Web Hosting: What You Need to Know Before Starting Your Own Website

Thinking of starting your own business, art or blog site? If you’ve recently started a new business, a website can help showcase your products to customers. Maybe you’re pursuing a career in art and want a digital portfolio to showcase your work. Or you just want to get into blogging.

Whatever your reason, we’ve compiled a knowledgeable guide to web hosting to help you choose the best service and plan it according to your needs.After reading this article, you can head over to CNET’s list best web hosting service Get your website up and running in no time.

What is a web hosting service?

A web hosting service is a company such as GoDaddy and DreamHost, owns and maintains servers that store website data so that those websites appear on the Internet. Think of the server as an apartment building, and the web hosting service as the landlord. You basically pay rent for your website to run on these servers and access resources.

Learn about basic web hosting plans

Your goals for your website will help determine the best web hosting plan for you. Here are the two basic plans.

shared hosting

With shared hosting, your site data is stored with other sites on the server. All sites use the same resources, so if one site gets more traffic, it will use most of the resources. As a result, your site may be slowed down by another site’s surge in traffic. So, if you are creating a website for the first time or don’t expect a lot of traffic, then shared hosting plans are the best option.Some shared hosting plans, such as by custodian and Web pagecosts about $2 per month.

VPS hosting

Virtual Private Server Hosting is an improvement over shared hosting plans: the server your website is on is actually partitioned, so it feels like your website is stored on its own server – essentially in its own bubble, with its own resources. Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting makes your website more stable. If you’re running a small business or trying to sell art and can’t make your website slow on a shared server, VPS hosting is a great option. Some VPS plans, such as those from A2 Hosting, start at around $5 per month.

What if I don’t want to share the server with others?

In this case, a dedicated hosting plan is the way to go. While shared and VPS hosting place your website’s data on a server along with other websites, dedicated hosting plans give you an entire server or server. These plans give your website the most resources and help it handle a lot of traffic. However, the extra space and resources mean these plans are more expensive. If you run a large organization or business, a dedicated server can give you the reliability you need.Some dedicated server plans such as from dream hostwhich costs about $150 per month.


A server can hold data for one or more sites.

Josh Lowenson/CNET

What is this option for reseller hosting?

Reseller hosting is where users buy web hosting services in bulk, often at a discount, and then resell the extra space for a profit. This allows people to act as a digital middleman between the web hosting service and the website owner. Resellers must provide the type of service offered, the template for the service offered, pricing, etc. Many people take this as their own thing. Not all web hosting services offer resale hosting, though.some web hosting services such as HostGatorwhich offers reseller hosting plans for around $20 per month.

What is WordPress hosting?

To answer this question, we need to explain what a content management system (CMS) is.

Content Management System

A CMS is a tool that people can use to customize the appearance of their website and the content displayed on it.You can also use website builder Help create your website, but these builders may offer limited tools and control over how your website looks. In most cases, you also don’t own any design content on your site, so it may disappear without your knowledge.

With a CMS, you have more control over how your website looks. CMS provides more design tools, and CMS is open source, so you fully own the content you create.

WordPress hosting

So, WordPress hosting means that the web hosting plan is optimized to use WordPress as a CMS. Web hosting providers ensure that their servers can run WordPress as a CMS smoothly and efficiently, and the web hosting service will take care of any WordPress CMS updates or issues. WordPress is more user friendly than other CMS like Joomla and Drupal and still offers tons of templates, widgets and plugins to create the best website for you.

What is cloud hosting?

Cloud hosting Is web hosting across multiple physical servers. This means your site can handle huge traffic, and if one server goes down, your site won’t suffer as much because your data is split across servers. However, cloud hosting can be very expensive, and it’s only really needed for big sites like Facebook or Google. We’re not saying your sites won’t one day take off and become as big as they are, but don’t worry about this option right now.

Managed and Unmanaged Server Plans: What’s the Difference?

With a managed server plan, any administrative issues, such as resetting or updating servers, are handled by the web hosting service. If you have little experience managing servers, these plans can help you avoid any major problems or setbacks. Managed VPS or dedicated server plans typically start at around $50 per month.

With an unmanaged server plan, you have to handle any management issues yourself. If you’re tech-savvy, or want to learn system administration, then an unmanaged VPS or dedicated server is for you. These plans typically start at around $5 per month.

What should I know about domains and IP addresses?

