What is a Web Host and Why Do You Need One?

Discover Your Web Host

Have you ever wondered why you need a good web host? And also, what’s important to know when making a decision?

Buying a domain name isn’t enough to run a website or blog. While most of you are aware of that, questions are still being asked. In today’s world, there are many different hosting companies but what are they exactly for, why do you need one, and how do you choose the best one?

Here’s some good news:

We will cover all the what’s, why’s, and how’s and we’ll end this guide with our list of recommended web hosting companies!  

Sounds good? Let’s get started and dive right into the first topic.

What is a Web Host?

You probably want to know the answer to this question because you’re about to set up your own  blog or online shop. Besides a domain name, you need a platform that is hosting your website.

You might be asking: “Why do I need web hosting?”

Well, we will get to that in just a bit.

First, let us explain what web hosting is:

Renting web hosting services is similar to renting a physical office or store. The building allows you to feature your products or services, whereas a web hosting company stores all your website data, thus people can visit your website and see your content online. Without web hosting publishing your website, people won’t be able to visit it.

Web hosting companies have huge servers ran by supercomputers in order to maximize network speed and capacity. When someone visits your blog, they connect to your web hosting provider, which has stored your blog’s files and then sends the available information back to their device.

When you rent an expensive store unit, it’s probably because of the quality, size, and perhaps location. Web hosting works exactly like that as well. You’re likely to pay more for a super-fast web hosting package with a large database size.

 

What Types of Web Hosts Are Out There?

There are many different types but we’ll explain the most relevant below:

Shared Web Hosting

As the name says, shared web hosting means that your website is hosted on a server together with other websites. It’s cheap and probably the best option for starters. Examples of well-known shared web hosting providers are HostGator, iPage and BlueHost.

Dedicated Hosting

This type of hosting is basically the opposite of shared web hosting. Dedicated hosting means that a server is dedicated to a single website. Sometimes big companies have an in-house dedicated server.

Managed WordPress Hosting

This type of web hosting specifically targets users with WordPress websites, managing the technical aspects of running a WordPress website such as security, speed, backups, updates, etc.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting connects individual servers and together they form one powerful server. The more servers connected to the network, the more powerful the server.

 

Is Web Hosting a Must?

Yes!

Well, you can use your own computer and internet connection to run a website, the list of disadvantages would however discourage it. Most importantly, it’s not powerful enough to run a website with many visitors.

That’s why you need the powerful server of a web hosting company that is able to handle a lot of visitors on your website.

What’s the next step?

 

Consider These Factors When Choosing a Web Host

When you’re looking for a store unit to rent, you’ll probably base your decision on a number of features of a unit and choose the best unit accordingly. Follow the same procedures when selecting a web hosting provider.

You definitely want reliable hosting for your website or blog. Up time and accessibility are important factors so your viewers can visit your blog anytime they want and access all areas of your website.

We’ve created a list of features that will help you to make the best decision for YOU.

Check it out below!

Themes & Site Builder Tools

It’s important to know whether the hosting provider has tools available that support you in order to build a website. Many hosting platforms offer free and paid site builder tools and themes.

Such site builder tools are extremely valuable because it means you don’t have to pay someone to build your website. Often for as much as $50 you can get an awesome responsive design, with the drag and drop feature so you don’t even need to know any coding!

User Experience & Features

Look for easy-to-use interface features and a clear control panel where all the important aspects of your website are centralized. You don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out every single option within the panel.

Entering the control panel for the first time might feel like your first experience with a smartphone. It seems complex and confusing at first but soon you realize it’s pretty simple.

Don’t be blown away when you’re a beginner! It’s will soon become old hat to you.

Status & Performance Analysis

Statistics offer unique insights into the performance of your website. Most hosting providers offer performance analysis tools but not always for free.

Google Analytics is an amazing tool to track website performance, however, it doesn’t give you any insights in how much disk space the website is using,  information in regards to the database or domain. Be aware of this because it’s a good opportunity to save some extra bucks when you’re starting.

Payment Applications

This is mainly important when you build an eCommerce website or another web shop. There’s a lot of variation between shopping cart applications and payment applications. Some web hosts only provide single shopping solutions whereas others are a member of shopping cart networks.

