Web hosting is the physical location of a website on an on-line storage center (server) that stores databases, images, html files on powerful computers and allows all visitors to be able to view this website. This service is provided by web hosting companies that maintain the servers where websites reside, manage the technology that makes them connect to the Internet without interruptions and maximize their performance. Multiple servers reside in a data center, a dedicated place with power supplies, memory backup equipment and extremely fast and stable internet connections, monitored by qualified staff.

Basic steps to publish a website:

  • Purchase a domain name – your web host will help you if needed, sometimes free domain subscriptions are included in web hosting plans.
  • Choose a reliable hosting company and choose a plan.
  • Upload your files

The Different kinds of Web Hosting Available

There are several different types of web hosting that can meet every need and budget. For personal blogs and small websites a shared hosting is the perfect choice. Growing businesses and big corprations with large websites will need powerful servers and more flexibility to provide best possible performance.

  • Shared Hosting:

    Is the cheapest and most popular form of hosting. Shared hosting means that a large number of sites are hosted on the same server. Keep in mind that if a domain on the shared server has an unexpected increase of visits, the other ones may slow down due to a shortage of available resources. It’ the best option for account that don’t require too many resources, like personal blogs and small websites.
    Cheap but effective shared web hosting plans are offered by companies like Hostinger and Mochahost.
    A2 Hosting‘s shared plans are probably the fastest ones available today.

  • Virtual Private Server (VPS):

    VPS hosting are a good compromise between shared and dedicated servers. It’s an environment  with better stability and performance than cheaper solutions, the allotment of resources (RAM, CPU, disk space etc), are always guaranteed. Basically multiple accounts are stored on the same physical hardware, but a virtualisation software allows them to run separately.  A big advantage is root access to the server wich allows the installation of custom software. In addition, VPS servers have scalable resources to meet the needs of fast growing websites.
    TMD‘s virtual private servers are high-speed cloud based and fully managed environments easy to manage and fully scalable.

  • Dedicated Servers:

    This solution is the best choice for websites that require a lot of resources. Dedicated hosting consists of an entire server dedicated to a single website, the ultimate solution for top level performance, security and customization. Dedicated hosting is much more expensive than other types of hosting.
    A2 Hosting offers a wide range of options divided into Managed, Unmanaged and Core servers. On the other hand, Siteground‘s fully managed servers have seemingly unlimited resources!

  • Cloud Hosting:

    Good for quickly growing websites, cloud hosting is an innovative Cloud computing technology where the service offered by the hosting company is spread across multiple servers that act as a single resource. This service provides great redundancy and uptime because if a server experiences gets damaged or overloaded another server seamlessly replaces it reducing the possibilities of a downtime.
    Hostgator and Hostinger stand out among the others due to their powerful yet cheap cloud packages.

  • Reseller Hosting

    Reseller Hosting, also known as White Label Hosting, is a service that comes with a great amount of resources and a software that can create and manage smaller accounts. Its a useful solution for web developers to rent a portion of their web space to their clients.  It’s also a cheap way create a web hosting company with custom plans on the infrastructure of a big host.

Features included in a web hosting plan

After we’ve explained what web hosting means, we are going to explain the main features of a hosting plan. They vary from Web host to Web host and plan to plan. Below you will find a list of some of the standard features:

  • Email accounts: Usually hosting companies include email account features in their plans that let you create email addresses and aliases personalized to your domain name (e.g. yourname@yourdomain.com). You can access these email accounts from the control panel of your hosting account, using a mail client such as Outlook Express or Thunderbird, or via webmail.
  • Domain name: Some hosts include in their plans a free domain name for the first year, so you don’t have to register it elsewhere and set it up.
  • FTP Access: File transfer protocol (FTP) allows you to upload and modify the files on your web server using tools provided by the host or with an FTP manager such as Filezilla, which is a free open-source software.
  • Pre-Installed Apps: Many hosts include a lot of pre-installed apps that are widgets that let you create and manage a website. The most popular is WordPress – an amazing software that can build dynamic websites. These apps can be installed quickly and easily.
  • Data Backup: Backup is an essential aspect when managing a website, since it could get hacked, it could break after an update, or important files could be accidentally deleted. Luckily, the best companies provide backup services on all their plans. It’s easy to restore a website with their step-by-step procedure if anything goes wrong.
  • SSl Certificate: It’s a protocol that encrypts the data sent between a browser and a server, preventing criminals from intercepting any information transferred. Most web hosts provide free ssl certificates, like Let’s Encrypt.
  • Traffic Analysis: A set of tools that let you analyze your web traffic. To keep track of the most visited pages within a given time-frame and the amount of bandwidth.
  • Seo Tools: Seo (search engine optimization) is essential to building traffic for websites. Web Hosts can make it easier to rank in search engine results, typically with an extra charge. These include speed optimization,  guidelines, data and monitoring tools.
    Hostinger proposes a powerful Seo Toolkit for $9,99/month when you sign up.

The best web hosting companies in 2020

After explaining what is web hosting, here is a list of hand-picked web hosts that stand out for their reliability and value for money:

  • A2 Hosting: As one of the web hosting leaders, A2 Hosting has impressive performance, offers a wide range of software options and its plans are high-scalable.
  • Siteground: Its WordPress hosting plans are probably the best on the market and its customer support is unbeatable.
  • Hostinger: It’s a Web Host that is incredibly cheap, but fast and reliable too.

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