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Web Hosting 101: What to Look for in a Web Host

Have you ever wondered where content on web sites is stored, or how web sites are displayed and become accessible on computers and other electronic devices? All of this is done through what’s called a web host, which is a type of company that provides services that allow you to rent their web servers for storing your web site, and in turn allow others to view your web site. Web servers are usually housed in data centers, which are located in buildings around the world. Data centers typically have hundreds or thousands of web servers stored in them. The temperature inside a data center must be at a cool setting so the web servers don’t overheat.
Types of Web Hosting
There are four main types of web hosting available. The key differences between them include server speed, reliability, and the amount of storage capacity.

  • Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting is more capable of handling high traffic and traffic spikes on web sites than other types of web hosting, without the speed of your web site being affected. This is because a group of servers (called a cloud) work together as a team to host groups of web sites. As a result of multiple servers being available at all times, cloud hosting allows for increased reliability and scalability, meaning there is less chance that your web site will go down. Due to these increased capabilities, we only use cloud hosting for managing our client web sites.
  • Shared hosting: With shared hosting, multiple web sites are contained on the same server. A web server could have several thousand web sites contained on it, with all of the web sites sharing the same server resources, such as RAM (memory). As a result, web site performance such as speed can be affected. Shared hosting is typically low cost and is the most common type of web hosting option.
  • Dedicated server hosting: Dedicated servers host one web site only, providing better server performance. You also have maximum control over the web server your web site is stored on. For these reasons, dedicated server hosting is typically expensive.
  • VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting: With VPS hosting, a single web server is divided into several virtual servers, and each virtual server hosts a single web site; however, each web site on the virtual server is still sharing the main web server with other web sites. Web site performance can still be affected due to the other web sites on the web server.

Choosing a Web Host
Choosing a web host for your web site is one of the most important decisions you will make in regards to your online presence. Besides deciding the type of web hosting you want for your web site and learning what web hosting companies are out there, it is imperative that you review the various pricing plans and other options that are available. Many web hosting companies also offer other types of services in addition to web hosting, such as web site domain registration and security products to help keep your web site secure.
Following are some other factors to consider when selecting a web hosting company:

  • Security measures / privacy policies
  • Average uptime of the web servers
  • Location of the physical servers
  • Backup and upgrade procedures and practices
  • Type of customer service available (phone, e-mail, online) and support hours
  • Renewal terms (especially if you are getting a first-time customer discount)
  • Cancellation policy

Web Host Security
Security is one of the most important aspects and concerns revolving around web hosting, regardless of whether you have a small personal web site or a large scale web site. It’s even more critical if you are collecting personal information on your web site through the use of contact forms, shopping carts, or other means – you do not want visitors to your web site to be at risk of their information getting stolen. Despite the advances being made in technology, security is still a growing problem with web hosts because thieves and hackers try many methods to try and steal personal information.
Web hosting companies are responsible for making sure its servers are being maintained on a regular basis to try and prevent them from being attacked. This includes installing upgrades and patches as they become available. To help protect and restore your web site in case there is an attack on the web server storing your web site, it is important that your web site be backed up regularly. Our web site plans provide automatic daily backup of your web site, so we always have a copy of the most current version of your web site in case an issue was to arise.
We host all of our client web sites on a cloud-based, multiple security layer system so they are always fast, secure, and reliable. If you would like to learn more about how our cloud-based web hosting services can benefit your business web site, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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