Hosting Guide – Learn the Essential Concepts in Web Hosting

Learn the basics of web hosting. Start here and now and create a strong web presence. If you read through the below sections you will understand many of the terms used in this field and you will be able tell the difference between different hosting types. This will allow you to meet your web hosting challenges more effectively.

web-hosting-server-sketchIt will not give you the complete picture, as it is for the beginner, but it is a good starting point for them.

This website is primarily created to serve as a simple, as less technical as possible source for beginners and folks who already have hosting, but looking for better providers.

In the end I will present four web hosts that I personally trust and tested for you to consider as they meet the criteria that we’d expect from a decent provider.

Why is web hosting so important?

Simple, because without it your website can not be published on the web. It is essential, as it links your website to the internet and with additional services and features it does even more.

Being such a fundamental element, once we find a good web host, we don’t have to worry about this side of the story, but still for a lot of people it is annoying to find the right web hosting company and plan.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like complicated things, I want to understand everything as quick as possible.

So getting into too much technical detail is not my forte, I think that it is not what the average person should do, it could be a good activity for folks having insomnia, but I can sleep good at night so I rather leave that stuff to them.

But seriously though, choosing the right hosting package is a major business decision, and a lot of times the amount of information is baffling, it seems like about a year at night school is needed to completely digest.

Every provider is unique in some way, more than likely offering more on one side, and less on the other. So we can say that they specialize for certain needs, this is why we need to analyze them, and decide for what purposes they can be used the best.

Of course this is only one part of the job – because too often customers meet lousy service, so this is why we’re here.

Web hosting types

There are several hosting types, that are suitable for different types of sites and needs. Below you can read more about them.

Shared Web Hosting in a Nutshell

This is the most widely used hosting architecture, as it is the least expensive and carries good value. You might also find it as budget or cheap web hosting. It has many advantages, compared to other hosting types, like the already mentioned price, and the fact that there is no need for advanced technical knowledge to maintain the site.

Shared hosting - apartment analogy

Shared hosting – apartment analogy

These hosting plans usually come with a lot of great features, like free ad credits on social networking sites and search engines – of course only the better hosts can afford this.

Technically, it works like this: clients (you) share a server with other clients. So many websites are placed on one server, and they share resources. You can learn more about the technical details of this hosting type on our shared web hosting page.

VPS (VDS) in a Nutshell

Technically, this is very similar to shared web hosting, with a little twist. See, here you still have your site stored on a server which server other customers too, but you have a part on that server that is dedicated for you. You and only you can use the resources of that server part.

VPS analogy

VPS analogy

This can have it’s own operating system and can be booted independently. It acts like a standalone server, with the difference that physically it is not one.
This is why they call it a Virtual Private Server. Read more about this on our VPS hosting page and our top listed VPS providers.

Dedicated Servers

This is the most advanced among the types mentioned. It is easy to guess what this is about – a server is physically dedicated to your needs. You don’t share resources in any way.

Accordingly, you are allowed to customize the hardware and software setup to a certain degree. The benefits of this will appear when you operate a site with very specific needs.

Dedicated server analogy

Dedicated server analogy

You can host as many websites as you want on that server, there are no limits. If a website manages many client data, this is beneficial, or rather essential, as it assures more privacy and security for data. A big pullback is the price these servers cost.

For the most part, the striking difference in price compared to lower levels of hosting scares people.

Finding a web host that will provide dedicated servers for an affordable price requires a lot of research from your and others part. You have the option to do this, or check out our suggested dedicated servers.

Finding The Right Hosting Type (level)

Finding a good web host should not be hard, and it should not be overcomplicated. So you have a lot of business ideas, and all you need is a good web host to start-up your site.

The only problem is, you don’t know where should you start the process. The first, and most important thing is to try determine what your site will need, you do not want to throw out money on the window for useless “extras”.

While this helps a lot in general, the situation is a lot worse if you are a beginner, because you might not be able to see what you need to manage a site that you have envisioned.

A rule of thumb: always go with shared web hosting when starting a new website. No matter how good is your business idea, it is not probable that it is going to blow up overnight.

So, unless you are very sure, that your site is going to be a “super star” very quick, you should choose shared hosting. And if the worst (and the  best) happens, still no worries, because you can always upgrade.

Knowing the above written, the following  points will mainly fit for shared accounts, but not only.

These might be the cornerstones of your later improvements too,  when searching for more advanced hosting when your site starts to outgrow the basic shared environment.

Limited vs. Unlimited Resources

Although some web hosts offer great features with limited resources (like bandwidth, space, domains),  we would advise you to go with the web host that offers the unlimited service.

You might ask, why if I will not use all the resources? Because nowadays the technology they use is mostly the same at the core, yet one allows you to do all you can, improve, while the other says, “Hey, we are going to limit you, you cannot do this or that.”

It relies on the intentions a company has. They obviously do this for more profits.

 Technical Support

Talking about shared hosting, this is very important. Rarely, but surely you can spot web hosts that perform quite good with data, but overall one can experience bugs and issues that are quite unpleasant.

You should look at it as a “natural phenomenon” that will happen sooner or later, and it should not mean that the provider is bad, of course only if there is a top quality technical support to solve the issues.

You should investigate on the tech support part, and know surely how much you can rely on them to manage the arising problems.

There is hardly any worse than having a buggy website, and there’s  is nobody to bring it back to life. Believe me, you don’t want that, I’ve been there, done that – it is very annoying, tests the nerves.

 What’s In The Sac?

The other thing you should look for, are the included services and features.

What I mean by that is the one-click auto installs, technologies like Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, many MySQL databases – unlimited is best, modern control panel like cPanel or vDeck and of course e-mail accounts are very important too.

These should all be features that you want from a provider, as a base, these are not extras – this is the base. Don’t get down with a host that does not provide any of the above mentioned.

It’s also important to watch out for hidden fees that might be included in some host’s services.

Sometimes people spend too much money, because they don’t pay attention during their first sign-up – there might be  lot of unwanted services/ IT products choosed for you, that you don’t really need, but if you don’t go through it thoroughly, you’re going to end up buying them.

Most web hosts will only try to sell you some kind of a site security package and a backup service. These can even be useful, so you need to weigh your options and make a decision after that.

Not Satisfied? Get Your Bucks Back! – The Infamous Money Back Guarantee

This is not the aspect that will determine whether a host should be chosen or not, but it is still important. Most of the providers have a 30 day trial period, some have 60, 90, and some have anytime money back guarantee. Get a host that has at least 30 days.

A2-Hosting is one provider that this website is hosted on and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. You can find out more details from their review.

Some people even doubt that this money back guarantee is real. I can assure you, it’s real, as long as applied according to the terms of service.

A little trick to this: some hosts declare in their terms that you can only get your money back if your payment was done using a credit card or PayPal, or some other way.

You should check that if you’re thinking about only giving it a try.

So read the terms when you sign up. That’s all folks, hope it helps. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.

Recommended providers

Obviously the first provider on the list should be the web host that this website is hosted on,  and I’m happy to share this, it is A2Hosting. You can check out my opinion on them or visit the official website.

I also highly recommend Inmotionhosting, IPage and SiteGround.