmark this page. Press Ctrl + D right now to bookmark this guide if you’re on Windows.
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It is also recommended that you keep a coffee mug beside you to keep yourself energized.
Make sure that coffee mug is filled. An empty one, general speaking, isn’t of much use.
So are we ready then?
Let’s kill this.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Regardless of the fact if you’re in the business of offering web hosting services, you need to know how it works.
Besides, most of us would like to be knowledgeable if we ever end up in a conversation where we have to talk about how does web hosting work.
More importantly though, one should be able to explain how things like domain names along with web hosting work.
And while we’re on that, let’s not leave out the likes of nameservers either.
From an overall perspective, one also needs to know how do these terms interrelate and hence have the complete picture.
For that purpose, and that purpose alone, you need to read this guide.
This guide will teach you in a clear and easy to understand language the simplest explanation for all these terms.
Now, to make the process of understanding just a tad bit easier, let’s assume a couple of things.
First, let’s assume that we (you and I) are setting up a brand new website for whatever purpose.
We could be setting it up for a client or whatever.
Secondly, let’s also assume that the website is complete as far as development and design are concerned.
This will help us understand the process much more quickly and efficiently.
And one last thing before we begin.
Keep in mind that even though terms like,
are different terms but these can be had from a single online vendor.
Of course, that just adds to the overall convenience of the process.
For this guide though, we will go ahead and assume that you won’t be signing up for those services in a single click.
In other words, we’ll assume that we’ll handle all the three aforementioned terms separately.
As mentioned earlier, even though a single vendor can manage all three, it helps to illustrate how a particular piece of the puzzle fits into the overall picture.
Let’s Talk About Domain Names
Now keep those assumptions in mind okay.
We don’t want to be talking about a concept only to find out you skipped out on the introduction paragraph.
And hence don’t understand what we’re talking about there.
Your first step is to get a domain name.
Domain name is simply the address of any given website.
So the next obvious question is how do you purchase a domain name?
It’s simple really.
You need to make use of a thing called registrar.
One of the most well-known registrar goes by the name of Namecheap.
In short, a domain name is the name of your website and you need to buy it before you can use it.
Another thing though.
Don’t think about skipping out on this step.
Because you’re going to need a domain name before you run your own new website.
Of course, a domain name isn’t something physical.
You can’t see it.
You can’t touch it either.
A domain name is only a series of characters. Mostly strings.
These combination of characters grant your new website an identity.
Just like humans have names.
Businesses have names too.
And since we’re living in the 21st century, your website must have a name too.
Now, the sad part depending on how you look at it, is this.
All the good domain names have been taken already.
Want to buy Google.com?
What about Alexa.com or even Linux.org?
All are taken.
You’re going to have to come up with something new and unique.
So register your own domain name with any given domain registrar and get going.
Where Can You Register A Domain?
As we mentioned earlier as well, you can do so on sites like Namecheap.
But there are other options as well.
Other options such as,
- Network Solutions
These are some of the ones that you should definitely check out.
How Much Do Domain Names Cost?
No one can give you an answer for that question.
Because the pricing schemes for domain names are all over the place.
You can purchase a domain name for a few bucks.
And there are some domain names which can only be bought by paying hundreds of dollars.
All registrars sell domain names. In most cases the same ones.
So how do you differentiate between registrars?
The only difference between any two given registrars is the quality of service they offer.
You must be familiar with buying services from all the airfare deal websites.
Ask yourself the question, what is the difference between,
You should have an answer now.
All of the three mentioned travel deal sites offers the same thing. Deals for flights.
How do they differ?
They differ from each other with things such as prices and any extra services they may or may not offer.
Regardless of the service, if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t matter which service you choose for your Delta flight.
You’ll still get the same smelly, cramped and uncomfortable seat on the same Delta flight irrespective who sold you the ticket.
But talking about extra services from registrars.
Know that even though registrars may make a big deal out of it, you don’t really need those extra services.
