Last Updated on Jan 6, 2022

Complete Guide to Web Hosting

Web hosting services are important aspects of your overall online marketing plan. A good web hosting service can make or break your business, blog, or promotion success. That’s because the web hosting service is how you gain high search rankings, more traffic, and, eventually, more customers.

There is much to consider when choosing a web hosting service from the resources and storage each offers to customer service. It can be a big decision but can be broken down into specific needs for you to consider each aspect.

Web hosting, in simple terms, is a provider that supplies what you need to have a website. It involves many more details than that but the crucial part of web hosting is having a server so those with websites can publish their content.

Otherwise, you would need to set up your own private web server and that is impractical as well as expensive for many people wanting a website or e-commerce site. The web hosting alternative is cheaper, although pricing will range, and comes with customer support and help in creating your website.

Choosing the right web hosting provider is important because you don’t want to change service providers for a long time. Changing providers can be a bit of a hassle because of transferring the domain name, not to mention all of the files stored on the server.

It is also challenging to make sure the new website is up and running right after the other comes down. Internet downtime can kill a business.

Several factors are involved in choosing a web host provider. While cost can play a role, you shouldn’t automatically go with the cheapest option because your business or blog may need more than that.

Experts state to look for the three S’s when looking at web host providers.

  • Speed
  • Security
  • Technical Support

One of the key features anyone looking for a web host needs is speed along with scalability. Customers demand quick online response times. Being able to increase your information highway or scalability, is also important. In other words, you will need to be able to upgrade your website as your audience grows. A good website host can manage a sudden burst of traffic because that is inevitable.

Security is a big issue for those who are selling things or seeking donations online. You must protect your customer’s or donor’s private information. Customers and donors like it when they know a website they are using has proper security validations listed on its front page.

Something else to consider when looking at web hosts is how much customer support you require. Those who have never built a website or don’t have a designer will need a significant amount of help.

Beyond that, the main thing to consider when choosing a web hosting service is how much customization you need. That depends on your branding, your purpose, and your content.

Technically, anyone can set up a public webpage from any computer. However, that will serve no real purpose because no one will set it. The only people that see that kind of webpage is if you publish the incredibly long code and people put that code in their browser. It will not be listed on any search pages.

This is one reason you need a web hosting company. A web hosting company does all the technical tasks on the backend of the system to ensure your page is available on the internet.

Business owners should be aware of all the reasons why a web hosting company can contribute to a successful enterprise.

Backup and security

A web hosting company will automatically back up all your information. This means you can restore your webpage easily if there is a malware or hacker attack. This ensures you won’t have a permanent loss of data.

Any website is vulnerable to a potential attack. A good web host has security to prevent viruses, malware, and hacks. This is important if you are running an online business with customers’ information.


A good web hosting company will provide you with the speed you need. It is a fact that a slow-running website deters customers from staying on it and that means lower conversions.

It is also important for a website to stay up even on high traffic days and a good web host will make sure that happens and fixes the problem if a crash occurs.

Search engine rankings

One of the most important reasons anyone should have a web host company is to make sure your page ranks high in search engines. This includes implementing search engine optimization (SEO) and other good practice protocols that many non-computer people don’t know about or understand.

Getting a business email address

Web hosting companies offer customized email addresses that make your business look more professional. It also can give you multiple email addresses so each team member can have their own address.

Web hosting, in simple terms, is a provider that supplies what you need to have a website. It involves many more details than that but the crucial part of web hosting is having a server so those with websites can publish their content.

Otherwise, you would need to set up your own private web server and that is impractical as well as expensive for many people wanting a website or e-commerce site. The web hosting alternative is cheaper, although pricing will range, and comes with customer support and help in creating your website.


Shared hosting plans are kind of like the party line of the internet. Multiple websites share server resources like CPU, disk space, and the control panel (Cpanel) to reduce costs. It is a basic form of web hosting and one many beginners use because of the cost savings and simplicity.

It is the cheapest to use and is also the easiest to create a website. These web hosting options are built for beginners so it is well-organized and things like layouts and fonts are preconfigured. You just press some buttons to upload content and set formats.

With this system, you can have a website up and running in under 30 minutes.

The disadvantage of using this type of web hosting is in speed, the flexibility of the website, and handling increased traffic. Most website features on shared hosting systems are simple without a lot of fancy transitions and fonts. Those who have a lot of traffic will likely see a crash because these systems are meant for slower traffic growth.


Managed hosting is a good alternative for those who either don’t know much about a website or who rather someone else does it. It includes not just web hosting but someone dedicated to maintaining your site.

That includes making sure it gets technical updates, meets all the criteria search engines require, and can even include uploading content depending on the service you hire. Such services cost more than just a basic web hosting package but could be worth the cost of maintaining the most professional site is important to you.


