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What is Website Hosting?

by | Sep 16, 2021 | Web Design

No matter what product or service you’re selling, the first place most people go to when they’re looking for it is online.  We know that the internet’s a huge part of how people make purchasing decisions. For that, and, for so many more reasons, it is critical that businesses have an online presence. And what do you need to have your website live on the internet?  Web Hosting!


So, what exactly is it?

Some people find the technical definition of website hosting a bit complicated. So let’s talk about it in simpler terms. If you have a physical store, you need space to keep, organise, and sell your products. The same goes for when it’s online.

A website contains HTML code, files, and images. So where should you store these? If you don’t have space for your content online, they would just sit inside your computer collecting dust. The only person who could see them is yourself. Now, that’s the opposite of the point of making a business website.

That’s where website hosting comes in! A hosting provider will provide a place on a server to store all of your files. It will also be responsible for delivering your website files whenever a browser requests them by typing in your domain name.



What’s My Domain Name?

The domain name is the name or address of your website. It points or links to the hosting service where your website content is stored.  Some common examples of domain names that you might be familiar with are:


You’ll need to register your domain name to have an address that people can use to access your website.  Whenever someone types in your domain name, it is converted into an IP address. The hosting company then locates all the files connected to your IP address and returns all of the pictures, videos, and words that make up your website.


How Web Hosting Works

Now that you’ve gotten what web hosting is and what it does, let’s delve into how it actually works. Note that some hosts provide cloud technology, while others use physical servers. We’ll discuss this further in the different types of web hosting.

A web host contains all the contents of your website which can be modified and retrieved as necessary. Domain names are the identifiers of a web host. It is used to identify, and later on access, your business website.

Your hosting provider has the software, services, and connectivity used to add your website’s resources and data to a server. This server is connected to the internet for other users to access and goes live.

Term Help!

A server is a computer that stores and serves information on the world wide web


Technology Servers


The Different Types of Web Hosting

There are different hosting types available, each one catering to different needs. Choosing from these types of web hosting can depend on your budget, technical knowledge, or the type of website you have.



Shared Hosting

This type of hosting involves a single computing server that hosts multiple websites. You’re basically renting out a server space with dozens or maybe hundreds of other sites. The resources on this server are shared among all of the websites hosted on that specific server. This is a particularly popular option for starter websites. Aside from being the more affordable option, it is easier to use since it requires minimal technical knowledge to get up and running.


  • Affordable — Like living with roommates, it’s cheaper to share the space on a server than renting the entire server for yourself.
  • Easy to use — Shared web servers are simple and have a straightforward setup process. It doesn’t take long to get started.
  • Low maintenance — The server is preconfigured while the web hosts handle basic server maintenance tasks and monitoring activities. This makes it easier to use.
  • Supports dynamic websites — Shared hosting servers can run programming languages that create dynamic websites, particularly useful for e-commerce or social media sites.


  • Unstable site performance —high traffic surges on the other websites you share a server with can also slow down your site.
  • Task restrictions — Not having root access, however, means that a website owner will be restricted from performing specific tasks, such as modifying the server-wide configuration files or installing software they need for a particular project.


VPS Hosting

In VPS hosting, a single server hosts several sites but it provides dedicated resources for the users. It acts similarly to a dedicated server. Also, the number of websites are much fewer than in shared hosting. VPS hosting providers are able to do this by splitting the server into multiple partitions by installing a virtual layer on top of the server’s operating system.


  • Functional — VPS hosting supports easy navigation with numerous functionalities and intuitive tools.
  • Root Access — Users of VPS hosting servers can modify the server and install any software that suits their hosting needs.
  • Secure —  Site owners can add security tools and put up firewalls. It also minimises the risk of being affected by hacking issues intended for another website on the same server.
  • Stable site performance —  Each user have their own server space and storage allocated. They wouldn’t have to compete for computing power.


  • More expensive —  this service costs more than shared hosting as it offers better performance and more flexibility over your resource limits.
  • More complex —running a VPS is more complex compared to shared hosting – it demands a technical understanding of server management and command lines.


Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated servers host only one website in their server. It is completely dedicated to the website of who owns the server. There is no sharing involved in terms of resources such as bandwidth or the processor. This type of server offers ultimate control and customisation. You can expect a higher site performance from dedicated servers.


  • Reliable site performance —Traffic fluctuations do not impact your website performance and you do not compete for resources with any other website.
  • Customisable — You can customise the software and hardware of the server to meet your project needs.
  • Secure — You have no threats from or attempted for neighbouring sites. Also, you can add security measures of your own.
  • Extensive control — With a dedicated server, you can install software or applications that your business needs. You can configure the setup however you’d like.


  • Most expensive —  Dedicated servers are high-performance for a price. It is not an affordable option for small businesses.
  • Most complex —You will need more technical knowledge to manage a dedicated server.



Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting utilises a network of web servers known as the cloud to host your website. This is done in order to maximise performance and uptime. The server load can be distributed over different servers, making it a fantastic option for sites with a high volume of traffic. Cloud hosting is reliable and has exceptional availability as it pulls power from several servers and uses untapped resources from these servers.


  • Scalable — You will not be limited by physical hardware and can add to your cloud space to fit your needs.
  • Unmetered bandwidth — You don’t have to worry about your site going down due to a server failure.
  • Safe from physical server issues  —  With cloud hosting, different servers can automatically start hosting your website and keep it up whenever the physical server stops working. 
  • Backup and disaster recovery – One of the biggest benefits of cloud hosting is more security in terms of reduced data loss risk. Cloud web hosting automatically backs up your files.


  • More expensive —  this service costs more than shared hosting as it offers better performance and more flexibility over your resource limits.
  • Difficult estimates —some cloud web hosting service providers let customers pay for only the resources they end up using. However, this makes it hard to estimate the actual costs of using this service.


How To Choose The Best Web Hosting For Your Business


Web Domain Service Illustration


With the types of hosting services under wraps, you now have a good idea of what each type offers. It is up to you to decide which web hosting package will work best for your business. Choosing the best hosting service requires you to carefully review your own business needs and performance. Feel free to get in touch with us if you want to chat about your options.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • What type of website do you have?
  • Based on your business website, what is the bandwidth needed to run your site?
  • How much technical support will you need once your website goes live?
  • Based on your market research, can your web hosting choice accommodate the level of traffic you expect?
  • Do you want to engage in a long-term contract?

Web hosting is one of the fundamental parts of launching a website. It is crucial that you put in the time and thought to decide what web hosting service provider to choose.


Going Beyond: The Website You Deserve


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Take your business to the next level and invest in a 5Tales website today! We build sites and webpages that look good, work on all devices, and are built to convert.  There has never been a better or more important time to invest in a website for businesses, so get the website your business deserves. If there’s anything we do best, it’s connecting people to each other. Let us connect customers to your brand, contact us today!

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