Registrars will push hard to make you believe that what “extra services” they are offering are absolutely critical.
But in reality, they are not.
Why Do Registrars Sell Extra Services With Domain Names?
The simple fact of the matter is that domain name reselling isn’t exactly a high margin business.
It is actually quite a low margin one.
At least that is the case as far as the current decade is concerned.
Therefore, to make up for the low-cost domain names, registrars try to upsell.
How do they upsell?
Absolutely right. They sell more by offering the other “extra services”.
That is their main objective now, to be honest.
So what’s the rule of thumb here?
The general rule is that if you’re in doubt about any of the registrar’s extra services, don’t go for it.
In other words, just buy the simple domain name and be done with it.
But just before we move on to other more important things, there are a couple of more thing you need to know about domain names.
You probably know the fact that every computer that is connected to the internet has a unique number.
That number, as we all learned in high school, is called an IP address.
What’s An IP Address Exactly?
You don’t need to take an undergraduate course to understand IP address.
At least at the moment, you don’t.
An IP address is basically a phone number for your computer.
Of course, that isn’t exactly true in the strictest sense of the word.
In fact, some might even call it a gross oversimplification.
But for the purposes of this guide, it is more than sufficient.
Think of a domain name as an easy-to-understand alias for an IP address.
To put it another way, a domain name is more memorable than an IP address that mainly consists of numbers and dots.
Both are used to identify a computer that is connected to the internet.
So when you connect to the internet and type cnn.com in your browser’s address bar, you’re making use of an IP address.
But instead of having to input something like 18.104.22.168, you simply have to remember, and type, cnn.com.
Of course, this explanation is also an oversimplification.
But for our purposes, it will work.
Most readers want to understand this stuff better, not to pursue a Ph.D. in it.
Web Hosting Vs Domain
Is There A Difference Between Domain Name And Web Hosting?
But before we explain the difference, know that it’s not your fault if you thought they were the same.
In fact, such confusion is pretty common among people who are new to the internet and how websites work.
Domain name and web hosting sound different. And hence are different. If it helps you to remember that way then we’re all good.
However, you will need to know much more in order to know the real difference.
You’re in luck since we’re going to do just that.
Let you know more.
We told you in the beginning that a domain name is like a name of a person.
It is an identity.
Now think of domain name as a house. What’s the identity of any given house?
So a domain name is like an address of a house.
Web hosting is different.
If you allow us to go on with our house analogy, know that web hosting is basically the space in your house.
You use that space to put some furniture in your house so that it looks good. You also do it because you want your friends to compliment you but that’s another matter.
Web sites are named a bit differently than houses, though.
Houses have things like area code and street name in their full address.
Sometimes, we use names of the area we live in and some number in order to pinpoint the house.
But a website’s name is just a series or numbers or some combination of letters.
Notice we didn’t say a combination of words.
Because that used to be true when the internet was new.
Now people come up with all sorts of weird names (which are not words) for their websites and hence we can’t just say a combination of words.
What about web hosting then?
How does it relate to a house?
It goes like this.
If a house is built with materials such as steel and wood then a web hosting relies on peripherals such as a hard disk and RAM to store files and process them later.
Hope it clears up the confusion for you.
Ready to move on?
What Do You Have To Do In Order To Register A Domain Name (Step By Step Guide)
- The first step should obviously involve you coming up with a neat name for your new website.
Make it unique and interesting. But not weird.
- The best way to follow up from step one is to come up with multiple unique variations.
There is a good chance that someone else might have taken your “unique” website name.
So prepare for that.
- Go to a site like GoDaddy.com and then search for the name on the registrar’s site.
- Let’s say you have searched for your unique name and have found that it hasn’t been taken.
Sign up for the name right there and then before it too gets snatched.
- To order your domain name you’re going to have to pay a registration fee.
Now, this fee can range from anywhere between $10 and $40.
It really depends on the kind of domain name you want to get registered.
In other words, it comes down to the TLD(more on TLD later in the guide).
