Every car needs a road to drive on. And every website needs web hosting to make the magic happen.
In this article, I’m going to explain the importance behind a good web hosting company. I’ll also give you my recommendation for one. If you already know what you’re doing and just want the recommendation, click here.
Web hosting is a service that provides organizations, businesses and individuals with a system to store the files for their website and make it “appear” online.
This service allows you to rent a piece of brain power on a server so your website information, files, photos and design can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection.
Web hosting is typically provided by web hosts, which are businesses that maintain, configure, and run physical servers that house websites. While it might seem like a complicated topic to understand, this article will help you better grasp its concepts and intricacies.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at how web hosting works. Then, I’ll explain some of the common types and a few aspects to look for in selecting your web hosting service.
How does web hosting work?
For someone to access a website, it must be stored on a server connected to the internet. When they type in the URL to your website in a browser, such as Safari or Chrome, their computer or phone will then connect to the server with your website on it. Once this happens, the server will send them the appropriate files that make your website look beautiful and amazing.
To set up a website, you will need to choose a web host and purchase a plan. I personally recommend using Flywheel. They’re part of the WP Engine family and have been running WordPress websites for a VERY long time. Their tools are very easy to use. And their web hosting is extremely secure and reliable.
Why is web hosting important?
Simply put, web hosting allows you to put your website online. Without it, you would have to find a way to host your website on your own server, which would be difficult and expensive.
If you think about it, anything requiring “power” is susceptible to power outages, servers crashing and everything in between. When you sign up with an experienced hosting service like Flywheel, they have a plethora of servers ready to support your website. They also have backup power in case anything happens to the electricity.
Additionally, web hosting provides you with a place to store your website’s files. When you create a website, you need somewhere to store the individual files and images that make up your website. These files are stored on a web server, which is provided by your web hosting company.
Web hosting services give you access to certain tools and services that can make creating and managing your website easier. For example, if you are creating a WordPress website for your blog or your business, there’s an existing template with companies like Flywheel and Bluehost that put all the puzzle pieces together for you in an easy-to-use way.
Types of web hosting services
There are various types of web hosting services, but the two I would recommend the most are “shared” hosting and “WordPress” hosting. Each type of hosting service offers different features and benefits that can be beneficial for your website, and each has a different level of pricing options.
If you’re new to the website space, having a “shared” or “WordPress” hosting option is great because you can start small and scale up as you grow. Why pay for an 18-wheeler when a SUV will do just fine for now?
In case you’re wondering, here’s the difference between the two recommendations:
- Shared hosting is the most popular. Your website shares resources like bandwidth and storage space on a server with other websites.
- WordPress hosting is the same thing as “shared” hosting except it’s specifically dedicated for WordPress websites.
Since I like to tinker a little more under the hood of a server, this website you’re ready the article on is on a shared hosting server. For more users though, I’d recommend a WordPress hosting option.
Why is this so important?
Web hosting companies are responsible for maintaining and keeping their servers running 24/7, ensuring great performance for the websites they host. For online business owners, having a site with an outstanding uptime can help maximize sales and improve your customer’s online experience.
Additionally, using a web hosting service can improve a site’s search engine optimization (SEO). The company you choose can affect your website’s speed, which is one of the critical factors when search engines like Google are ranking web pages.
Purchasing a web hosting plan is also more efficient than having a server running from your place of business. It may sound like a cheaper solution at first, but the amount of time it takes to maintain a server and keeping it running 24/7 will cost way more in the long run.
What to look for in making a decision
When you’re ready to launch your digital presence in the world, there are two things you’ll need – a great web hosting service and a great website design. This will let you take your business or personal website to the next level. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is right for you?
Here are some things to look for in a web hosting service.
This is the most important thing for your website. It’s usually expressed as a percentage such as 99.9% uptime. Your website needs to be up and running at all times for your business to run.
Speed is also important for a website. As we discussed previously, it affects your SEO ranking as well as how long a customer waits for your website to appear. If your site takes too long to load, customers or visitors will just give up and go elsewhere.
When something goes wrong with your website, you’ll need customer support to help you fix the problem. Look for a web hosting service that offers 24/7 customer support so that you can always get help when you need it. If you need someone to act as your middleman for you, check out our WordPress Maintenance service.
Of course, you’ll also need to consider pricing when choosing a web hosting service. Most web hosting services allow you to upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. This is key so you can start small and scale up from there without paying an arm and a leg on day one.
Make sure that the web hosting service you choose offers security features such as malware scanning and DDoS protection. This will help keep your website safe from attacks. If your site does get hacked, please reach out for help! It can be very complicated to recover from an attack on your site. And you want your site back up and running as fast as possible.
There are many great options out there, but my favorite of them all is Bluehost. If you’re new to creating a website and help just getting started with a blog site, for example, here’s my favorite beginner setup at the lowest cost with the best features (based on my 10+ years of experience):
- Click here to go to Bluehost.com and click Get Started Now.
- Choose the Choice Plus Plan.
- Enter the domain name you want to use (i.e. gidds.io).
- Enter your account information.
- Under Package Information, choose an account plan based on how long you want to py. (Remember, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, so no risk!)
- Uncheck the Package Extras (you don’t need them.)
- Complete your purchase, choose your password, and login to your Bluehost account.
- Answer the onboarding questions or skip them, but choose “blog” when prompted.
- Click “skip” when it comes to choosing your theme. (We’ll get that sorted out later.)
- From the Bluehost dashboard, click the WordPress button on the top right and you’ll be taken to WordPress.
These are just my thoughts on web hosting services based on my years of experience. I would encourage you to still do your own research before choosing a service so that you can find the one that meets your needs. And again, if you need help making this decision, please reach out or post a comment below so I can help you.