An in-depth look at web hosting and how it works with your WordPress website
Web hosting is the service provided by web hosts to store files on their servers and serve web pages to users. Web hosts provide a number of services to their clients, including installing software on their servers and providing technical support. Web hosting services range from shared hosting, which limits the amount of space and bandwidth each user has access to, to dedicated hosting, which provides the most space and bandwidth for the cost. Some web hosts offer a hybrid of shared and dedicated hosting, with the ability to upgrade to a more expensive plan as your site grows.
What Does Web Hosting Include?
Web hosting includes everything needed to operate a website, from the operating system and web browser to the software and support services. Some web hosts include setup and support services during the hosting package, while others charge a separate monthly fee. Some web hosts offer virtual private servers (VPS), which are complete operating systems with the same level of support as dedicated hosting but with the added benefit of being able to run multiple websites on a single server. VPS hosting plans range from shared hosting to dedicated hosting with a VPS plan.
Types of Web Hosting
Web hosting comes in a number of different forms, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and cloud hosting. Shared hosting is the most common form of web hosting, providing a small amount of space and bandwidth for each client. Shared hosting is ideal for small businesses who want to test the waters with a website but don’t want to invest in a dedicated server. Each user on a shared hosting plan has his or her own account with limited access to the files and resources of other users.
Smaller Web Hosting Services
Small-scale and web page file hosting is the most basic, with files submitted by File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. Typically, these files are uploaded on the Web “as is” or with minimum processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) give this service for free, or site owners or businesses can get free hosting from other providers.
Free services, unlike premium hosting, may be limited and sponsored by advertisements. This hosting may be suitable for single-page and personal websites, but it may not be sufficient for business needs.
Large Hosting Services
Many major businesses require constant access to the internet in order to send files, email, and access other websites. For example, a business might utilize a computer as a host to deliver information about its products, services, and facilities for online orders.
A more complex site necessitates a more extensive hosting package that includes database support as well as application development platforms (such as ColdFusion, ASP.NET, PHP Java EE, Ruby on Rails, or Perl/Plack). Customers can use these services to install or create scripts for apps such as content management and forums. Additionally, to maintain the security of transferred data, most websites employ the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Choosing a Web Hosting company
If you’re just starting out and want to host a small website, a free web hosting service provided by your provider or a website hosting service like our Bluelight Hosting, which provides a free website with a limited amount of storage space, bandwidth, and functionality, may be sufficient. However, many larger websites are hosted on dedicated servers, which provide a high level of security and performance for a greater cost. When considering who to host your website with, it’s important to choose a provider that provides dedicated servers, rather than shared hosting, as the latter limits the amount of traffic each user has access to and the former provides the most. Some providers offer a hybrid of the two, with the ability to upgrade to a more expensive plan as your site grows.