You can usually pay via PayPal.
Some websites also offer credit card as a payment method.
- That’s it. The registration process is complete.
- But wait just a second. There is more.
Now you have a domain name. Right?
Make sure you point the new domain name to the web hosting you subscribed to.
That will be accomplished by changing the related DNS record.
A Guide To How Domain Name Registration Works
Think of the registration process of a domain name as buying real estate.
The real estate here means online (internet) real estate.
So if you want to buy some “real estate” you’ll have to provide a good bit of information about yourself.
That’s a small price to pay if you want to have the privilege of owning your own website and hence occupying a tiny corner of the online world.
And remember, the online world is for all practical purposes a public space.
What are the guidelines then?
Well, there are no set guidelines as far as registration goes.
In fact, the registrar has little to do with domain name registration guidelines.
But that doesn’t let you off the hook.
The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN for short) determines these guidelines.
ICANN is basically a governing body.
More of a global regulator.
It determines the best practices for entities such as,
- Web hosts
- Lastly, the clients who want to have some interaction with the previous two entities.
The guidelines themselves are pretty standard.
Customers who want to register for a domain name have to provide their contact information.
They also have to furnish particulars about their organization or any of their businesses.
If there is an employer involved, then the employer’s information becomes mandatory too.
That isn’t the general case, however.
The Situation Changes A Bit If You Want To Register For A Country-Specific Domain Name
All domain names are not created equal.
There are domain names that end in “.us” or even “.co.uk”.
In such cases, the domain name registration process will be slightly long.
Part of the reason is because of the investigation.
See, since these are important-sounding domain names, the ICANN has to ensure that the customer is legit.
A legitimate customer is the one who is a resident of the country which is involved in the country-specific domain name.
If a customer is a resident of the country then he/she can legally buy a country-specific TLD.
TLD is short for top level domains.
We’ll explain the term in more details just a little later.
From the previous discussion, another thing becomes pretty clear.
The thing is, there are probably hundreds of suffixes for domain names.
Suffixes such as,
Most of these domain name suffixes come with their own set of requirements.
That is requirements for registering them.
Take for example the “.org” domain name.
This type of domain name is not available to everyone.
If you’re an organization, only then you can sign up for a “.org” domain name.
Similarly, American citizens are the only people who can register domain name addresses that end in “.us”.
What if you fail to meet the requirements?
After all, these are just guidelines right?
It turns out they aren’t just guidelines.
Each given type of domain name will have you go through a registration and payment process.
If you fail to provide the correct information, the domain name will be taken away from you.
And then it will be released to the public.
It will go back to the huge pool of open and available domain names.
Therefore, potential customers should always pick domain names, TLD ones, for which they are eligible.
Otherwise, it is better to cancel the whole purchase process.
Is there anything else then?
You will need to have the correct information that comes directly from your web host.
That is, during the domain name registration process.
All of this will take place during the registration process.
Now, why in the world should you care about these two records?
There are two reasons.
The information you provide to these two records will be used to display the correct web hosting company’s server content on your domain.
You will have visitors right?
So you should try your best to make sure a user is served the most accurate information possible.
The information you provide will also be used to determine how the relevant email is dealt with.
When you sign up for a domain name and a web hosting service, you get this email address.
Now, you don’t need us telling you that sometimes emails will be sent to this email address.
Sometimes emails will be sent FROM this address.
You will receive some emails too.
If you don’t feed the system the proper information there will be errors.
You should also expect failures related to page-loads.
So do your best to furnish MX record and DNS with the right details.
What Are Top Level Domains? Or TLD (TLDcc, Sub Domains, And gTLD)?
To make this simple to understand let’s take a look at the following domain names.
- Y.co (a website that tries to sell you the prestige and freedom that comes with owning a yacht)
- Spain.info (says it’s the official website for tourism in Spain but don’t take their word for it.)
There are other examples for TLD as well.
These are what you call TLDs.
Most of these are available for the public to get registered.
