Web hosting is a type of service that makes any website accessible to users on the Internet, whether it’s a small personal site, a virtual shop, a niche blog, a corporate website, a forum, a product catalog or any other type of online presence.
Commercial web hosting providers store websites on powerful computers (called web servers) connected to a very fast network, so they can quickly display them to visitors.
Other than basic server space where customers place their site’s pages and files, these companies offer complementary services on their monthly and yearly packages, that include software, security, monitoring, online support, backup and so many other functional features.
Professional hosts own special datacenters that are used to house, serve and maintain files for the hosted sites day and night.
These facilities are equipped with the technological hardware infrastructure which is responsible for running all of the behind-the-scenes technical apparatus.
Every host’s fundamental responsibility is to ensure that the servers holding their customer’s web pages on the World Wide Web remain active and available to visitors 24 hours a day.
Uptime, data speed, stability, scalability, reliability and overall performance are some of the key criteria of any high-quality service provider in this competitive market.
What is Shared Hosting?
Virtual or shared web hosting is the most common solution for those who wish to host a small, simple or basic site.
It’s the best-selling product of the web-hosting industry, since its enormous advantages appeal to the vast majority of clients (but definitely not all).
As the name indicates, this type of setup means that one single physical web server and its available resources (such as storage space, processor power, memory, internet access and others) are shared among many hosted sites – each with its own domain name.
However, each induvial site is located on its own section or portion on the server, in order to keep it separate from all other sites which reside on that specific machine.
This environment enables multiple customer’s websites to utilize a single server’s hardware and software.
Each purchased plan includes a defined amount of disk storage space and bandwidth (data transfer capacity), FTP and email accounts, databases and other essential services, for either a monthly or yearly fee.
Here are the main advantages that virtual hosting plans offer to site owners:
- The most affordable way for individuals, small businesses and organizations to create web presence, compared to other popular types of professional hosting options, such as VPS or a dedicated server.
It’s an economical option for webmasters with a small budget or for those just getting started on the net.
- A basic plan is a great place to start with a simple or static site and new blogs, which can be replaced and upgraded with time, if needed.
Most beginners who want to get their feet wet, do not need anything beyond this option.
- No complicated server configuration, software installation, periodic system upgrades, security updates and ongoing maintenance need to be done by the end customer.
All these aspects are fully managed and taken care of by the service provider on a regular basis.
- Easy website administration with a simple control panel, which requires very little technical knowledge or skills.
It’s a friendlier environment for novices, first-time users and people without meaningful experience in technological or computerized systems.
- Most shared hosting packages which are sold offer substantially more disk space, bandwidth capacity or email and FTP accounts than most customers actually need or use in practice.
- Quick setup: This option can get the website published online in a very short time – sometimes as quickly as within hours.
Before Choosing: Features to Consider
In order to make sure that you make the right decision as a consumer, it is crucial to conduct proper research and verify that certain hosting features that you need are actually being offered by the providers that you consider.
Doing so will help you decide which company is the best fit for your individual needs.
Such features may include:
- Payment via PayPal
- Free domain
- Free website builder
- 24/7 technical support
- 24/7 FTP access
- Unlimited space and / or bandwidth
- Unlimited email accounts
- Online control panel
- Uptime guarantee
- Dedicated IP
- Free apps
- Web statistics
- Website scripts
- Daily, weekly and monthly backups
- Linux / Windows plans
- Free SSL
- Free SSD drives
- SSH access
- One click installs
- Shopping cart
Paying for a Hosting Service with PayPal
Many popular webhosts in the market accept a variety of payment methods, including PayPal.