All You Need to Know About Web Hosting

You can’t have a website without hosting, but how much do you know about it? We’ve put together a web hosting guide to give you all the important information.

What is web hosting?

Hosting is the process of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. In other words, hosting provides the space to house a website on the internet, allowing the owners of the site to create and maintain it, and allowing users to visit it.

How does web hosting work?

Hosts store data on hardware called web servers, which allows for easy maintenance and access by online users. The size and complexity of a website will determine the amount of power the hosting service requires. For example, a small start-up website will not require as powerful a hosting service as an e-commerce giant.

To have a successful website, you need fast and secure hosting. It protects your and your users’ data while also providing speedy load times across your site. Remember – slow loading speeds can quickly cause your users to abandon your site in favour of someone else.

What are the different types of web hosting?

Shared hosting

This is the most basic form of web hosting, where websites share resources with other websites on the same server. Each website will be allocated a certain amount of resources from the server as defined by their hosting plan/agreement. 

The drawback is that events such as traffic spikes to other sites on your server can also affect the performance of your site.

VPS (virtual private server) hosting

A VPS is a miniature dedicated server. You get it to yourself and it behaves exactly as a real physical server would, but several of them may be hosted on the same larger server – hence the name virtual. 

Heavy loads on one VPS wouldn’t normally affect other instances on the same server, but there are circumstances where they might, depending on the policies of the hosting provider.

They are generally more configurable and flexible than shared hosting but less so than dedicated hardware. Whatever the size of your site, there will be a VPS solution to suit your needs.

Dedicated hosting

Websites using this method of hosting get a server all to themselves, which is naturally more costly than the previous options. However, having a full, private server means faster load times and higher uptime rates. You also have complete technical control over the server settings.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is similar to a VPS but uses multiple remote servers which can take over if the primary server encounters a problem. Cloud hosting packages are usually very scalable, allowing you to pay for more resources as you need them.

Making web hosting more eco-friendly

As we all (rightfully) have started taking our environmental impact more seriously over recent years, we need to view web hosting through the same lens. Website hosting can consume a lot of energy – which is why we need to look at greener options.

If you are concerned about your business’s carbon footprint, then you should consider choosing a web host who can offer you a greener service. For example, here at Illicit, for all new websites, we use Krystal Virtual Private Servers – super-fast, secure, and each VPS is powered by 100% green energy.

What does a web hosting service include?

Our web hosting guide wouldn’t be complete without a nod to our services. Here at Illicit, we offer a comprehensive web hosting service for our clients. A typical website hosting package will include your SSL certificate and our maintenance and backup service, and the packages are scalable depending on the size of your website.

Our web hosting includes the following benefits:

  • Monthly updates to WordPress core and plugins (or equivalent platform/service).
  • Regular health checks and security audits – we run a malware scan and link checks across the site and alert you if there is a problem.
  • Monthly file backups.
  • Archiving of your files and database.
  • Sending website files and data to clients for their own archiving/transfer purposes.
  • A free SSL Certificate improves the security of traffic between the user’s browser and the server and helps gain user trust.  
  • Multiple layers of caching improve load times and provide a fallback in case of temporary site downtime.
  • Enhanced DNS to protect the IP address of the server, mitigate against DoS attacks and provide local caching.
  • A content delivery network (CDN) provides multiple redundant sources for assets such as images for faster load times.
  • Website monitoring to alert us if there is a problem with accessing the site.

Fast, secure web hosting is essential if you want an effective website, but it’s important to choose the type of hosting that best suits your business needs. If you are interested in our web hosting services, please get in touch.