What is web hosting and do I need it?

So, you are eager to start your online business, that is great! One of the first things that everybody will tell you is that you need good web hosting. But what is it and why do you need it? Don’t worry, here you will learn everything you need to know.

​What is web hosting?

A web hosting is a service that provides storage for all resources of a website and also all the required server software – programming language, databases, email server, and more, and makes the website available on the Internet.

You can create a web server yourself and host your own site, but you need to make this server available online and keep it running all the time. That is not an easy task, so most people prefer somebody else to do it. So they go for a web hosting provider.

There you choose the resources you want, and the provider takes care of the whole infrastructure – the servers, internet electricity, software, etc.

The types of web hosting that you will probably face are:

  • Shared hosting. You share the same server with more people
  • VPS (Virtual private server). You share a server, but your site is isolated, and you have dedicated resources)
  • Dedicated web hosting. You have the whole server for yourself.

​Web hosting explained for beginners.

Your website (e-commerce site, blog, product portfolio, etc.) needs a place to “live”. The web hosting is like a long-term rental estate. You pay once per year or monthly, and you get a package with certain limitations.

The limitations are usually:

  • Storage space – how much space can all of your files be?
  • Bandwidth – how much traffic can you and your users generate interacting with your website?
  • The number of sites. How many sites do you want to host? Some people host multiple at the same “house”.
  • Database count. How many databases do you need? You will need at least one for your site. It will write there the information about content and users.
  • Server specification. How powerful server, and what part of it could you use? You can use shared web hosting and share a powerful server with multiple users like you. Each one gets a defined percentage of the whole computer. Also, the RAM (operating memory) could be limited for you. Better will allow you to have more rich websites without loading problems for the users.
  • Additional features. How many email account do you need? Do you require an SSL certificate for secure communication? What other extras do you need? Of course, having good customer support is always a great plus.

​Do you need web hosting?

Yes, you do need web hosting for your site. Otherwise, it won’t be available to the public. It needs to be hosted on a web server. You can either host it yourself on a computer with an Internet connection that you have, or you can use a web hosting provider to get the service.

​Conclusion.

Now you know what web hosting is, and you also learned why you need to have it. What follows now is to take a look at the providers. Think about what traffic you expect, how much you can afford to spend, and where your clients are located. Then get the right plan for you. Remember, if you are not sure, you can always start small and later upgrade to a better plan. The other, downgrading could be harder and more expensive.

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