But as mentioned before, there are some strict guidelines and regulations that you must follow in order to register these domain names.
Let’s say you want to register a country code top level domain such as .co.uk.
This is only available for people in the United Kingdom.
To everyone else, it is not available.
If you are not a citizen of the corresponding country of a country code top level domain, then you can’t have it.
Simple as that.
Moreover, all activities that are related to these domain names are governed by cyber laws along with other local regulations.
But that’s not all TLDs are for. Cool sounding website names.
These are also used to describe the essential characteristics of the given website.
Of course, not all domain name extensions convey this information.
As a general rule though, a website that ends with .biz is usually indicating that it is a business.
Whereas the .edu TLD is for education.
And hence is largely used by institutions such as school, universities, and colleges.
Coming to the .org TLD domain name, it is quite evident that it is usually used by organizations. Mostly public ones.
There are also other country code top-level domain names which are used exclusively for locations.
Want to know more?
We got you covered.
What Are gTLDs?
We’ll come to the definition some other time.
Right now you need to know this.
At this moment in time, there are probably more than a thousand generic TLDs (or gTLDs).
Most of these are open to the public for purchase.
These domain names includes the likes of,
And many many more.
If you are super interested in this concept then go to this website where regulators such as ICANN publish case studies (several of them).
What Are Country Code TLDs?
Nothing to explain here really.
Except for a long list of names.
The names in this list are known as country code top level domain or ccTLD.
- .ac .ad .ae .af .ag .ai .al .am .an .ao .aq .ar .as .at .au .aw .ax .az
- .ba .bb .bd .be .bf .bg .bh .bi .bj .bm .bn .bo .br .bs .bt .bw .by .bz
- .ca .cc .cd .cf .cg .ch .ci .ck .cl .cm .cn .co .cr .cu .cv .cx .cy .cz
- .de .dj .dk .dm .do .dz
- .ec .ee .eg .er .es .et .eu
- .fi .fj .fk .fm .fo .fr
- .ga .gd .ge .gf .gg .gh .gi .gl .gm .gn .gp .gq .gr .gs .gt .gu .gw .gy
- .hk .hm .hn .hr .ht .hu
- .id .ie .il .im .in .io .iq .ir .is .it
- .je .jm .jo .jp
- .ke .kg .kh .ki .km .kn .kp .kr .kw .ky .kz
- .la .lb .lc .li .lk .lr .ls .lt .lu .lv .ly
- .ma .mc .md .me .mg .mh .mk .ml .mm .mn .mo .mp .mq .mr .ms .mt .mu .mv .mw .mx .my .mz
- .na .nc .ne .nf .ng .ni .nl .no .np .nr .nu .nz
- .pa .pe .pf .pg .ph .pk .pl .pn .pr .ps .pt .pw .py
- .re .ro .rs .ru .rw
- .sa .sb .sc .sd .se .sg .sh .si .sk .sl .sm .sn .sr .st .sv .sy .sz
- .tc .td .tf .tg .th .tj .tk .tl .tm .tn .to .tr .tt .tv .tw .tz
- .ua .ug .uk .us .uy .uz
- .va .vc .ve .vg .vi .vn .vu
- .wf .ws
- .za .zm .zw
We don’t think we missed any but if we did you can always let us know using the comments section.
Sub Domain. More Like Sub Domain vs Domain. Or Domain vs Subdomain.
You can use any variation you want but the concept will remain the same.
Again, to explain this concept we’ll use an example.
Take the example of mail.google.com
You know that google.com is definitely the domain here.
Well, if that is really the case (and it is) then mail.google.com is actually the subdomain.
There are a couple of other differences as well.
Let’s talk about them for a moment.
You already know that a domain name has to be unique.
In other words, there can only be on Google.com.
Moreover, the domain name must be registered with an agent. A domain agent to be more precise.
Godaddy is one of those domain agents.
Subdomains are a little different.
Well. Anyone can use any type of subdomain by adding it to their existing unique domain name.
