What is Web Hosting? A Complete Guide for Beginners in India

Without hosting, your website remains invisible online.

This ultimate free guide is designed for anyone who’s new to web hosting and wants to learn:

  • What web hosting is and why it’s crucial for your website’s existence.
  • An overview of various types of web hosting with their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Essential tips for selecting the right hosting provider for your needs.
  • And much more!

Ready to unlock the secrets of web hosting? Let’s dive in!

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows you to publish your website files and make them accessible on the internet. 

When you purchase web hosting, you can upload and publish all the website files, including;

  • Images
  • Blog posts and pages
  • Videos
  • Backlinks
  • Podcasts and much more

In simple terms, a web hosting provider is like owning your rented house (or apartment), as they provide everything you need, such as space (storage space) and utilities ( Bandwidth).


Why Do You Need Web Hosting?

Web hosting is like a digital home for your website. This is where you store all of your website’s files and data, making your website accessible to visitors on the Internet.

Without web hosting, you cannot publish your website files, such as blog posts, images, videos, etc.

Here are a few reasons why you need web hosting:

  • Web hosting makes your website accessible to the world so anyone can browse your website online.
  • Web hosting provides storage space for your website’s files and data.
  • It allows you to create professional email addresses associated with your domain name, such as [email protected] 
  • Hosting services provide security features such as SSL certificates, backups, malware protection, etc., to keep your website safe.
  • Web hosting services provide 24/7 support to help you keep your website running smoothly.

Types of Web Hosting Explained: 5 Major Types

Here’s a challenge when it comes to choosing the right web hosting: too many choices.

Some people want to host personal websites, some want to run high-traffic websites, and some want superfast hosting.

That’s why most web hosting providers offer a variety of packages to meet the needs of different types of customers.

Here are the five major web hosting types, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Shared Hosting

As the name suggests, shared hosting is a type of web hosting where multiple websites share the same server resources, including bandwidth, storage space, memory allocation, etc.

Pros:

  • It is less expensive when compared to all the other web hosting types, as the resources are shared with many other users (so the cost is evenly distributed).
  • Shared hosting is the most practical hosting solution for most beginners who are managing low-traffic websites
  • You can install any type of website, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc
  • Almost all the shared web hosting services come with easy-to-use control panels to manage your site

Cons:

  • Resources are limited, and website performance is below par
  • Lack of admin access and less security. Shared hosting websites are more prone to security attacks

2. Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses cloud resources to store and deliver your website files. 

Unlike traditional hosting (where your website files are stored on a PHYSICAL server), cloud hosting uses multiple CLOUD servers to distribute your website files. This makes cloud hosting more reliable than traditional hosting.

Pros:

  • Scalability is one of the biggest benefits of cloud hosting services. You can easily add or remove resources as needed without worrying about server downtime.
  • Cloud hosting is very reliable. If one server goes down, your website will still be up and running because your website is hosted on multiple servers.
  • It can offer better performance than traditional hosting 
  • You’ll get better security features to protect your website from hackers

Cons:

  • It can be more expensive than traditional hosting. Setting up can be more complex, especially if you’re using web hosts like Cloudways.

3. WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting is a type of hosting specifically designed for WordPress websites.

WordPress hosting usually includes features like pre-installed WordPress software, automatic WordPress updates, optimized performance for WordPress sites, etc.

Pros:

  • In WordPress hosting, your websites are better optimized, and you’ll often get better loading times
  • Better security, with WordPress-specific security features
  • Easier to use, and it comes with many built-in features like WP installation, automatic updates, backups, etc
  • If you are planning to create a WordPress website, then WordPress hosting is a good option. 
  • You’ll often get 24/7 expert WordPress support

Cons:

  • It is not as flexible as other hosting types, as it is designed specifically for WordPress

4. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

VPS hosting is a type of hosting that is a mix between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. With VPS hosting, you have your own virtual server within a shared physical server.

