Web hosting makes a web server available to businesses with varying degrees of provider management. Customers host their websites on the internet through the web host’s server, which the web hosting provider is responsible for upkeeping.
Why would a company use website hosting?
Companies that aren’t fully equipped to manage their own web servers benefit from web hosting services so that more aspects of their website are handled by professionals. Some web hosting providers also offer technical support, which is useful for companies that need IT assistance.
Web hosting services also automate tasks that new website owners or small businesses need to develop their media presence, such as ecommerce plugins or developing quality branding. They provide security features such as network monitoring and SSL certification, too.
Common web hosting features
Web hosting providers commonly offer the following services and features:
- SSL certificates—give websites a cryptographic key set for Transport Layer Security (TLS/SSL), encryption for Internet connections
- Domain names—register and identify the website
- Email services—allow customers to send and receive email through their web domain
- Chat, phone, and/or email support or a help desk portal—troubleshoot or resolve website issues when they arise
- Ecommerce features, such as site templates and payment integrations—allow customers to sell products through their site
- Site building tools including WordPress or vendor-specific solutions
Types of web hosting services
Shared hosting, typically the cheapest form of web hosting, serves multiple clients’ websites on the same server. These sites share a set amount of RAM and processing power given by the provider. Shared hosting is good for small websites that don’t require as much bandwidth.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive, but it gives customers more resources because they have the whole server to themselves. Dedicated servers also require users to install more security features themselves, like firewalls. Dedicated hosting works best for organizations with higher traffic websites and IT teams that can configure websites independently.
Cloud-based hosting is typically distributed across multiple servers; clients’ websites can stay up when technology goes down because resources can be shifted to another server when needed.
Virtual private server hosting is similar to shared hosting because multiple websites share an underlying server, but users receive dedicated bandwidth, memory, and processing. The websites also sit on virtual machines. Virtual servers can be easily deployed, and their computing resources can scale more quickly than traditional hardware.
Web hosting providers
Bluehost, a great hosting choice for startups and enterprises alike, offers SEO services, social media marketing, domain names, and graphic design services.
InMotion helps businesses back up their data, stay PCI compliant, and transfer websites between hosting services.
Hostinger uses pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop editor to make website building easy for less experienced users.
SiteGround offers different choices for WordPress, WooCommerce, and cloud hosting, as well as security features such as IP address blocklists.
HostWinds offers customers four different types of hosting, including cloud and VPS, and features nightly backups and MySQL databases.
A2 Hosting, a good choice for smaller businesses, provides free SSL certificates and SSD usage.
Network Solutions offers ecommerce, email marketing, and web creation services, as well as domain registration.