Most people are familiar with the concept of a website and use a variety of different websites on a daily basis. From a user point of view, you only get to see the front end functionality and you don’t need to understand what is going on in the background.
You might have some concerns and understanding about security and how your details and browsing information are being used. But as a user, you just want to know that your details are not being compromised. You don’t need to know what technology is being used to protect your details though, that is down to the website developer to decide on.
Role of a web host
However, if you are setting up a website then these kind of details are going to become a growing concern for you. What is happening in the background is something that you will need to get more familiar with. The starting point of that journey is to understand the role that a web host plays in setting up a website.
In a simplistic definition, a web host is a vital ingredient that enables your website to go online. It provides a space on a server that provides your website with a unique internet address, that will allow users to type in your specific URL into the address bar or to search for your website using a search engine.
Negatives of free web host
A web hosting company can vary greatly in terms of the type of service that it provides. To give you an idea of the range, you can get a host that is completely free such as wordpress.org. Great, you say? Well actually, you need to be careful when you go for a free web host as you may find that there are a number of negatives attached.
No customer support
The lack of customer service is one big downside to having a free web host, particularly if you’re new to using web hosts. You may need some technical support at some point and if you spend days and even weeks creating pages of great content, only to find that there is a fundamental problem with your website, you will have to try and fix it yourself. Although if you’re not trying to do anything too fancy, the basic set up of free web hosts are quite straight forward as they don’t have as much functionality or capability as the paid hosts. Plus, there are online resources that you may be able to use to help you do tasks that you get stuck on.
Dedicated web hosting advantages
Right on the other end of the price spectrum is dedicated hosting packages, which essentially provide you with your own server to host your site. There are a number of benefits of doing this, including full control over how your server is used, better levels of security and enhanced performance. For this service, however, you will have to pay a whole lot more than you would if you went with shared hosting for example.
Shared web hosting isn’t bad
Shared hosting is more commonly used for smaller businesses that will not typically have huge volumes of traffic, so they can keep the cost relatively small. Because the server is shared out amongst several different customers, the cost to run it is split between them, leaving it at a much more reasonable cost. Typically, you can get a shared hosting package from one of the top ten rated web hosts for under £5 per month but there are many cheaper options such as SiteGround (who offer excellent customer service) and iPage being the cheapest of them all. Shared hosting allows you to have extensive features and benefits, some even offer very large volumes of storage so that you are unlikely to ever run out.