Web hosting or simply hosting is a service enabling businesses or individuals to have a live website over the web. Just like in the physical world, one needs a store or shop to showcase their products and services to the customers, in the online world, one needs to have a specific space over the web to provide customers with a business-specific website. Often, getting a space on the internet needs professional expertise. In the world of tech, this space is called a server. A complete website, including its web pages and data, is stored on a server or as it is known the other way, hosted by the server. Servers provide a space for the website to get viewed and hosted on the web. The whole process of viewing and accessing a website is made possible by servers. They store the website files and fetch them for the user when asked for through a simple query from search engines. Now, you have a server but how will the user know your server’s address to view or access your website or web pages? This is taken care of by domain name, which we are going to explain next.
A domain name is your specific address over the web. Your website domain or address is typed on search engines and servers are then called on for the files of the typed domain name and Bingo! The user sees your website. All this happens very fast. Domain names can vary according to the type of website, country the business or service providers of business located in, and various other factors. A domain name carries complete information about the related website because just like our residential addresses, domain names provide complete addresses of websites and webpages. www.abcbusiness.com is a typical example of a domain name. Let’s dissect it:
It stands for the world wide web and is a collection of the information that websites or web pages store in the form of images, documents, graphics etc. on web servers.
This is the core business name. This varies for every business and sometimes if two businesses operate with the same name, the unavailability of domain names pushes businesses to go for slightly different domain names. Example: nyxnails or nailsnyx.
- . com
This reflects the country of origin (or the targeted region) and varies according to the country the business or website operates in. For example, domain names ending with .in are India-based businesses while the ones ending with .uk operates in the UK. Along with these basic variations and information coded in domain names, other important domain name extensions could be .gov, which are government websites, or .info, which are information portals, and so on.
What is a Web Hosting Service Provider?
Web hosting service providers are the professionals that assist you throughout the process of buying a domain, hosting a website, and also maintaining the files on the server. These are professional organizations that make the whole process of hosting your website a hassle-free affair. One can expect the following services from web hosting service providers:
- Domain name purchase.
- FTP files upload.
- Email accounts to run business with an official domain.
- Website building tools.
- Website management.
- Database management.
Some web hosting providers also offer content hosting and other types of hosting. If you want to host a website in just a few steps, opting for a competent service provider can save you on costs and efforts.
Top 5 Web Hosting Services
Being one of the best web hosting service providers, BigRock has a massive user base. It is efficiently hosting over 6 million websites with optimum operational data centers, which ensure high-speed of websites and webpages. It doesn’t compromise on security and provides complete security to website data. BigRock provides customers with 20GB HDD space, 100 GB data transfer, built-in c-panel, email accounts, and advanced features. It is widely known for providing the best customer support and customer satisfaction. It has specific plans for .com, .net, .in, and .biz domain extensions. Downsides:
- It does not provide stable support for international clients and so far works fine with Indian domain names only.
- Does not support SSL-certified websites or webpages.
Hostinger is serving clients all over the globe with its stable and robust services. It has advanced and updated amenities with website hosting. It can support and manage any type of website with rapid solutions, cost-effective pricing plans, and efficient customer support. Features:
- 20 GB of free storage.
- Free domain names.
- 99.9% uptime.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Integrations with Cloudflare CDN (for content hosting) and Github.
- Access to Zyro for website building.
Despite offering immense benefits and affordable pricing plans, the lack of website backup management in basic plans limits its popularity.
HostGator is one of the stable providers of web hosting worldwide. Its list of essential features makes it the go-to web host for businesses of all scales. It can be a reliable solution for hosting services. It provides a one-click WordPress installer, free SSL certificate, unlimited email IDs, uptime of 99.3%, and more. Its 24*7 available customer support increases its popularity among businesses. For increased satisfaction and delivering a hassle-free experience, HostGator also provides free site migration services for all new accounts. Not only this, it provides customers with a bountiful offer of a 45-day money-back guarantee that elevates trust and security.