Of course, that is only possible if their web hosting company provides the rest of the services.
There are other people who simply refer to sub domains as the third level domains.
And that makes sense.
For some, that is.
It makes sense because after all, subdomains really consist of subfolders which are present in the root directory of the domain.
Most of the times, a subdomain is used to organize and manage the content of a website.
That can especially come in handy if your website offers content in different languages.
Or you have several services to offer.
Or simply want to divide your website into different categories as far as content goes.
But if you want to use this to your advantage and rank higher in search engines then we have news for you.
It doesn’t work.
Well, it doesn’t work sometimes.
Other times it could work for you.
But it is a generally known fact that Google, and some other search engines which we don’t want to name, consider subdomains to be independent of their domain names.
Simply put, subdomains are treated like domain names.
Your primary domain has no bearing on the status of your subdomain.
And vice versa.
What’s A Nameserver? Or More Appropriately What’s A DNS?
So we’re done with the first time i.e buying a domain name.
Now we’ll move onto the next step, the second step, which is to set up nameservers.
In other words, a DNS for the domain name we purchased in step one.
Now, the first thing you should know about DNS is that it is an acronym.
It is an acronym that is used quite commonly throughout the vastness of cyberspace.
But it can mean different things to different people depending on the context.
DNS can stand for Domain Name System and also Domain Name Server.
So how do we use it in a sentence?
If you’re alive and young in any given year after 2016, then you can pretty much use any word in any given sentence.
Grammar doesn’t matter anymore (because everybody is using Grammarly!).
But most of the time people may use the term DNS to say things like “ Can you help me to setup DNS for a domain name I just bought?”.
Or people may say “Can someone help me with the nameservers for the new domain name?”.
Make no mistake, understanding how exactly a DNS works is hard.
Probably the hardest part of understanding a website’s setup process.
Most people find the concept too abstract so we’ll make an extra effort to slow things down and explain.
In simple words that is.
How Does A DNS Actually Work?
If we remember correctly, we told you in the last section that a domain name (cnn.com) was similar to an IP address in the sense that it acted as an alias for the IP address ( 20.57.247. 186 for example).
So who exactly keeps a track of the information related to that process?
It makes sense that some entity has to put in charge of determining that cnn.com should point to, let’s say, 22.214.171.124.
Well, there is your answer.
DNS is what solves that problem.
On a practical note though, a lot of companies who sell you domain names also keep that DNS information.
With that said, there are also companies who only specialize in maintain and providing online DNS services.
One of those services is DNS Made Easy. Google it if you want to.
Mostly though, these companies have super computers.
These supercomputers contain information and track everything related to domain names and IP addresses.
These are called domain name servers.
Moreover, they also tell everybody else which domain name points to which IP address.
So in our case, a domain name server would tell the world of the internet that our new domain points to the IP address of the machine that hosts our brand new website.
Does that make sense?
Don’t forget that the new website we talked about just above is not hosted on the same machine as any other website.
In other words, a giant corporation like Google won’t have its homepage hosted on the same computer as ours is hosted on.
Domain names have this arduous task of guiding us and the people.
To what exactly?
To the correct computer.
When we type a certain address in our internet browser’s address bar we must be taken to the right website.
Domain names do that.
We now know that our website is not hosted on the same computer as Google.com, so where is it stored?
This is a good time to talk about hosting.
What Is Web Hosting
So what have you learned so far?
Right now, you should know two things.
You should know that we have purchased a domain name.
We now have, what we call, domain name servers.
These domain name servers ensure that our domain name is functioning properly.
But that we mean that it is routing potential visitors to our new website.
Of course, that will only happen when visitors themselves will type our domain name in their internet browsers.
Remember that a website is nothing but a bunch of normal looking files.
Take any website, and you’ll find that it is basically a combination of HTML files along with CSS files.
These files must be stored in a specific folder on a specific computer.
That computer must be connected to the internet.
The computer machine that has those files and folders is known as a server.
