If you have a website online, you need to understand your web hosting. We know it isn’t the sexiest topic in the tech world. But it is widely overlooked, and misunderstood by a majority of website owners. We’re willing to bet that many web owners out there don’t even know who their web-host is. Or what they do. It’s one of the very basic things you need to build a website, and it’s also the most important.

Let’s look at it this way. Web hosting is the foundation of your website. It’s the space of internet land that you build your website on. With that in mind, web-hosts are essentially landlords. Internet landlords. They own part of cyberspace, and they rent it to you. It’s where your website sits. Hopefully, that puts things into plain English for you. It’s a tricky topic, but crucial to the smooth running of your website.

web hostingNaturally, if the foundations of your house are weak, your house falls down. The same goes for web hosting. If your host server isn’t secure, your data is vulnerable. If your host is slow or weak, your site will eventually crash, especially if a lot of people visit. Now, we’re guessing you’d like to welcome thousands (millions!) of visitors to your site. You need to know that your web host can handle that level of traffic. Most website owners purchase their hosting at the same time as their domain name (URL, or web address). This isn’t always the best plan. It’s actually better to buy your hosting separately. But, do you know what you’re looking for? Here are the main options:

Shared hosting – Most cheap hosting services are ‘shared hosting’. If you’ve got a WordPress site or a Tumblr blog, you’re probably using shared hosting. That means your website is sharing server space with hundreds of other websites. If one of those sites gets a ton of traffic, it slows your site down. It’s like a block of flats all trying to use the same internet connection. If you’re serious about building a business, it’s not ideal.

VPS – With a VPS host, you get a bit more of a personal service. It stands for virtual private server, and it’s a little more reliable than a shared hosting solution. VPS hosting is a small fenced-off area within a shared host. So, your website is still using shared space, but it gets a guaranteed level of access and control. This is a good option for small businesses looking for some security.

Dedicated hosting – Lastly, you can opt for the full package! Dedicated hosting means you get it all to yourself. Your website is hosted on a completely private server, making it incredibly reliable and strong. It can handle as much traffic as you can throw at it, and you have control over everything. Cheap dedicated servers are out there if you look hard enough; it could be just what you need. If you want rock-solid reliability and guaranteed speed, dedicated hosting is the best way to go.

There you have it, folks. We hope we’ve shed some light on the complicated issue of web hosting. Maybe it’s time to take a new look at your hosting solution.