MilesWeb is an ideal web hosting service provider for new website owners as it provides detailed and continuous user support. It has established data centers in the US, the UK, and India. It is available for both Windows and Linux . It provides a good range of website hosting services, including dedicated servers, shared hosting, and VPS. It also issues an SSL certificate for websites for free. With an uptime of 99.9%, MilesWeb is known for providing stable support for e-commerce retail websites as well. Benefits:
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 24*7 customer support.
- Easy configuration for WordPress websites.
Being in action since 2003, Bluehost is popular for offering stable and reliable web hosting solutions. It provides advanced and updated solutions for web hosting. It mitigates any speed loss and security issues in websites. Features:
- 50 GB SSD space.
- Unlimited data transfer.
- 30 days free access for Office 365 mailbox.
- Spam protection.
- Free SSL certificate.
- Friendly for both Windows and Linux hostings.
- Allows easy customization and scalability.
Bluehost operates with an uptime of 99.99%. It has widely served the affiliate marketers and bloggers for easy, rapid, and reliable management of individual and multiple websites.
Types of Web Hosting Services
Now you have the answers to the questions, “What is web hosting?” and “What are the best web hosts?” As businesses have different needs, customer expectations from websites and web pages also vary. To cater to everyone’s needs and business demands, we have different types of web hosting services, detailed as follows:
1. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting provides a complete server to rent. It is ideal for websites with huge traffic and a massive user base. Dedicated hosting works best when more stringent server control is needed. Along with full server control, dedicated hosting ensures greater self-service server administration amenities. Having complete control over security, software and files, this type of hosting is flexible and reliable. This is, however, quite expensive and complex. As such, this type of web hosting is strictly not recommended for beginners.
2. Shared Hosting
Let’s share a server! Yes, that is shared hosting; when many websites are hosted on the same server. Any web hosting service provider can easily help businesses with shared hosting. Its low prices and easy management makes it a fit for low-budget and new businesses. Shared hosting is widely opted by individual websites as it provides reasonable features with that too at a pocket-friendly price. It also fits well for small to medium-sized businesses with low to moderate website traffic. However, if you operate a website with huge traffic, you must go for dedicated hosting.
3. VPS Hosting
VPS or virtual private servers are virtual servers that appear to be dedicated but are a shared servers in actuality. The term “virtual” means not real thereby, the server seems to be dedicated to the user but is hosting multiple websites in reality. In VPS hosting, clients can have complete access to their “virtual” dedicated servers. It thereby avoids the high prices associated with dedicated servers but provides similar flexibility and security.
4. Cloud Hosting
It was only a few years back when cloud hosting gained its popularity and since then, it is fueling web hosting solutions for businesses of every scale. Cloud hosting runs on many interconnected web servers supplying affordable, reliable, and efficient solutions for hosting. Its scalability and unmetered, dependable bandwidth with infinite disk space for multiple domains make it a great web hosting option. It has increased security and efficiency fueling its popularity and rapid adaptability in today’s market. It is one of the best methods of web hosting for resource-intensive applications or heavy websites having a large size of images, content, etc.
5. Reseller Hosting
It is the type of web hosting that allows account owners or resellers to use their own hard drive space and bandwidth to host a website on the behalf of third parties. The account owners are known as resellers as they are reselling their hard drive space to specific third parties. Reseller hosting is often chosen when the amount of space purchased on the server isn’t required. This sharing of resources like bandwidth, disk space, CPU, etc. helps both parties. It also has increased advantages for multiple domain holders.
Web hosting is critical for businesses operating online or offline. A customer often comprehends the idea and approach of a business through its online presence. In such a scenario, for a healthy impression among customers, the right hosting is vital. It can decide your website’s speed, loading time, stability, data management, database integrations, and whatnot! One can plugin to professional hosting service providers for dedicated and reliable solutions. Choose a hosting service provider according to your budget, amenities required, and the needs of the business. If you are a business with vast website traffic and a freehand budget go for dedicated hosting but if you are a budding business with budget constraints, opting for cloud or VPS hosting can be a smart solution. If you are just starting out, try shared hosting.
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