A domain is the name of your website, just like your business name. When you propose a domain, you have to cross-check the domain registrar, the ledger of all domains, to make sure the name isn’t already in use. It’s like when you start a new social media account, the platform lets you know if someone else already has that username.

On the other hand, the IP address is the location of the business in the server. It’s like your home address. You can change the domain of the site, but the IP address usually remains the same.

Can I get my domain’s email address?

you can. These are similar to business email addresses, so instead of @gmail.com or @yahoo.com your address is @yourcooldomain.com. Having an address like this helps you increase the credibility of your emails so people don’t mistake your emails for scams. Many web hosting plans include a limited number of email addresses that your web hosting account can have.This number typically increases as you move into higher tier plans, and certain services such as dream hostUnlimited email addresses are available with some plans.

Is it possible to lose my website?

You can lose site data in a number of ways, such as a server being damaged or corrupted by a virus, a server crashing due to overuse, or an incorrect update. Think of backups as save points in video games. If you encounter any issues, your site can be restored to that point in time. Many web hosting services offer backups as part of their hosting plans. Some backups, such as those provided by GoDaddy, will scan your site data for malware and store malware-free data. However, backups are usually not advertised, so you’ll have to contact the service to find out what their backup strategy is. Some services offer weekly or monthly backups, but some services don’t offer backups at all.

error 404error 404

If your site is down, people will see an error message when they try to access it.

James Martin/CNET

What else do I need to know about web hosting?

There’s a lot going on with web hosting, and we’ve only scratched the surface. When looking at web hosting plans, you will come across a lot of terms like data storage and uptime. Here’s what they mean and why they’re important.


The cost of web hosting plans can be confusing. The listing price is usually an introductory deal attached to the contract and usually lasts at least one year. These contracts then automatically renew at the regular price at the end of the contract so that your website continues to function. When contracts auto-renew, the regular price is often much higher than the introductory price—sometimes double or even triple. Contracts are also usually paid up front rather than monthly, although the company lists the price as a monthly cost. Many services offer monthly plans, but these are usually listed at regular rates. Sometimes services also add extras to your bill, so make sure to check your bill when you check out so you only pay for what you want.

data storage

Data storage refers to how much space you have on your server for storing site data. Video, music, and image slideshows are some of the things that can take up a lot of data storage. Storage is usually measured in GB or TB, but some plans offer unmetered/unlimited storage. At this point, storage space on the server is the limiting factor. Due to the nature of shared hosting, some shared web hosting plans will offer unlimited/unmetered storage plans.


If you have a hosting plan that gives you 5GB of bandwidth per month, that means you can only transfer 5GB of data per month from your website to your viewers. If you have a single-page website loaded with media, a visit to your website could send your visitors 300 megabytes of data. A few more visits and you may exceed your monthly bandwidth and incur additional charges – such as the overage charges you get for going over your phone’s data plan. Again, some services offer unlimited/unlimited bandwidth, but your website’s bandwidth usage must comply with the web hosting provider’s terms and services. HostGator offers unlimited bandwidth, but they say that if a customer uses more than 25% of their server resources for more than 90 seconds, that’s violate their terms.


Technology isn’t perfect, and sometimes servers go down for various reasons. Uptime is a measure of the amount of time that servers and the sites on those servers continue to operate without downtime. Most web hosting services will say they will guarantee over 99.9% uptime. Anytime your website goes down is scary, but these guarantees mean your website could be down for about 20 minutes a month. If your website is down for a long time, you should contact your web hosting service. In many cases, your web hosting service will provide a credit equal to a percentage of your monthly hosting fee per hour of server downtime.

SSL certificate

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. These certificates encrypt data to and from the site. Many websites use SSL certificates to prevent hackers from intercepting people’s credit card or personal information. Google announced in 2018 that any website without SSL would be marked “insecure” in Chrome. If you look at the address bar of any website and see a padlock next to the URL, it means the website has SSL. By using SSL, people will feel more comfortable visiting your website. Many hosting services offer SSL to their customers.

However, in most cases, you can install your own SSL certificate.There are paid SSL certificates such as from well-deserved reputation Costs about $6 per year, plus an unpaid SSL certificate from the Let’s Encrypt program. Then you need to install an SSL certificate on your site, which requires some server knowledge. Installing your own SSL certificate can give you more control over your website, but if you don’t have the server knowledge to install and maintain an SSL certificate, then you may want to stick with an SSL certificate provided by a web hosting service.

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