October 5th, 2020
It's a near-constant refrain that small businesses need a website. Despite the compelling evidence that websites benefit small businesses, around 36% of them still lack one.
For some business owners, the reason may stem from an old idea that building a website costs a lot. Custom sites can still cost a lot, but a basic website is very affordable.
Others may find the technical end of things intimidating. Terms like web hosting, domain registrar, and servers can leave people feeling a little out of the depth.
If that sounds like you, keep reading for a beginner's guide that sheds light on the question, "What is web hosting?"
What Is Web Hosting?
When you view a site on the Internet, your computer displays the information it gets from files. Somewhere in the world, a computer called a server has those files stored on it.
A web hosting company owns the computer where the files get stored or hosted. They make those files available for other internet users.
Every website has a domain name. That domain name acts like an address that points computers at the server where a company hosts the files for that site.
When someone enters the address into a browser, they're really giving their computer directions finding your files.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
In the case of a WordPress site, many web hosting services let you install it from a control panel on the host's site. The end result is the same in that you get files stored on a server.
When someone's web browser comes knocking on the server's door, the server lets the browser access and display the files.
Types of Web Hosting
There are several types of web hosting. A few common hosting options include:
- Shared hosting services
- Dedicated hosting services
- Cloud hosting services
Shared hosting is a popular choice for new websites because it's inexpensive. The tradeoff is that you share the resources with other websites on the same server. This can slow down performance.
Dedicated hosting costs a lot because you control an entire server. The upside is great website performance.
Cloud hosting splits the difference. The work gets spread out across networked servers, which keeps performance good. You bill depends on resource use, which makes budgeting tricky sometimes
Picking Your Hosting
Now that you can answer the question of what is web hosting, you face a different question:
"What type of web hosting should I pick?"
The best web hosting for small business is usually shared hosting since it's cost-effective. If your traffic increases enough that you see site performance issues, it's likely time for an upgrade to cloud or dedicated hosting.
Sectorlink specializes in web hosting. For more information or questions about our hosting services, contact Sectorlink today.