A website is a collection of files and media. To access these files over the internet, the files must be hosted using software called a web server. Web servers serve the files and media to the user.
This software can be hosted locally on your personal computer, but often as running a computer 24/7, and slow internet connections are a major factor, data centres are used instead. Companies offer website hosting services from these data centres.
You register a domain name, buy a web hosting service and upload your website files to it. This process puts your website live on the internet and available around the globe on the world wide web.
Although the hosting industry is one of the fastest-growing technology services in the world, there are several different types of web hosting providers available to you. With thousands of web hosting companies competing for your business, understanding the different kinds of web hosting can quickly become quite confusing. Think of your web hosting plan as an evolution of services that can accommodate your growing online business.
It can be difficult to determine can type of web hosting service is best for your website, and this article will help you make a choice.
Without web hosting, you cannot host your website on the internet, and without a domain name, it will not be possible for people to find your website. To make your web pages public, you need both a domain name and a hosting web account.
Purchasing a domain name alone only gives you the right to use a particular domain name for a certain period, usually one year. Still, as an owner, there is a grace period after the domain name expires for you to renew it.
Shared web hosting offers a cheap entry point for smaller websites. Shared web hosting has a lot of caveats, so please read our article on shared web hosting to find out more.
VPS hosting offers a broader range of services for a website, and better performance, read our guide on what is a virtual private server.
Cloud hosting is virtualised hosting spanning multiple dedicated servers. The benefits of cloud hosting are performance and availability - if a dedicated server fails, the workload is transferred to working hardware.