Pros:

  • You’ll often get FASTER website loading time as each VPS has its own dedicated resources, such as CPU, RAM, and disk space.
  • It’s less expensive when compared to dedicated server hosting
  • Many web hosts that offer VPS plans give you full root access, which means you can install your own operating system and software
  • More secure than shared hosting
  • You can easily upgrade your resources as your website grows

Cons:

  • You may require more technical knowledge than shared hosting, especially when you’re going for semi-managed or unmanaged VPS hosting plans.
  • More expensive than shared hosting, WordPress hosting, etc.

Read: What is VPS Hosting? Virtual Private Servers Explained

5. Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting lets you have your own server, giving you 100% control over your website’s hosting resources and performance.

Simply put, shared hosting is like renting a room in a house, while dedicated hosting is like renting an entire house.

Pros:

  • It’s the most powerful and reliable type of hosting where you’ve full control over your hosting resources such as RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc.
  • Extremely superior performance. Dedicated server hosting is what you need if you’re managing high-traffic websites or web applications.
  • Your website’s traffic fluctuations do not impact your website performance as you get dedicated resources
  • You can take security measures as per your wish, as you’ll have complete control over the server

Cons:

  • Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting

Read: What is a Dedicated Server? What are Its Pros and Cons?


5 Biggest Myths About Web Hosting

There are a lot of misconceptions about web hosting providers. Here are five myths about web hosting that you should be aware of so that you can make the right decision before choosing one.

Myth 1: Cheap Hosting Equals Bad Quality:

While expensive hosting plans often offer more features and resources, it doesn’t guarantee their superiority. Many affordable options, like Hostinger, provide powerful features and performance that rivals even expensive alternatives.

Myth 2: Web Hosting is Outrageously Expensive:

While some hosting providers (Kinsta, AWS, WP Engine) command premium prices, many affordable options exist. Hostinger’s shared plans, for example, cost under $2 per month, making web hosting accessible to everyone.

Myth 3: Domain Registration Includes Hosting:

Registering a domain name (www.example.com) does not automatically provide web hosting. Domain registration secures your website’s name, while web hosting stores your website files on a server, making them accessible online. Some hosts, like Hostinger and Bluehost, offer a free domain with hosting purchase.

Myth 4: Web Hosts Handle All Security:

While web hosts take steps to secure their servers, individual website owners must also take precautions. Using strong passwords, keeping software updated, and backing up website files regularly are essential for safeguarding your online presence.

Myth 5: Technical Expertise is Required:

Most beginners believe web hosting is difficult to manage. However, almost 90% of web hosts offer cPanel, a user-friendly control panel that allows easy website management even without technical skills. Users can manage files, databases, emails, passwords, and more from cPanel. Additionally, most web hosts offer 24/7 customer support for any assistance needed.


Choosing the Right Web Hosting: 8 Essential Factors

Quick Tip: For beginners, shared hosting offers affordability and simplicity, making it ideal for smaller websites. As your site grows, you can upgrade to a more powerful option like a VPS or dedicated server.

Before shopping for a web host, consider these 8 crucial factors:

1. Budget:

  • Determine your budget based on the type of hosting you need (shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated).
  • Prioritize web hosts with money-back guarantees.
  • Compare prices and consider discounts offered for longer billing cycles.

2. Ease of Use:

  • Choose a web host offering cPanel, a user-friendly control panel for managing website files.

3. Storage Space:

  • Analyze your website requirements and anticipated traffic.
  • eCommerce sites typically require more storage for product catalogs and images.

4. Bandwidth:

  • Estimate your daily traffic, including potential spikes.
  • Avoid web hosts offering “unlimited” bandwidth, as it can be misleading.
  • Choose hosts with transparent bandwidth plans to avoid throttling or suspension.

5. Customer Support:

  • Ensure 24/7 customer support availability for timely assistance.
  • Prioritize web hosts offering multiple support channels (phone, live chat, email/ticket).