Because that computer basically serves our new website (more like files) to people who type in our domain name.
How does that process start then?
Basically, you pay a company to store your website’s files on a web server.
That web server is owned by that specific company.
When you do that, you’re essentially buying web hosting.
The company is hosting your new website.
And it is doing that through its servers which have your website’s files on them.
Now the setup is almost complete.
Or is it?
Do you know what exactly happens when you visit a specific website?
Let’s say our new website?
You probably don’t.
So let’s get into it.
Let’s say you open up your internet browser.
And then type in our new domain name into the address bar.
As mentioned earlier, the DNS will ensure that you reach the correct computer machine.
Which is the correct computer then?
By now you should know that the correct computer is the one that hosts your new website’s files.
All of this should be clicking in your brain right now.
You basically have three players.
- The hosting server
- A Registrar
- A DNS server
All three are connected to the same internet as the visitor’s computer and hence guide the visitor to the correct website.
What Is Web Hosting For The Complete Beginner
You already know that web hosting is kind of a place.
A place where users, people, store the relevant files for their websites.
To make it even easier to understand, imagine web hosting as a form of a house.
A house is a place where you have all your things (stuff etc).
But this house is slightly different.
You don’t have your regular furniture and clothes in here.
What you have in this house is a lot of files.
Most of those files are HTML files, images, documents, and videos.
All of these reside inside the house i.e the web host.
In web hosting parlance though, web hosting simply refers to a company.
A company that basically rents its servers (computer machines) which store your new website’s files.
And that’s why they are called hosts.
But that’s not all.
These companies also provide internet connectivity.
Now, why is that important?
Well, of course, you want other people to find your new website, don’t you?
To enable other computers (visitors to your house) have access to your website files, these companies have internet connectivity.
So is Web Hosting another name for Data Center?
But they are related.
Generally speaking, when a person talks about web hosting, he/she is referring to a server.
A server that hosts a website.
People also refer to the term web hosting when they want to talk about a hosting company.
As mentioned earlier, these companies basically rent server space to their clients. Clients like you and me.
So what’s a data center then?
A Data center is simply the place where the server exists physically.
In other words, it is used to hold/store the servers.
A data center could be as big as a room.
Or even a house.
In fact, it can even be located in an extremely large building or sorts.
This “large” building may have multiple backup power supplies.
It may also have surplus data communication connections.
If that wasn’t enough already then a data center may also have elements to control its environment.
Even to control the environment in case something goes wrong.
We’re talking about facilities such as air conditioning along with fire inhibition systems.
And since sometimes these data centers hold servers which store really important information, they might also have advanced security systems.
Different Types of Web Hosting
RIght now, there are only four different types of web hosting you need to be concerned with.
Of course, with the amount of pace at which technology is evolving, who knows how many types of web hosting we might end up with.
The four main types of web hosting are,
- Shared web hosting
- Virtual Private Server, or VPN, web hosting
- Dedicated web hosting
- Cloud web hosting
So how do these types of web hosting differ?
After all, they are all just that. Web hosting services.
While it is true that all different types of hosting servers have a similar function, they are also different in some respects.
All hosting servers are similar due to that fact that all of them,
- Function as storage points for your new website’s files
But they differ in many other areas. Such as,
- Server speed
- Technical knowledge needed
- Storage capacity
And hence each type of web hosting service warrants a section of its own.
So let’s go ahead and study the major differences between the four types of web hosting services.
Shared Web Hosting
- Medium performance
- Excellent server control options
- Most affordable option available
- Anybody can set it up. In other words, low amount of technical skills required
- Deficient security systems.
What Is Shared Web Hosting?
The name of this type of web hosting should be enough for anyone to understand the core concept behind the service.
Companies that offer shared web hosting basically place lots of sites on the same server.
Each server could host anywhere from hundreds to thousands of websites.
Most of the time, domain names use resources like RAM along with CPU from a pool of resources.
This pool of resources belongs to the company that rents its server.
