What is Web Hosting? Learning the Language of Web Hosting



If you are looking to get a website hosted, then you’ve probably already spent a little time looking at different sites of companies that offer a range of web hosting solutions.

Web hosts come in a variety of sizes from small local businesses that may be renting their servers, up to huge multi national companies that have data centers and servers in locations across the world. Whatever the size, and whatever the company, the one thing they have in common is the service that they offer – web hosting.

Different Types of Hosting

You will most likely have noticed that there are different types of web hosting that are offered by hosting companies. These usually start with shared hosting, which is the most popular form of hosting due to its ease of use and the cost, through to more advanced solutions such as VPS (virtual private server) hosting or even a dedicated server.

The latter two are for more experienced users with large websites that have huge amounts of traffic and which need a lot of server resources. For most users, the shared hosting option is more than suitable, and will be the best choice when it comes to hosting your first website.

If you want to look through comparisons of different web hosts, then it’s a good idea to check out Fortune Lords, which is packed full of helpful information and advice.

Understanding the features

On most websites for hosting, you’ll see a huge list of all of the features that each type of hosting offers. A lot of this may make no sense to you whatsoever, and look like a foreign language.

Some of the information is actually very important, so it is a good idea to get acquainted with some of the technical language that web hosts use when describing their hosting options. Below we will take a look at some of the most commonly used phrases and terminology.

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Disc Space

This refers to the amount of space on the server that you can use for your website. It will include everything from the files that make up your website to your email accounts, databases and other server resources that you might use. Some web hosts that offer shared hosting accounts may put limitations on the amount of disc space they offer with each account, while some others may offer you an unlimited amount of disc space.

Data Transfer

This is often referred to as bandwidth, and is the amount of data that the server allows to be transferred to the user when they are browsing your website. Most hosts will today offer unlimited data transfer, though you still might come across an occasional host that does apply limits to data transfer. Some even have the data transfer working in connection with the number of visitors your site has a month. These are definitely hosts that you want to avoid working with.

Add-on Domains

This refers to the number of domain names that you can add to your hosting account. The domain name is the name that you will use for your website. Some sites will have limitations on the number of websites you can host, while others may allow a certain number, or place no limitation at all. If you are planning on running multiple websites, then you’ll want to find a host that offers unlimited (or a high number) of add-on domains being allowed with your account.

Website Transfer

If you already have an existing website with another host, and are looking to move away from them, then the hassle of having to move your entire website might be a daunting one. A lot of people put up with a poor performing web host simply because they are afraid of trying to move their website elsewhere. A lot of hosts will offer you a free website transfer, which means that you simply need to provide them with the details of your current hosting account, and then will take care of everything. Within a day or so, they’ll have moved your entire site over to their server for you to continue managing.

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WordPress Hosting

With WordPress being the most popular CMS (Content management system) in the world, and a platform that a high percentage of newcomers will make their first website with, then it’s important that the host offers the ability to host and run a WordPress website. Nowadays most hosts have no problems with WordPress websites, but if you are using one, take a second to be sure that the potential new host has no problems with such a site.

Free SSL

Security and privacy online are very important aspects of running a website, and a lot of emphasis is placed on the privacy that a website offers. Most websites today are running under the https protocol, which means that the data transmission from the server to the end user is encrypted and secure. If you are running multiple websites, then the last thing you’ll want is the additional expense of purchasing an SSL certificate for each website every year. Check with your web host if they offer “Let’s Encrypt” which allows you to create free SSL certificates for all of your websites with just a couple clicks of the mouse.

Softaculous Software

This is a software installation app that is offered by web hosts on their shared hosting packages that use the popular cPanel management system. It makes installing CMS such as WordPress, Joomla and also shopping carts a very simple and quick process. There are of course other ways to set up a WordPress website, but Softaculous just makes it such an easy process.

Money Back Guarantee

OK, so this is an obvious one, but it’s still important and something you should pay attention to. If you are unsure about a host, and simply want to try them about before signing up on a long-term contract, then you can check what their money back guarantee is like. Most hosts will offer you at least a 30 day money back guarantee, so it’s the perfect chance to make sure that their performance and support are up to scratch, and that they are providing the quality of hosting that you are looking for.

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Concluding thoughts

Making the right decision when it comes to web hosting is important. Sure, you can swap hosts if you end up working with a bad one, but the time involved in switching from host to host can add up, so you’ll want to make sure that the one you go with is one you’ll likely stick around and continue to use. Spend some time comparing different hosts, and try and find one that offers a good selection of hosting, has competitive pricing, and a good level of support. If they have that, then you can’t go far wrong.

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