Web Hosting: How It Works and How to Choose a Hosting Company
This is a great time to be a blogger. Websites like WordPress.com and Blogger.com are fast and reliable, and they’ll host your blog for free. When your blog begins to attract a large following, though, free blogging platforms may start to feel a bit limiting. You don’t truly control the technical aspects of your blog. The platform may also prohibit you from earning money through advertising.
If you’ve outgrown the limitations of your free blogging platform, it’s time to move to a full web host. When you create an account with a hosting company, your blog will become your website. You’ll have full control over what you can write, what website themes or plugins you can use and what you’re allowed to do to earn money from your content.
Let’s learn more about how web hosting works.
The Basics of Web Hosting
To have a working website, you need three things:
- A domain name.The domain name is the address that people will type or click to visit your website. Google.com is an example of a domain name. After you register a domain name, you’ll need to pay a yearly fee to maintain ownership of the domain. Most hosting companies offer domain registration services, but you can also register a domain through a separate domain registrar.
- A hosting company.When you create an account with a hosting company, you’re leasing space on a server that will eventually store your website’s data. Through your domain registrar, you’ll edit the Domain Name Server information for your domain name to point the domain to the server you’ve leased. If you register your domain with your hosting company, the host will edit the domain’s DNS information for you.
- A website.The hosting company’s server stores all of your website’s source code, text, and images. When a reader visits one of your blog posts, the server retrieves that post’s data and sends it to the reader’s computer.
The Benefit of a Full-Service Hosting Company
The fastest way to get a new website up and running is to choose a hosting company that can do all of the hard work for you. If you choose a hosting company that offers domain registration services, for example, you don’t have to worry about configuring the domain’s DNS settings. Many hosting companies will also install content management systems such as WordPress for you. With a content management system, you can manage your website just as you currently manage your blog — by logging in via a web interface and typing in an intuitive text editor.
How to Choose the Best Web Host
One of the best ways to identify a good hosting company is to examine its customer service policies. Some hosting companies allow customers to submit questions via phone, email and live chat. If a hosting company only offers phone support, you’ll probably experience a long wait on hold every time you need to ask a question.
A good hosting company should also offer a graphical interface that makes managing your website easier. Through an interface such as CPanel, you can easily create and remove email accounts, install a content management system such as WordPress and see all of the files on your server. A graphical interface makes it easy to manage your server if you have limited technical expertise.
Room for Expansion
You should also look for a hosting company that offers multiple service tiers and allows you to move your website from one tier to another if you need better performance.
Unless your blog already receives many thousands of visitors daily, you’ll probably begin with a shared hosting account. With a shared account, you’ll share the resources of a server with several other customers. The server allocates its resources to customers as needed.
The other two common types of hosting environments are dedicated and Virtual Private Server hosting. In a dedicated hosting environment, you are the only person using a physical server. Dedicated hosting is very fast and very expensive.
VPS hosting is essentially the halfway point between shared and dedicated hosting. Although you’ll share a physical server with other customers in a VPS hosting environment, the server uses software virtualization to guarantee that you’ll always have full access to a guaranteed portion of the server’s resources.
Reviews.com recently conducted a study on the best web hosts that you can see here: http://www.reviews.com/web-hosting/
This is a guest post written by the amazing team from http://www.reviews.com. We want to thank Lexi and her team for writing such a valuable resource for all the bloggers that need to take care of the technical part of their websites. You can read a more detailed article here.