Building websites is easy these days. Thanks to content management systems like Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, users can easily have a website ready to publish in a matter of hours rather than the days or weeks of old.
However, there is still one part of the website publishing process that remains like witchcraft to many – hosting. What is this mysterious practice and why do you need it? Read on to find out:
What is hosting?
In layman’s terms, hosting is way that your website gets to be served from your computer to the potential millions of other internet users across the globe. Essentially your website is just a bunch of files much like the other documents that you have stored on your PC or Mac, but for them to be viewed by hundreds or thousands of people at once they need to be served from something a lot more powerful than your average laptop.
What you need for the job is a web server. These are super powerful computers whose sole purpose is to get your files out to the wider world. Unfortunately these servers are not cheap, which is why hosting companies exist. These companies take on the expense of buying and maintaining web servers so that you don’t have to and then they sell space on the servers to you – the user.
That makes sense, but why do I need hosting?
Hosting allows you to become part of the World Wide Web. As we touched upon above, it is possible to do this from a home computer but the chances of your website remaining up for any length of time is almost zero.
By employing the services of a web hosting company you are buying into a word of extremely powerful computers with superfast connections. This allows the majority of reputable hosting companies, such as Host1Plus VPS server hosting, to provide you with very reliable site speeds and uptime, keeping your site available to anyone who wishes to view it.
Choosing your hosting
Generally, you have three options available to you. Shared hosting, dedicated servers and VPS hosting. Shared hosting is where one server hosts a large number of websites and it is by far and away the cheapest option. Perfect for individual blogs and personal sites, shared hosting gives people an affordable option if they wish to explore the wonderful world of web ownership.
However, if you are running a business, this short-term saving could cost you in the long run. Shared hosting can be unreliable, especially if you are expecting large volumes of traffic to come to your site. Dedicated hosting can prevent these problems but it comes at a price and is really only an option for companies with huge budgets and the traffic to warrant it.
For small to medium size businesses, VPS hosting is the way to go. Think of it as a hybrid of the two other options. It works by using a dedicated server that is split into specific percentages between a number of websites. This allows you to grow your business safe in the knowledge that you have sufficient resources to handle any upsurge in traffic levels.
As you do not have a whole server to yourself the costs are significantly lower than complete dedicated hosting, but you still receive a lot of the advantages.