Since shared web hosting doesn’t cost much, websites that receive a lot of traffic don’t sign up for it.
Shared web hosting is for websites that have low to moderate amount of regular traffic.
It isn’t a constraint but most of the sites that are hosted on shared web hosting plans tend to have a standardized software pre-installed.
If it wasn’t clear enough already then know that shared web hosting is an entry level hosting service.
By that, we mean that it is a kind of web hosting that requires very little technical knowledge.
And it is geared towards sites that don’t have operations as big as that of the Facebooks of this world.
The main disadvantage in signing up for a shared web hosting service is that there is no root access available.
Shared web hosting is also unable to manage levels of traffic that are high. It is also not efficient against traffic spikes.
Additionally, if there are many other sites hosted on the same server then it can affect your site’s performance as well.
Known Shared Web Hosting Service Providers
- A2 Hosting
- TMD Hosting
Virtual Private Server Web Hosting
- Excellent performance when compared to shared web hosting
- Strong security features
- High level of server control
- Relatively high cost
- A reasonable amount of technical skills required.
What is Virtual Private Server Web Hosting?
Again, as the name suggests a Virtual Private Server web hosting separates its any given server into many virtual servers.
This setting basically ensures that each website hosted on the same server is like a website that is hosted on a dedicated server.
Of course, in reality, there are still multiple sites hosted on the same server.
In other words, websites in Virtual Private Server hosting still share servers between themselves.
But sometimes this arrangement can result in sites sharing servers with a lot less other websites than in shared web hosting.
Users who host their sites on Virtual Private Servers, unlike in shared web hosting, have root access.
That is, root access to only their the virtual space occupied by their own website.
Moreover, virtual private server web hosting is better than shared web hosting also because it has a better hosting environment in terms of security.
Generally speaking, Virtual Private Server web hosting is for users/websites who want extra server level control.
So instead of paying through the roof for a dedicated server hosting, a Virtual Private Server hosting offers a much affordable choice.
That doesn’t mean it comes cheap though.
The main disadvantage in using Virtual Private Server web hosting is the same one as in using shared web hosting.
You get a web hosting service that can’t manage traffic levels that are high.
That also holds true for traffic spikes if you’ve written a great blog post and more people come to read it on your site.
Moreover, even though the same server has been divided into virtual ones, your website can still have performance issues.
These mainly occur because of the other sites that are hosted on the same server.
In other words, Virtual Private Server web hosting does provide some benefits over shared web hosting.
But these benefits are marginal ones.
Overall, both services aren’t suitable for websites that are expected to get a lot of traffic
Some companies that offer Virtual Private Server web hosting are as follows,
- A Small Orange
- InMotion Hosting
Dedicated Web Hosting
- Excellent performance
- Advanced security features
- High amount of server control available
- High cost when compared to Virtual Private Server hosting and shared web hosting. Or any other type of web hosting on planet earth.
- High level of technical skills required
What Is Dedicated Web Hosting?
In short, a dedicated web hosting is the one you want to sign up for if you’re looking for the maximum amount of control.
That is the maximum amount of control over your new website’s web server.
And you do know which server we’re talking about here right?
Of course, you could just scroll up a bit and read for yourself.
As a refresher though, the server we’re talking about here is the one on which your website is hosted.
In other words, the place where your new website is stored.
Remember the time when we told you that companies rent out their servers to websites.
And hence were called the web hosting companies?
A dedicated server hosting is the one when a company rents out a server exclusively for your website.
Your website is the only one that is stored on the entire web server.
In other words, the whole server is for your website’s to take and consume the resources of.
That’s pretty much all you need to know as far as dedicated server web hosting is concerned.
You get a complete server just for yourself and your new website.
All of the web server’s resources are at the feet of your website to use and benefit from.
Naturally, this is the type of web hosting that is best suited to websites that get a lot of traffic.
And since there is no other website hosted on the same server as yours, you don’t have to worry about performance issues that arise from other websites.
