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What Is a Web Hosting Service? A Simple Guide

We all know websites need to live somewhere, but what is a web hosting service, and why is it so important to site owners?

A web hosting service is a company that holds the files, including text, images, and code, that make any website work. But, crucially, they’re not just there for storage purposes. Hosting a website also means making that content accessible.

Indeed, referring to a web hosting service as nothing more than a brand that keeps your site online would be a disservice. Here’s why.

What Is a Web Hosting Service That Stands Out?

Not all web hosts are created equal. No matter your goals, there are several factors to consider if you plan to launch a site or move hosts:

The Hosting Type

Broadly speaking, the hardware behind hosting falls into different categories, and there are various types of web hosting. If you’re less concerned with performance but want to keep costs low on a smaller site, you might consider shared hosting. Your site sits alongside others on shared servers, often with pooled resources.

Alternatively, you might opt for a virtual private server or VPS. Technically, your site still shares a physical server but has more defined boundaries and performance guarantees. They cost slightly more, but there are tremendous speed and security benefits.

A dedicated server is the way to go for any site you couldn’t live without. In this case, you’re essentially renting the hardware, and it’s all dedicated to keeping your site live. Dedicated hosting uses high-performance, specialist hardware like the Intel Xeon E3 1270, and it’s the best you’ll get without bringing your hosting in-house!

Additional Support

With over 200 million active sites online and over a billion more inactive ones, expertise can be stretched thin. Many site owners are more concerned with their website being online rather than how it manages to stay there.

Great hosting usually means excellent support, covering performance, security, and uptime. That, in turn, leaves site owners to focus on what they do best, safe in the knowledge that their site is exactly where it should be. And if anything goes wrong, there’s always someone on hand to put it right, meaning you don’t need to panic.

Pricing and Reputation

No matter why someone needs a web host, they either want to keep costs down or enjoy a return on investment. It’s vital to remember that site owners don’t always get what they pay for – some cheaper hosts outperform their more expensive counterparts.

That’s why reputation matters. Millions of people use web hosting, and positive and negative experiences spread fast. Research and reviews can help, and it’s easy to forget that you can change your web host at any time, contract permitting.

Web Hosting Is Just One Part of Your Online Presence

If you find yourself asking, ‘what is a web hosting service?’, there’s no need to overthink it. Crucially, a great host lets customers forget about the underlying technology. Get it right, and a web hosting service is nothing more than a place to put your content.

The hosting itself is just one component. Whether you want to make sales, grow followers, or even keep in touch with friends and family, there’s plenty to explore online. Fortunately, our blog is packed with information on everything from content and design to sales and marketing, so make sure to take a look around!



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