How Does Website Hosting Work? It's Quite Simple Really
We get asked this a lot by people new to web hosting who want to start their first website. What better way to explain than write an easy to follow article.
Web Hosting, The Basics
Every website needs web hosting but web hosting doesn’t need a website to work. Let me explain, there are 3 components to hosting:
1) The Actual Hosting Account
The space on a web server where your website and emails reside (are hosted). This server is connected to the internet. Websites are hosted on 3 or 4 ways as follows:
Shared Hosting – A hosting account resides on a server with many other accounts hosted on the server all “sharing” the resources. Shared hosting accounts are suitable for most websites.
VPS - VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a visualized server where the resources are compartmentalized on a server or number of servers in a virtual environment. Basically a VPS is ideal for more resource hungry or busier websites and it a trade-off between price and performance.
Dedicated Servers - Lastly comes a dedicated server, this is a single server and you install as many or as few websites / hosting accounts as you choose. This is the best option for heavy duty websites or websites that receive a large amount of traffic. Everyone would love their website to be hosted on its own dedicated server but this is not feasible due to expense.
Hybrid Servers - Red Hippo offers another option our cutting edge Hybrid Servers. Hybrid Servers are a fusion of VPS and dedicated servers. The Hybrid Server runs in a virtual environment but has dedicated hard drives and RAM. This offers dedicated server like performance but at VPS prices.
2) Your Email Account(s) For Your Hosting Plan
Depending on your hosting plan, it could include anything from one to unlimited email accounts. Red Hippo has various plans which start with 1,000 email accounts all the way up to our top hosting account which includes unlimited email accounts. A good hosting company should include web mail access along with regular POP / IMAP access to all email accounts.
3) Your Website
This is a collection of files that make up your actual website. As stated previously you can have a hosting account without a website and use it with just the email accounts.
Many clients choose this option. They want to secure their domain name www.your-business.com and want to start using it in their email correspondence immediately, with the plan to get their website up and running at a later stage.
We see this practice changing rapidly. More business owners are beginning to recognize the vital part a website plays in addressing the way clients interact with business. Some figures today indicate that up to 85% of people use the internet to research products before purchase. And this is irrespective of whether that purchase is in a regular bricks and mortar store or at a company’s online store.
Don’t Get Left Behind
If you don’t yet have a website for your business, or you have an old or outdated website, it’s time to act! To illustrate my point, I’m including a reference to an article from 2004 (that’s over 10 years ago) where Entrepreneur.com stated “Even if you're not planning on selling online, a well-crafted site is essential for any business”. 10 years ago it was essential, it's even more so today. I recommend reading the article titled Why You Need a Website.
Considering web hosting for your business?
Take a look at our world-class web hosting plans: