The internet is an indisputable part of our lives. We use it for research, connecting with people, and showcasing our online identity.
With so many people going online these days, it’s a no-brainer to set up a website for your business.
But creating websites are only the tip of the iceberg.
Do you ever stop to think about how you put a website on the World Wide Web? Or maybe you’re wondering how they store so much data at the same time.
That’s where web hosting comes in.
An Introduction to Web Hosting
By definition, a website is a collection of related web pages sharing the same domain. They are stored in a server and are accessed through web browsers.
Now, what happens when you open a website?
Consider this simple analogy.
You’re buying from a pharmacy. You head to the counter and show the pharmacist your prescription. The pharmacist then checks the inventory, and if they’re available, gives the meds to you.
Accessing a website works the same.
Your web browser is the pharmacist that checks the inventory — which is the server — and hands back your request — or the web page — to you.
Your web hosting is the pharmacy that holds the entire inventory. It provides the server where your website is kept.
Why You Need Web Hosting
You can configure your personal computer to work as a server and store your website content.
But it’s more complicated than it sounds.
Most people don’t have the expertise needed to manage a server. For one, servers need to function 24/7 so people can readily access your website.
You also need to consider the latest software updates, high-speed (and costly!) internet connection, and regular server maintenance.
Who’s got the time for all that?
The more practical — and cost-effective — solution is a reliable web host.
Web hosts have an array of servers available for you to rent and store your website. They don’t just maintain your website uptime; they also protect your website from malicious attacks.
Some web hosts also provide bundled online solutions to go with your web hosting plan. These include domain hosting, email hosting, SSL certificate, and others.
Most of all, web hosts are managed by IT experts. By getting a web hosting service, you’re assured that your website is in the right hands.
How to Choose a Good Web Hosting Plan
To guide you, here are some factors to consider in a web hosting plan:
User-friendly hosting manager
A hosting manager is a panel where you manage your hosting.
It’s where you upload website files, manage your database, create email accounts, and more.
All these tasks are essential to your website, so you need an efficient hosting manager — one that’s easy to navigate and has all the tools you need.
Efficient data management
Your web host is mainly responsible for storing your website content and keeping it up and running all the time. Find a web host that does this best!
Ideally, your web host should be able to:
- Give you access to File Transfer Protocol (FTP), so you can upload your website code, images, and other files
- Provide you with fast and unlimited data, so your web server can handle multiple requests at the same time
- Backup your files in case of emergencies
So it’s good to have a flexible web hosting plan that supports multiple coding languages.
Easy app installations
If you don’t want to deal with the process of hard-coding your website, you have the option to install web applications instead.
Choose a web hosting plan that allows you to create a website in just a few clicks.
Get access to content management systems like Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal, or ecommerce platforms like Magento and AbanteCart.
Emails are a great avenue for your audience to reach out to your brand.
Most web hosting plans offer email hosting.
A good email hosting bundle provides email protection. This will scan any incoming emails for spam and viruses, protecting your website from any risks.
Regular site monitoring
Because your website needs to be up 24/7, it needs regular monitoring and protection from unwanted cyberattacks.
One of the ways to do that is through Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. This preventive measure shields your website from external attacks and keeps unwanted downtime at bay.
ConclusionWeb hosting is one of the first few steps to greatness in the interwebs.
Now that you know the basics of web hosting, it’s time for your brand to take centre stage on the World Wide Web.
Want to know more about how to take your business online? Read more of our educational guides here.