(Last Updated On: July 14, 2017)

If you’re ready to make your first website, congratulations! A website is almost crucial to the success of any business today. This guide will help you understand the basics of web hosting so you can get your business online, and start spreading your message.

What is Web Hosting?

A web host provides a place to store your website. Web hosting companies rent out digital space in their servers to customers who want a website. You need a web host to make your website available to people browsing the internet.

Types of Web Hosting

There are four main types of web hosting:

  • Shared hosting services place your site on a server with many other sites. All resources are shared between the sites, which can cause problems if there is a spike in web traffic to one of the sites on the server. However, shared hosting is affordable and easy to set up, so it’s popular among new site owners.
  • VPS hosting stores many sites on the same server, but the server is divided into separate “virtual private servers” to keep sites separate from each other. This separation gives greater security and control for site owners.
  • Dedicated hosting means renting an entire server for your website. It’s expensive, but gives you more control over the server and better website performance.
  • Cloud hosting services group several servers together to form a “cloud,” which can provide hosting for many websites.

What is a Domain Name?

Many new website owners get confused about the differences between web hosting and a domain name. To be clear, a web host is somewhere to store your website, while a domain name is the address users type into their browser to find your site. You can often buy web hosting and a domain name at the same time.

To get your domain name you need to start thinking of multiple, keyword rich ideas for your site’s name. Next, check which of these names are available. Once you find one a name that isn’t owned by anyone else, you can pay a small fee to register it. You can then point the domain name to your website, which is stored on the web host, to make your site accessible.

How to Choose a Web Hosting Service

There are several things you should look for when choosing a web host. First, you need to look for an uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%. This means that your website will be available at least 99.9% of the time, so your audience can always find you online and get the best user experience possible.

Secondly, find out what level of technical support your chosen web host is able to offer. As a new website owner, you may need some extra help getting your website up and running. Look for a host that can provide 24/7 support every day of the year.

Some web hosts offer a money back guarantee, which means you can try out the service with no risk. For example, hosting.co.uk offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. We’re sure you’ll love the hosting service we offer, but if you don’t, we’re happy to return your payment.