20 Feb what is web hosting
What is Web Hosting and How to Choose One
Before we dig into inquiring about what is web hosting, let’s just understand what it actually means, and how important it is to select a suitable hosting plan.
Let’s just assume that you made a website or wrote a blog for instance on Wedding photography. Now you have arranged the pictures to be displayed and written few lines about your work. This is the content of your website or blog. This content is a digital entity which requires digital space to be saved as it is. Now you want to publish everything on the Internet. You need a computer with unlimited storage space to house your content and some bandwidth to display it online whenever someone visits your website or blog. What is bandwidth you ask? For now think of it as your website’s memory, that affects the speed of your website.
This computer that houses your files is known by the name of Server in the industry. These are high performing machines, something close to a regular computer that you and I have, but way better in terms of capacity, speed and performance. They mostly run a not so User Interface friendly operating system – ‘Linux ‘ so they become considerably difficult to operate for a layman. And they are very expensive as compared to a regular PC or a mac. But the best part is that you never need to buy a server for your website and go through all the trouble of managing it yourself. There are companies which have this infrastructure setup for people like us and we can use it for a usually small fee. It’s just like paying rent for the accommodation that for now we couldn’t afford to buy.
Now these companies who offer shared hosting also offer related services to make sure your website is always up and running just the way it is supposed to be.
While choosing a hosting plan these things are what you need to consider to create a hassle free environment for your website, so that you can concentrate on your core business for which you want to create a website in the first place.
- Disk space and bandwidth : Usually the disk space required to host a small blog or a website is less than a GB, though it is completely dependent on your content, more content means more disk space. The good news is almost all the paid subscription for hosting services provide unlimited disk space and more than good enough bandwidth to host your stuff.
- Number of Domains allowed : These are the number of websites you can run under a single hosting plan. Usually the number varies from just 1 to unlimited. Though it completely depends on your requirement, but I would recommend going for a plan that allows you to host multiple domains. If you do everything right, expansion of your current business won’t be that hard or far away, and you would need multiple domains to increase traffic.
- Number of email accounts allowed : Owning your own domain or a blog is cool, what’s even more cool and important is having multiple or at least one official email address run on your domain. Example email@example.com. This creates a professional appeal for the site visitors and your blog followers. Mostly hosting companies offer a single to unlimited number of email accounts based on the plan that you choose. Though it’s always advisable to choose the one with multiple email accounts as you gonna need multiple email accounts for your employees as well. Just makes your work a lot streamlined and easy to manage.
- Support : While buying a hosting plan always check for the kind of support they promise. It could be via live chat, how to articles, FAQ, forum, community, or voice support. Though when you buy hosting from a provider, the initial support is streamlined and good enough to get you going without any further help. But it’s always a good idea to have someone to back you up, if anything goes wrong.
- Price : Last but one of the most important thing is the price that you pay for your hosting. Now this is a big range starting from about $5 to up to $1000’s per month or even more. Again depending on the requirement and what extras the hosting company has to offer. Though for the start you don’t have to worry about a high price because the higher price plans are mostly cut out for big enterprises. For a small company website or a more than basic blog you just need a basic plan. So just about $5 to $12 a month would be enough to get you going. Hosting service providers also have yearly, 2 year and 3 years plans which are almost everytime discounted and provide great value for money. So if you believe in bringing your business online and profiting from it for a long term, I would recommend going for a longer duration plan to save a considerable amount of money in the long run.
Extras : Though basics would be the right term for this group of things but I would still call it extras because you don’t have to beat your brains around these things a lot. cPanel, Installers, etc are few things that every good hosting service provider would provide you, even with the most basic plans they offer. Wondering what cPanel means? Well cPanel is the control panel for your hosting account from where you can manage everything.
So that nearly sums up all the basic things you need to consider before buying a hosting plan for your new blog or website.
One more important thing worth a mention is the contract type. That means how long are you bound to pay for hosting and if not happy, is there any refund possible. Now mostly all good hosting providers would provide a money back guarantee that adds to the value and reduces risk.
Let me make it even more simple for you to make a decision and start on finally owning a website.
We at WebistOtle have tried and tested many different hosting providers and we recommend BlueHost because of its Reliability, Price, and Extremely effective Support.