The latter one is usually best because you can choose between different options and select the best one for your website and audience.

Free Ad Credit

Well-established web hosts such as HostGator and BlueHost offer advertisement credits upon registering. It’s allocated for Google, Yahoo, and Bing ads and a perfect opportunity to get your name out there.

Branded E-mail

It’s a nice feature because it looks professional and in case you have someone working for you, you can simply give them a branded email as well.

Usually, when you decide to purchase the cheapest option, professional email accounts are limited to 5 or 10. While it’s unlimited for upgraded packages.

One-Click Installation Process

Most of the major players within the web hosting industry created very simple installation procedures. Typically within 4 or 5 steps you’ve registered an account and purchased a hosting plan.

A quick flashback to the 2nd feature, user experience. One-Click installation of applications contributes massively to the user experience. Most apps can be installed with literally one click, WordPress is a great example of this.

Support

Reliable customer support is very important. Especially when you’re running into trouble that causes downtime of your website. Downtime means no visitors and the potential loss of revenue. Make sure to check whether a web host offers 24/7 support and what support channels are available, such as E-mail, WeChat or WhatsApp, and/or telephone.

 

It’s Time to Assess Your Web Host Needs

Since you’re familiar with what web hosting is and have a list of features that will function as a benchmark tool, it’s time for the next step….

..figuring out what you need in a web host.

Think about factors that are important to you such as security, up-time, storage space, and page speed.

It’s important to decide on security measures, but keep in mind that you pay extra for such add-ons. Automated backups and SSL protection are add-ons to consider when starting out. It’s usually not very costly.

 

Identify a Web Hosting Company’s Reputation

Most web hosts claim to provide superior page speed and pretty much 100% up time. But is that really the true?

It takes too much time to test this yourself, therefore we recommend to go through reviews and statistics to get more insight information. Don’t limit yourself to read reviews on the company’s website only, refer to third-party websites with customer reviews too.

When you’re just starting out, shared web hosting plans tend to offer enough in terms of speed, price, features and storage space.

 

Are You Ready To Cut The Cord and Choose a Web Host?

Let’s take a closer look at the key players in the web hosting market!

BlueHost

One of the industry-leaders with outstanding performance & up time statistics, available at very affordable rates. We recommend considering BlueHost when you’re just starting out, especially due to their incredible tech support department.

HostGator

Next to BlueHost, HostGator is one of the industry leaders and have been around for a long time. Over the years they’ve developed very user-friendly interface features and incredible page speed. They’re probably head to head for the top spot with BlueHost. HostGator offers plenty of room for growth as well.

iPage

iPage is perfect for beginners. A very reliable web host with an incredible price-quality ratio. With many payment and shopping carts possibilities available, iPage is your friend when you want to build an eCommerce website.

SiteGround

A very innovative web host with very tech savvy founders. Outstanding security features with free SSL protection and free daily backups. They’ve developed “SuperCacher” to optimize page speed, performance, and up time. SiteGround has a monthly up time of 99.996%!

1&1

With a custom drop-and-drag website builder tool, optimized for desktop and mobile, 1&1 offers a very valuable and unique feature if you don’t have any experience building a site. In addition, page speed tests showed spectacular results. Lastly, their basic plan starts at an astonishing $0.99 per month!

The Ball Is In Your Court Now

The first step was to understand what web hosting actually is and why you need hosting services to run a website or blog.

Shared web hosting is what you should be looking for in case you’re just starting out. Price and feature-wise it’s enough to cover all your needs.

And remember:

Use our list of features as a bench-marking tool when you’re looking for a new web host. Feel free to add extra features if you want to be specific!

It all comes down to creating a list of preferred web host providers, maximum of 3, and then base your final decision on which web host suits your personal needs & preferences best.

 

What's Next?

We hope this article provided you with all the information you were looking for! Do you still have a question? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get back at you.

If you have decided upon a host, we can help you with WordPress installation. We have created step by step guides for installing WordPress with BlueHost, HostGator and iPage. Click on the guide of your choice below to get started!

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