Last Updated October, 2022
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Things to know before buying a web hosting service

With everything being online now, it would be unwise to not set up a website for your business or service, no matter the size. Your website is a platform for you to advertise your business or service to potential clients and customers. To get your website on the Internet, you require a web hosting service.

Good web hosting services are the foundation of your business, brands, and website. You need to ensure you are choosing the right website hosting provider that will let your website run smoothly and will grow with your business. Here’s a guide to understanding web hosting services and providers.

What is website hosting?

Your website requires a physical location on the Internet. This is where web hosting comes in. With web hosting, all the information, images, video, and content related to your website is stored in a single web host or server. These servers are maintained by web hosting service providers. Web hosting providers also manage the technology that keeps your website connected to the Internet. With web hosting, you can publish your website live on the Internet. Their services also let potential clients and customers view and use your website from their browsers.

How does website hosting work?

In most cases, web hosting refers to the service provider that rent out their servers to host websites and provide Internet connectivity to these sites. The amount of storage provided to your website will depend on the web hosting package you have chosen.

After signing up for a web hosting package, you get access to the server through GUI tools such as cPanel. These are usually provided by the hosting service provider. With these tools, you can easily upload files associated with your website to the server. Another common way is to install a CMS, such as WordPress, to build and host your website.

Finally, you will have to purchase and register a domain name for your website. After registering the domain name, it will be mapped to the IP address of your website’s server. Web browsers that are looking for your website will know where to go for all the files to render the website.

Types of web hosting services

Some of the common types of web hosting services and plans include the following.

  • Shared
    Shared web hosting involves multiple websites sharing a single server. The web hosting pros and cons of this include cheaper costs with a slow processing system and slow loading time.
  • Reseller
    This is shared web hosting with additional tools that help you to resell the hosting space. Reseller packages come with greater technical control, billing software, free website templates, and many other perks with which you can resell your hosting space to clients.
  • Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
    This type of web hosting involves virtualization of servers that uses software to divide a physical server into multiple virtual servers. It improves performance and security and is cost-effective as well. On the flip side, the customer has to take responsibility for installing, maintaining and securing the VPS.
  • Cloud-based
    Several individual servers work together to form a single large server. As the requirement grows, the hosting company adds more hardware to expand the cloud. The benefit is that if one of the servers is overloaded, traffic can be re-routed to another server in the cloud. This type of web hosting is dependent on Internet connectivity. So accessibility can be an issue if Internet connectivity is down.
  • Dedicated web server
    With this type of web hosting, one website will have an entire server. Quite suitable for big businesses, dedicated web servers give absolute data and privacy protection and allow customization of resources and servers. The cons include higher costs and additional technical skills required to manage and maintain the server.
  • Colocation
    In this type of web hosting, you will have your own hardware, but you will be renting rack space from the service provider. The provider will give power supply, cooling facilities, physical security, and an Internet uplink for your server. The advantage is that you save real estate space; however, this web hosting method is not useful if you do not have the in-house technical know-how.
  • Managed WordPress hosting
    This is a service where the hosting provider keeps your WordPress installation updated (if you have built your website using WordPress). This safeguards your site against security threats. However, Managed WordPress hosting costs more than shared hosting and may not be financially viable for small businesses or blogs.
  • Self-service
    With this type of web hosting, you take care of every aspect of web hosting from data center space to data backup. Unless your business has enough finances and technical knowledge, self-service web hosting is not feasible.

Is web hosting secure?

Most web hosting providers offer basic security. These usually include SSL or Secure Socket Layer certification, backup and restore, firewall, DDoS attack mitigation, and malware scanning. SSL, indicated by a green padlock near or on the address bar of the browser, ensures an encrypted connection between a web browser and a server. This protects consumer data as they browse through your website. Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS occurs when a web host is brought down by inundating its requests. The server may not be able to handle the load and break down. Most web host providers have work with Content Delivery Networks to prevent and handle such attacks. Before choosing a web hosting provider, it is important to ask whether they offer these basic security features.

Does web hosting include email?

Although web hosting and email hosting are technically different, many web hosting providers now offer bundled packages that let you set up servers for your website as well as email. Some providers may charge extra for email hosting services, while others may bundle it along with their regular web hosting packages.

How to choose the best web hosting provider?

  • The first step to choose the right web hosting provider is to know the type of website you are setting up. For instance, if you are building an online store, an eCommerce hosting service will be the right choice.
  • The next step is to determine the type of web hosting you need. For instance, if you are low on budget or are looking to build a small site, shared hosting is best for you. But if you have a large e-commerce website, cloud hosting or VPS hosting will be more efficient.
  • Finally, you will have to know what and how much resources you want from your hosting provider—storage, RAM, bandwidth, data transfer, domain registrations, email hosting, uptime rates, security, and technical support.

Top web hosting providers


This is one of the most popular web hosting providers that has powered more than 2 million websites across the globe.

  • Free SSL certificate provided
  • Easy-to-use dashboard
  • Built-in security for hosted websites
  • A comprehensive set of tools
  • WordPress-centric hosting

Read the Bluehost review here

This is one of the expert web hosting service providers that offer hassle-free website lifecycle hosting services with excellent customer support.

  • Complete website lifecycle hosting services
  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Quick setup and installation
  • Open-source apps for customization
  • Unlimited storage and email accounts

Read the review here


This is a one-stop platform for fast, reliable, and secure web hosting solutions for basic blogs to high-powered websites.

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Guaranteed 99.99% uptime
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Easy to install free applications
  • Varied hosting plans

Read the GoDaddy review here

Is web hosting worth it?

Almost all reputable web hosting providers now offer features that can help to grow your website as well as business. Most web hosting services include enhanced security and monitoring; so, you can rest assured that your website is safe from malicious threats. Moreover, if you pick the right type of web hosting, you will get better performance from your website leading to better business. Additionally, when you choose premium hosting packages, you get access to backup and restore features, plugins, automatic CMS updates, as well as tech support. In a nutshell, if you want your brand and business to grow through online presence, web hosting is the right choice for you.