Web hosting is a service which provides space for your websites on the internet so that people can see them.
When you think of your website as your house, the hosting is like the land upon which your house sits.
You rent this space from your hosting provider whose job it is to provide websites with easy and always accessible entry to your sites.
Your website is made up of files containing text, images, content and videos. These files are stored by your hosting company on their large capacity computers called web servers.
When a visitor wants to see your website, your host will “serve” it to them.
In addition to web hosting, your site will also need a domain name. When using the analogy of comparing your website to your home, think of your domain name as the “address” of your site.
To access your site, your visitors will need to type your domain name into their browser to let your hosting company know to provide the access.
You can think of your website’s data files as analogous to your home’s furniture. Just like your furniture is housed in your home, your website data files are housed with your web host.
Domain names are purchased from a domain registrar. Pick the name you want for your domain, make sure it’s available and register it with a registrar.
The annual fee for domain names usually runs between $8-$12. If you register for several years at a time, instead of only one year, you can realize an additional savings.
The domain registrar we recommend and use is Name Cheap. Their fees are among the lowest in the industry and their service is outstanding.
There are numerous web hosting service providers. They each offer different levels of service and pricing plans.
Our recommended hosting provider is Blue Host. Their pricing is also among the industry’s lowest, coupled with outstanding service and plans to meet every budget.
They even have plans that are priced as low as $3.95 per month.
Web hosting companies offer other services besides simply hosting your websites. They usually handle all related maintenance work such as backup, configuration and disaster recovery.
Their work is extremely important to a marketer’s success because when your website is down, you’re essentially out of business.
There are several types of web hosting services:
Shared hosting is the most commonly used type of hosting. It’s the plan used almost exclusively by all new and aspiring internet marketers. As its name implies, it’s a common web server that is shared between many users.
It has both advantages and disadvantages:
- It’s the least expensive hosting solution available. Blue Host has plans for shared hosting starting as low as $3.95 per month.
- It’s terrific for entry level users because they usually don’t need a high performance hosting solution when first starting out.
- It’s the easiest to use. It usually comes equipped with all the popular bells and whistles necessary to get you off the ground.
- Your hosting is shared with others, but not on an equal basis. If one of the sites on the shared plan becomes very busy, it can slow down all the other sites on the same server.
- If your own site grows and has large numbers of visitors (which is good news), you may find that you’ve outgrown your shared plan and will have to look for another solution.
This is just like it sounds; the server is dedicated to you, and you alone. All its services and resources are for your exclusive use.
Once again, using the house analogy, a dedicated server is comparable to living in your own home, while a shared server is comparable to living in an apartment building with neighbors.
Dedicated servers come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages as well:
- You can customize your server to meet your specific needs. You set the hardware and software specifications.
- They are strictly dedicated to meet your needs without any sharing with unwanted neighbors.
- You have full control and can configure everything exactly how you want it.
- The dedicated server plan is more expensive than the shared server. Instead of splitting the cost among many others, you bear the entire cost yourself. The exclusivity of the dedicated server comes with a price tag.
- Dedicated hosting also requires a certain amount of internet technology know how, which is often beyond the abilities of the average internet marketer.
Cloud hosting is located partway between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
Cloud hosting is where several servers are inter-connected to each other and function together.
The needs of the site holders are met by this entire group of servers, as opposed to only one server as in shared hosting.
You only pay for what you use. As your business grows, you will feel confident about your ability to handle increased traffic and your ability to pay for the additional hosting usage.
With cloud hosting you can enjoy the benefits of a dedicated host without the heavy expense.
Cloud hosting also has advantages and disadvantages to consider when making your choice.
- Cloud servers offer great flexibility. Costs are based on your usage.
- You will have dedicated resources. The cloud plans come with dedicated bandwidth, CPU and memory. Even though you’re sharing server space with others, you’re not sharing resources.
- Since fewer websites will occupy the same servers, your site will have more resources at its disposal.
- With cloud hosting, since you pay for only what you consume and these combined servers have a large capacity, you will be able to scale up as quickly as you want. You won’t have to worry about your site crashing due to heavy traffic and going off line.