Webhosting is an essential service for anyone that wants to set up a website. Without a web host, you cannot share your website with any users. It basically provides all of the services and technology that is required to get your website onto the internet including storage space/servers.

There are many hosting companies that will offer to take care of your technology requirements and you can pretty much pick and choose how much support you require from such businesses depending on how much you want to spend, your own knowledge or experience and how much control you want to have over the hosting.

Webhosting Introduction
Web hosting technology concept photo from Shutterstock.

Of course, expense is a key driver in any decision around your web hosting solution and you may opt to go for one of the free web hosting options that are available. What you should be mindful of, however, is that free webhosting can leave you in a position where you are at the mercy of the supplier. For example if sites have downtime, or they decide to add cost further down the line.

There are a number of different types of web hosts and depending on the size of your business and your business priorities, you can choose the most relevant type of web host.

Types of Webhosting Services

Free Hosting

There are a number of hosts that advertise as being free, including popular CMS WordPress. Usually there are some drawbacks to this, such as the host may use your website to display banner ads and also that you don’t have any control over the service so the host may remove the service at some point.

Shared Hosting

This is generally the more popular out of the hosts for people first setting up. It basically means that you share some server space with other people’s sites. You can usually set this up with relatively low costs as the web host generates their fees through allowing multiple users to use their server. Again, there will be some negatives associated to this approach including the need to upgrade your account as your site increases in size.

VPS Hosting

VPS is a Virtual Private Server whereby you share the server with other users but a single server is portioned so in essence it is similar to having your own dedicated server. The difference from a dedicated server is that as multiple VPSs will be sharing hardware the performance may be affected. IBM provides an in depth explanation of Virtual Hosting.

Dedicated Server Hosting

This option means that the web host provides you with a physical server, giving you full control over the server and selecting the operating system. This option is generally used for larger, more established websites with large amounts of traffic.

Managed Hosting

Due to the large usage of WordPress, some web hosts offer a managed WordPress hosting service. They basically take care of everything for you in terms of SEO, security and backups and provide expertise in all elements of running your website. PCMag have recently created a handy comparison table that reviews many of the available hosts, so take a look and see how they can work for you.