As indicated earlier as well, when websites are hosted on the same server, they can affect each other depending on the traffic and general installed software.
Surely there must be a downside to using dedicated web hosting?
Yes, there is one.
In fact more than one.
The first disadvantage of using a dedicated web hosting is that it is expensive.
You know that old saying.
With great power comes great responsibility.
Or was it, with great power comes greater cost.
Something like that.
But hang on just a minute.
Did we just say that dedicated web hosting is expensive?
Well, in that case, we misinformed.
Because dedicated web hosting isn’t just expensive.
It is very expensive.
Why do people sign up for dedicated web hosting then?
People, or organizations, that want to have the absolute maximum amount of control on the server side, should probably go for dedicated web hosting.
Also, websites that are hosted on dedicated servers tend to have little to no performance issues.
But you already knew that.
In any case, here are some companies you might want to check out if you want dedicated web hosting.
- TMD Hosting
- InMotion Hosting
- A2 Hosting
- Best performance when compared to any other form of hosting
- Good security features
- Reasonable technical skills required
- Not cheap. But definitely cheaper than dedicated web hosting
- Doesn’t offer the same level of server control as dedicated web hosting.
What Is Cloud Hosting?
Let’s get this straight off the bat that cloud hosting is probably the only web hosting you ever were going to sign up for.
Admit it already.
Let’s just say that cloud hosting offers something that no other type of web hosting can offer.
What is that exactly?
It is, the unlimited capability to manage the highest levels of traffic that your website may experience.
It can also take care of any/every traffic spike.
How exactly does cloud hosting does that?
And why haven’t other types of hosting copied the formulae already?
Well, to answer the last question first, we don’t really know for sure.
Each type of web hosting has its own disadvantages and advantages.
Let’s leave it at that.
Coming back to the question, how does cloud hosting do it?
It’s a slightly complicated process, so pay attention.
First, there is a cloud.
What’s a cloud you may ask?
For our purposes, think of a cloud as a group of servers.
These groups of servers pull together their resources in order to work together.
And when they work together they can achieve some incredible things.
We won’t talk about those incredible things just yet.
But know that when multiple servers are used to host a multiple number of websites, it’s a match made in heaven.
Figuratively speaking of course.
The reason is also pretty simple.
When multiple computers work together to carry out a single task, they can handle problems like high traffic levels and traffic spikes quite easily.
In fact, cloud hosting is suitable for any website that expects to have a lot of traffic.
It doesn’t matter if the site belongs to a niche blog or a giant corporation.
Cloud hosting can handle pretty much anything and everything that is thrown at it.
So is cloud hosting the end of the discussion?
If it can handle any sort of traffic and doesn’t cost as much as a dedicated server, surely it must be the “perfect” web hosting.
While cloud hosting offers unlimited resources as far as handling traffic levels are concerned, it doesn’t offer root access.
Of course, that is not true for all cloud hosting services.
But many cloud hosting setups don’t offer root access.
So what do you do if you want to sign up for cloud hosting but also want to have root access?
Well, there is a small hack.
Maybe we shouldn’t call it a hack.
It’s just a workaround.
More like, work on part of the subscriber.
In other words, you will have to change some server settings.
And then install the required software to have root access.
If you can’t handle any of that or don’t want to, then cloud hosting may not be for you.
And did we mention the cost?
Because even though it doesn’t cost as much as dedicated web hosting, it still costs more than shared web hosting and Virtual Private Server web hosting.
To put it another way, if you’re forced to ramen noodles on a daily basis because of your budget then cloud hosting is not for you.
Stick to shared web hosting.
But for greater performance, you will have to pay more.
There is no way around it if you hadn’t figured that out on your own.
Regardless, here are some cloud hosting service providers,
- A Small Orange
- WP Engine
- Media Temple
This was essentially everything you needed to know about web hosting and all its terms.
Now you should be able to browse the internet and learn more about web hosting and web hosting companies with confidence.