What Is Website Hosting for Businesses? Here’s a Complete Guide

To create a website for your business–a necessity in today’s business world–you’ll need to know about website hosting.

What is website hosting? Website hosting is the service of providing storage space for a website on a server on the internet.

As a business owner with a website, it’s important for you to know enough about website hosting to get by. This way, you can manage potential problems, send information to people who work on your website, or possibly even set up your website on your own, which will save you money!

However, the truth is, website hosting can be a little complicated. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind regarding it but fret not. We will talk about everything you need to know in this guide.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Website Hosting?

What is a web hosting service?

As we mentioned, website hosting is a service you pay for that provides storage space for your website on a different server. What this means is that your website’s data, files, backup, and other code are all stored on a separate server.

When you purchase website hosting, you take a lot off your plate. By hosting your site on a different platform, you are able to offload responsibility and bandwidth to another server. Then you can focus on things like hiring a content writer for your business instead.

How Does Web Hosting Work?

What is web hosting and how does it work, you ask?

Think about the files on your computer that you can open from your desktop or menu. They are all saved to a hard drive inside your computer that can be physically removed if need be.

A website is like one big file that would sit on your computer. As such, it needs to be saved somewhere in order for it to be accessed or opened.

Web hosting uses a computer, or group of computers, that stores website files so that they can be opened and used as intended.

A computer on which websites are stored is called a web server. It’s called this because it serves pages, on request, to people using the internet. A collection of a group of web pages is a website, and collectively all those web pages together form the World Wide Web, what we know as “WWW.”

Domain Names

You may have come up with the perfect domain name for your new business (or even already own it), but that’s only a small piece of the puzzle. A lot of people buy their domains, and think, “Well, now I should have a website!” but it doesn’t work that way.

Hosting your website is one of the most important parts of getting your site up and running. Most of the good hosting services (some are listed below) will install WordPress, give you a free or cheap SSL certificate (important for Google search rankings) and backup all your information.

Why Do You Need It?

Technically speaking, you cannot connect your web page to the world wide web. While it’s possible, the speed of a typical internet connection at home is not strong enough to deal with all the files that would have to go over the server.

But hosting services can! Because web hosting services have powerful web servers to store files, they are able to provide hosting along with other valuable services that can be added on for free, or sometimes, a small fee.

All our resources related to website hosting be found on our blog.

What Are My Options?

As this is a complete guide on website hosting, there are a few subcategories of website hosting you should be aware of. Here they are.

1. Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is good for small businesses, bloggers, and other simple websites. You can pay a low amount each month for it and have your files stored and backed up in case something goes wrong.

This company is one example of the many shared hosting services available online.

2. WordPress Hosting

According to WordPress, powers about 30% of the internet. If you’re planning to build your website on WordPress, you’ll want to make sure the hosting service you choose is compatible. Chances are, it will be.

3. Reseller Hosting

With reseller hosting, you can rent out or re-sell the hosting services. Probably not necessary if you aren’t planning on being too involved with the hosting business.

4. Dedicated Hosting

This is for large-sized businesses that want full control over their hosting. It likely will be expensive, so keep that in mind as you look.

5. VPS Hosting

Think of VPS hosting as a more advanced form of shared hosting. It’s a middle ground of sorts for people that need more than shared hosting but don’t want to or can’t afford dedicated hosting for their business.

What to Look for in Website Hosting

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you look at website hosting:

1. Cost

Depending on the size of your business, you want to factor this in. Websites like Bluehost or GoDaddy charge as low as $10/month for hosting. With add-ons and more storage space, that price will go up. But keep in mind you can generally get it pretty cheap if you aren’t storing much.

2. Customer Service and Tech Support

Like we’ve said, web hosting is complicated. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your website, you may be best off delegating these responsibilities to a good service. This is why partnering with a company that has good support and service is vital.

In today’s world, there’s no excuse for your hosting service to not have solid 24/7 customer support. Your website is a virtual business card, and if something goes wrong, especially if it’s on their end, you have every right to get it fixed immediately.

As such, take some time to read reviews about the customer service of the hosting services you are considering.

3. Amount of Storage

Keep in mind that the amount of storage you purchase for your website’s hosting will reflect how fast your website runs. If you are blogging or uploading documents to your site regularly, your site could slow down over time as the data starts to fill up. In that case, you’ll have to either delete things or purchase additional space to speed up your web page again.

As Google is very serious about page speed for how search result rankings, you absolutely need to track this and make sure you have enough storage so that your site loads quickly.

4. Number of Domains

Some websites will allow you to host unlimited domains, while others you have to pay as you add them. If you plan to register multiple domains (.com’s or otherwise), this is something to keep in mind.

5. Email Accounts

Good web hosting services will hook you up with free email set up for your site that can be linked to the popular email servers like Gmail, Yahoo, and the others. Make sure your hosting offers this as well, as it doesn’t look as good to have a business email from a “@hotmail.com” address. It’s much more professional to have one from your actual domain.

6. Mobile App or Website

For most, this will be an extra or add-on, but it’s still something to consider. Does your website need (or would you like) to have the option for a mobile app for your business?

Only a few hosting services offer it: MediaTemple and Rackspace, to name the ones that come to mind.

7. Free Adwords and Other Perks

There are many good web hosting platforms, and so many of them offer perks to entice you for business.

For example, some web hosting services will offer you a free starter pack of Google Adwords for your business. Usually, it’s around $50, so you’ll have to weigh if that’s worth it or not.

8. Backup

There’s probably not a web hosting service out there that doesn’t offer backup as part of their sell these days, but it’s still important to know what that entails for each site.

The last thing you ever want to happen is to have something go wrong with your website and then not be able to recover all your hard work!

Wrapping Up on Website Hosting

What is website hosting? Think of web pages as files on your computer. You need to store those someplace so they can be accessed online.

Website hosting is a crucial thing to understand if you plan to build a website for your business. However, there are a lot of things you need to understand, and some you may be better off not knowing about (instead, just paying someone else to take care of).

If your plan is to build a website for your business but to spend most of your time focused on your business, you’ll probably want to focus on one of the more basic forms of hosting, such as shared hosting.

We hope this guide has been informative for you as you start the process of building your new website. Check out our business resources page to learn more about what you may need to help your business succeed. Good luck!