6. Security:

  • Invest in a web host with robust security features to protect against cyberattacks.
  • Consider features like staging, free SSL certificates (with automatic renewals), free website migration, malware scanning, security firewalls, brute-force protection, and free website fixes in case of hacks (offered by some hosts like WPX).

7. Speed & Performance:

  • Choose a web host with cutting-edge technology for optimal website speed.
  • Consider features like built-in CDN, high uptime guarantees, SSD or NVMe storage options, and multiple data centers for global reach.

8. Reputation:

  • Research the web host’s reputation for quality, reliability, uptime, and customer support.
  • Read online reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, G2 Crowd, and Capterra.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the right web hosting solution for your needs and ensure a smooth and successful online presence.

Recommended Web Hosting Provider for Beginners

We’ve used a lot of web hosts over the last 10 years. Most web hosts are either expensive or have some downtime issues.

But, there is one web host that is both affordable and extremely reliable, which is Hostinger. If you’re just starting out with web hosting or launching your first new website, Hostinger is an excellent choice.

Here are some of the features offered by Hostinger;

  • Free Domain
  • Free Website Migration
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • SSD Storage
  • Free Backups
  • Unlimited Free SSL
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Free Email
  • Free CDN and much more

Hostinger is available in the following plans in shared hosting.

  • The premium plan costs $2.99 monthly, with 100 GB of storage and free weekly backups, and you can install 100 sites.
  • The business plan costs $3.99 monthly, with 200 GB of storage and free daily backups, and you can install 100 sites.
  • Cloud Startup plan costs $8.99 monthly, with 200 GB of storage and free daily backups, and you can install 300 sites. You’ll also get a dedicated IP with free CDN.

Looking for more web hosting recommendations? Here are the 10 best web hosts for beginners to choose from in 2024.


Corrected FAQs: What Is Web Hosting Service?

Here are answers to some common questions about web hosting services:

What are the fastest web hosting providers?

Some of the top contenders for fast web hosting include:

  • WPX: Renowned for its exceptional speed and performance.
  • WP Engine: Optimized specifically for WordPress websites.
  • Kinsta: Boasts high-performance infrastructure and managed WordPress hosting.

Is VPS hosting good?

Yes, VPS hosting offers several advantages over shared hosting:

  • Enhanced performance: Your website resources are dedicated, leading to faster loading times and better responsiveness.
  • Increased security: Your website is isolated from other websites, reducing security risks.
  • Greater control: You have more control over your server environment and configuration.

How much does web hosting cost?

Web hosting prices vary depending on the type of plan and resources offered. Here’s a rough estimate:

  • Shared hosting: $2 – $5 per month
  • VPS hosting: $30+ per month
  • Dedicated hosting: $90+ per month

What are some common web hosting problems?

Some common issues encountered with web hosting include:

  • Downtime: Your website becomes unavailable to visitors, impacting your online presence and potentially causing revenue loss.
  • Slow loading times: Frustrate visitors and negatively affect user experience.
  • Security threats: Vulnerabilities in your website or hosting environment can lead to hacks and data breaches.

What if I need help with my web hosting?

Most web hosts offer 24/7 customer support through various channels:

  • Live chat: Get immediate assistance for urgent issues.
  • Phone: Speak directly with a support representative.
  • Email: Submit your query and receive a detailed response.

Choosing a web host with responsive and knowledgeable support is crucial for resolving any problems you may encounter.


Final thoughts on what is a website host

Web hosting is a must for those who want to host their website online. There are many types of hosting options out there, and the best type of web hosting will depend on your specific needs and budget.

So, what are your thoughts on web hosting? Did you find this post useful? Do you have any further questions? Tell us in the comments.

My name is Megha, A computer science student with a passion for digital marketing and SEO, enjoys helping beginners build impressive WordPress websites.

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