This stands for Virtual Private Servers. In this plan, the website owner gets their own virtual server within a shared hosting system. This is similar to having a private chat room within a message board. This provides better performance, so you can have more traffic and features. It also provides for more security.

Specifically, VPS hosting gets you many benefits of a private server but at the price of a shared one. It is highly functional with many helpful tools and is user-friendly in its navigation. It has one-click features so even beginners can use it. Site management is also easy because it has a clean interface.

Many of the larger web hosting providers have this feature as a way to individualize websites for clients and offer more protection. The disadvantage is it does cost more than a traditional shared site.


Cloud hosting utilizes the practically limitless benefits of the cloud. That means more technology at your fingertips. It also includes VPSs which provide more security. Overall, the system allows for top-rated performance and scalability.

With its scalability, you will not run out of cloud space because you can always add to it as you grow. Another positive feature is unmetered bandwidth. This means your site will always be up and running and won’t crash with a server failure.

The downside is cloud hosting is still relatively new and information pushed into a public system like a cloud system could be compromised.

Dedicated server

Those who have a dedicated server want them for three reasons:

1. Security. It is harder to hack a dedicated server although it is still possible.
2. Performance. Those with their own server don’t have others slowing down their speed or features. It is like having a four-lane highway all to yourself.
3. Impossible to cancel. Some e-commerce business owners and podcasters have experienced web hosts canceling their contracts because the hosts didn’t like their politics or what they were saying. Others suddenly lose followers because web hosts decide to limit their reach.

Many of these people invested in dedicated hosting to ensure they stay up and running and don’t have their followers deleted by web hosts.

There are three positives to getting a dedicated server.

  • First, your hardware and software can be customized to meet your exact needs. Those who have a lot of products on an e-Commerce store or who have a combination of written and video content may benefit from this type of customization.
  • Second, a dedicated server has unlimited resources. You have all the server space instead of a limited one because you aren’t sharing with anyone.
  • The third benefit is that you have full control. You can set up your website any way you want, use the plugins you want, and have complete control of those using and administering tasks on it.

Dedicated servers are expensive and most can’t afford them starting out. You should weigh the risks of your website or business is canceled, the type of traffic you expect, and how much growth you anticipate before you decide to go this route.

The cost of getting a web hosting service can vary, but most are fairly reasonable. A shared web hosting company can be as low as $2.49 a month and typically stays under $7 monthly.

VPS is the next affordable option with a standard monthly cost falling between $20 and $30. However, some web hosting companies are charging as much as $700 and higher.

The cost of web hosting depends on your needs. Calculating the cost involves what kind of website you have, the amount of traffic you have, and if you require extra services like email accounts and automatic backups.

One thing to look at too is introductory offers. Most web hosting services offer specials for new customers. This could be a month free or three months at an incredibly reduced rate, free domain names, free emails, and other associated features. It pays to look around and consider if any of these specials work for you.

Experts have several pieces of advice for those seeking hosting solutions.

Avoid a lock-in

You don’t want your site locked into a single host. You never know when a service is acquired by another or goes under new management, so you need to be able to move your business if needed. These types of situations happened over the past year as Apple de-platformed Parler and podcasters suddenly lost their platforms. The easiest way to avoid these types of problems is to choose a portable content management system and have a backup plan ready to save your files and upload them somewhere else quickly.

Beware of offers with unlimited storage or bandwidth

This falls under the “if it is too good to be true” category especially if the package is a cheap one. Cases like this typically include a provision for the hosting account to cut your performance or close you down when you reach a particular level of usage.

Always own your domain name

You can change providers easier and keep any of the advantages SEO brings to your domain name if you own it. Those who don’t find crafty people will buy it up should it come up for sale and then want to charge you thousands of dollars to sell it back to you.

You might consider creating your own website, but you might not be familiar with all the terms you will come across in your research. Here are a few to know:

  • Servers: Computers that store data and information to host web applications and websites.
  • Domains: The identifying name of a website to give people access.
  • Subdomains: This refers to when you set up different websites under your one domain name. This can be a blog site for your e-commerce site or a new inventory site within your website.
  • Top-level domains (TDLS): These are what is at the end of a domain name to direct it to a proper site. These are .com, .net, and .gov but there are many others from which to choose.
  • Bandwidth: This refers to how much data your site can send and receive from the server. This identifies how restrained you are in resources.
  • Content Management Systems (CMSs): This is software that helps you build and maintain your website files. These include tools and instructions on how to create and manage your website.
  • Front End: This refers to what you see on the website, uploading content, and its design.
  • Back End: This refers to tasks and management done beyond the webpage that can include data, backup, code writing, improving search engine ranking, and similar tasks the public never sees.
  • Website builder: Many website hosting services offer website templates that don’t require any HTML or coding experience.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization can improve your online presence by helping your site rank higher on search engines.