When you ask people how to make your own website available on the internet, oftentimes you may hear people talk about something called hosting a website. But what does it actually mean?
Put simply, web hosting is a service provided by web hosting companies which allows anyone to publish their content on the World Wide Web and while it’s possible to turn your own computer into a web host, it’s usually not recommended due to the increased security risks that come from making the contents of your computer available to the general public.
These security issues along with the limitations of your internet connection speed, not to mention the possibility of a hard drive failure, are the main reason why most people prefer to upload their data (website and its contents) on a professionally managed, safe and secure remote server (a web hosting service).
How to choose web hosting?
With hundreds of different web hosting companies to choose from, it’s understandable if it can get a little overwhelming, but don’t worry- the guys over at top7bestwebhosting.com have put together a well researched web hosting providers comparison list and bring out the pros and cons of some of the most popular web hosting companies available.
I can tell you from my own experience that it’s not always a good idea to just go with the cheapest possible service because while the price may look sweet, the service itself will most likely be lacking something important with bandwidth and disk space limitations being the most common problem.
If you have a choice, it’s recommended to go with shared hosting at least in the beginning because it’s fairly cheap with most packages costing less than $5 per month and to be honest, shared hosting will be more than enough for your average website.
In case you didn’t know, shared hosting simply means that your website shares the disk space with other websites on the same physical server.
Shared hosting or Dedicated hosting?
Bigger web hosting companies have the capability of providing dedicated hosting packages for their clients. Dedicated hosting means that you lease out an entire physical web server all for yourself and no other website will have access to it.
For most people, this is unnecessary because dedicated hosting packages usually go for a lot more than a simple shared hosting with the prices reaching well into the hundreds of dollars per month area.
While shared hosting will be your best option if you’re simply looking to host a WordPress blog along with various plugins like WooCommerce, for example, a dedicated server will come in handy in case you want to publish adult material on your website or do something else that requires more processing power than normal (ie. hosting your own online game server).
Another example where you may need to switch to using a dedicated hosting package is when your business reaches a point where you have so many users online at any given time that it is starting to hurt other websites hosted on the same shared server by using up all the available memory and bandwidth.
Most hosting companies will usually send you a notification about it as soon as they detect such anomalies, but unless you’re as big as Amazon, Facebook or Twitter, you shouldn’t really worry about it.