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What is Web Hosting? The Beginner's Guide

Web hosting is an online service that enables you to publish your website or web application on the Internet. When you sign up for a web hosting service, you basically rent some space on a physical server where you can store all the files and data necessary for your website to work properly.

Web hosting explained using a housing analogy.

A server is a physical computer that runs without any interruption so that your website is available all the time for anyone who wants to see it. Your web host is responsible for keeping that server up and running, protecting it from malicious attacks, and transferring your content — such as text, images, files, etc. — from the server to your visitors’ browsers.

When you decide to start a new website, you need to find a web hosting provider that will supply you with that server space. Your web host stores all your files, assets, and databases on the server. Whenever someone types your domain name into the address bar of their browser, your host transfers all the files necessary to serve that request.

Therefore, you need to choose a hosting plan that best fits your needs. In fact, it works similarly to housing rentals — you have to pay the rent regularly in order to keep the server running continuously.

To reduce risks, try to find a hosting plan that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can see if the service really meets your expectations. When your website grows in traffic and you need more server space, you can move on to one of the advanced plans without any delay.

In fact, you don’t even need any programming knowledge to perform regular site management tasks. For instance, you can upload HTML and other files to the server, install content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal, access your database, and create backups for your site with ease.

Even though the cPanel hosting platform is used by most web hosting providers, it is a powerful tool, it can be intimidating to beginners who just want to get a site up and running quickly.

Besides providing server space for your website, your hosting provider should also provides other services related to website management, such as:

    SSL certificates
    Email hosting and page builders
    Developer tools
    24/7 customer support service
    Automated website backups
    One-click software installs for WordPress or Drupal and much more

Types of Web Hosting

Most web hosts offer different types of hosting so that they can serve the needs of different clients — whether you want to build a simple personal blog or own a large online business and are in a dire need of an intricate company website. Here are the most popular options available:

Shared hosting
VPS hosting
Cloud hosting
WordPress hosting
Dedicated hosting


It’s the best to start small and when your site reaches higher traffic numbers, upgrade to a more advanced type of plan.