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What is web hosting?

Unravelling the mystery

Web hosting is an online service that enables you to publish your website on the internet. When you sign up for a hosting service, you basically rent some space on a server on which you can store all the files and data necessary for your website to run properly. A server is a physical computer that runs without any interruption so that your website is available all the time for anyone who wants to see it.

Different levels of web hosting

The bigger your website is, the more server space you need. It’s the best to start small and when your site gets bigger, upgrade to a more advanced type of hosting.

Below are some of the different types of hosting available.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular option for web hosting and it’s an excellent solution for most small businesses and blogs. With shared hosting, you share a server with other clients of the hosting provider. Websites hosted on the same server share all its resources such as memory, computing power, disk space, and bandwidth.

Advantages

  • It’s the cheapest solution and only costs a few pounds per month.
  • It’s user friendly.
  • It’s quick and easy to set up.

Disadvantages

  • Traffic surges on other websites can slow down your site.
  • You have no control over the server settings or the resources it uses.

Optimised WordPress Hosting

Optimised WordPress hosting is like shared hosting, but with more server power and optimisation. Due to the highly optimised configuration, your site loads much faster and can handle a lot more traffic.

Advantages

  • It’s specifically configured for WordPress sites.
  • Caching software on the server increase website page speed.

Disadvantages

  • Can only be used for WordPress websites, so it will be an issue if you want to switch to another website platform, such as Joomla, in the future.
  • There’s little control over the server settings

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is the most reliable web hosting available as there is practically no downtime. With cloud hosting, your website sits on a cluster of servers and your files and resources are replicated on each of them. When one of the cloud servers is busy or has any problems, your traffic is automatically routed to another server in the cluster.

Advantages

  • Usually paid for on a rolling monthly basis.
  • There’s little or no downtime
  • It’s infinitely scalable (as the website grows you can easily add extra resources)

Disadvantages

  • It’s a lot more expensive that shared hosting.
  • It takes time, and a little expertise, to set up.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated hosting means that you have your own physical server that’s dedicated solely to your site. Therefore, dedicated hosting gives you incredible flexibility. You can configure your server as you wish, choose what operating system and software to use and set up the whole hosting environment according to your own needs.

Advantages

  • High reliability because you don’t share it with anyone else.
  • They come with root access to your server.
  • There are able to handle a lot of traffic.

Disadvantages

  • A little pricey, usually starting at a few hundred pounds per month.
  • You must have server technical knowledge to configure it.

Conclusion

Overall, web hosting is a service you need if you want to publish a website and build an online presence. We realise that this article only gives an overview of the different types of hosting available and that it’s important to choose a hosting solution that best suits your website, i.e. you wouldn’t need dedicated hosting for a small start-up brochure website. For more help and assistance, please do get in touch with us – advice is free, and we like talking to people!

Photo by Max DeRoin from Pexels

Posted in Help and Advice, Web Design Liverpool

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