As the world undergoes a severe digital transformation, small business owners and freelancers are seeing the need to have their own websites so as to offer their services and products online. One of the requirements for a website is web hosting. Another is a domain name. This article breaks down the technical jargons and shows you the different types of web hosting that you will find helpful.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows anyone to upload and publish web pages and other files to the Internet so they can be accessible on the World Wide Web via a Web browser. Web hosting is provided by a web host, or web hosting service provider.
When you pay for web hosting, you are paying for space on a server (a server is a connected computer on which web pages and other files are stored for access on the Internet). You are able to upload your web pages, images, videos, and other kinds of files to that server space.
Combined with a domain name (a website’s Internet address), anyone using a Web browser can access your website. Think of paying for web hosting like paying rent for an apartment. Think of a domain name like the apartment number and street address of your apartment. Your domain name is unique to your website.
Note that both web hosting and domain name are renewable yearly. Many web hosts also let you pay monthly for Web hosting.
What Are The Types Of Web Hosting?
In this section, we break down the 4 different types of web hosting that you need to know to get started.
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting in which you are allocated a small space, along with many others, on one server. Think of it like you and a group of friends renting an aprtment together. That is why it is called shared.
Shared hosting is perfect for small websites that do not have a lot of traffic, so if all you need is a basic website for starters, a shared hosting arrangement is what you need. Because it is shared, the costs are low. That’s one reason why people share an apartment – so that costs are shared among a number of people.
A disadvantage is that your website shares not only server space with other websites, it aslo shares CPU resources, RAM, and IP address with them.
2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS hosting is one step above shared hosting. In this case, the server is compartmentalised, and each website occupies its own compartment. Think of it liek an apartment. Multiple websites on the same server but in different compartments, so that the performance of one does not impact on the other.
Think of it like an apartment. You have your own private space with dedicated amenities like kitchen, conveniences, etc. You have full control of your own space. It is more comfortable. That is a good picture of VPS hosting.
Your website has its own dedicated space, dedicated RAM, dedicated CPU resources.
VPS hosting is ideal for websites that are recording a large amount of traffic and need dedicated resources without spending a lot of money.
3. Dedicated Server Hosting
This is the big daddy type of web hosting. Your website sits in a server all by itself. All the resources of the server are at its disposal. You have full control of the server, can install whatever software you want and customise it to your taste. You have full administrative access.
Think of a dedicated server like having a building block all to your self. The entire building is not shared with any other tenant. You are responsible for everything in there, and you have the highest level of privacy possible.
Dedicated servers are used by websites with huge amounts of traffic or those that require a high level of security.
Of course, this level of privacy, perfoermance and security comes at a huge cost. Dedicated servers are expensive to run, and only the most demanding of websites need bother with it.
4. WordPress Hosting
If you are hunting around for Web hosting, you will run into a type of Web hosting called WordPress hosting.
WordPress hosting is a purpose-built platform for users who want to build their website on WordPress. WordPress is an easy-to-use software for creating websites.
So, some web hosts offer WordPress hosting, and it is usually based on a mix of shared and VPS hosting. But the difference is that it offers you quick and easy installation of WordPress, so you can start creating yoru posts and pages within minutes of signing up.
Note that you can use WordPress on any of the other types of web hosting too, but you would have to install it yourself. With WordPress hosting, the instalation is automated and you just get on with publishing your content.
Another advantage of WordPress is that you do not need to hire a web designer to build your website. You can use anyone of the available free templates for your site. You can also pay for any of the thousands of commercial templates available.
WordPress web hosting is great for bloggers, news and magazine websites, and others who are familiar with WordPress and want to use it to create their business or personal websites.
The cost of WordPress hosting depends on the resources you need – server space, RAM, CPU, etc. This means, it costs anything from same as shared hosting to as much as what you would pay for a VPS.
If you are looking, here is a list of companies that provide VPS hosting in Nigeria.