Why is web hosting needed for businesses?
If you’re looking for a one-sentence answer, it’s simply so that your website can function correctly, handle all the traffic you receive, and maintain an acceptable degree of uptime.
In this blog post, we’re going to give you a quick rundown of why web hosting is needed, what you should expect from web hosting services, and what the benefits are of outsourcing your hosting needs to a provider.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is how websites and the people or businesses that operate them store the content that resides on that site.
For the vast majority of sites, this content will likely be text, images, videos, and other material that needs to be hosted.
When someone purchases web hosting services, they are renting out server space owned by the provider which is then allocated for them to use.
How Is It Different to Domain Name Hosting?
Domain name hosting refers to the process of hosting and registering a website’s domain address and is separate from the web hosting required to store content on that site.
Why Are Web Hosting Services Needed?
Web hosting is used to deliver sites and apps online.
In the early days of the Internet, businesses and individuals needed to have their own servers in order to host their sites.
As the web expanded, it became necessary for hosting providers to offer these services, as it was untenable to expect every site owner (webmaster) to operate their own personal data centers for hosting purposes.
This is why web hosting is needed.
What Does a Web Hosting Provider Do?
A provider for web hosting handles all of the infrastructure (servers) that powers a website.
A web hosting provider is particularly useful to small businesses, as it means they do not have to hire an internal IT employee to maintain their servers—instead the provider manages everything and scales your needs according to the space you’re using and the demands of your site.
Types of Web Hosting
There are several different types of web hosting.
Depending on the situation of the particular individual or business, their needs will be different.
Shared hosting is typically considered the most basic option for website hosting.
With these plans, server space is shared with other websites and resources will be the same across them too, meaning the hardware components will be identical and cannot be configured.
Shared hosting is best suited to website owners who don’t receive a lot of traffic, as—while affordable—they are more susceptible to slowdowns because of the shared resources
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
VPS hosting is more appropriate for site owners who need a more customizable option than a shared server.
While technically still shared, VPS replicates the experience of a dedicated server, offering more personalization and better performance for sites that have higher volumes of traffic.
Dedicated server hosting
A dedicated server provides the most options in terms of customization, as the website owner controls all the hardware.
The downside is that it requires expertise to operate and maintain it, in addition to upgrades down the line in order to scale it to the site’s needs should they experience growth in traffic and hosted content.
Cloud hosting is probably the most flexible option to run a website.
While it shares similarities to shared hosting in that multiple sites share server resources, it differs in that it can offer magnitudes more power.
This is because rather than several websites sharing one server, instead in a cloud system many servers are “pooled” together, and from there sites run on these shared resources.
This includes the processing power, memory, storage allocated to each site, all derived from a pooling of many (often) powerful servers in a data center housed by the provider.
This means higher performance, better reliability, a substantial amount of control over the virtual machine you are allocated, and better performance as a whole, making it a very popular choice for website owners—particularly businesses.
Managed hosting means cloud hosting needs are taken care of by a provider, whether that’s the vendor or a managed service provider.
In these plans, whoever is managing a hosting plan will be the point of contact and run the administration of ensuring the website is properly resourced.
What Should You Expect from Your Web Hosting Provider with a Managed Plan?
If a managed option is chosen, you should expect the following from your provider:
- Domain name registration and monitoring
- Domain services for email and authentication
- Secure web hosting from servers that are up to standard and monitored correctly (in a Tier III or IV data center)
- Backup and disaster recovery solutions
- Infrastructure that ensures the website is scaled properly and does not experience any slowdowns with increased traffic
- SSL certificate monitoring
Related Post: Data Center Tiers: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
What’s the Right Web Hosting Option?
The option that’s most appropriate will depend on the particular individual or entity.
In the broadest terms, a shared web hosting platform will be enough for users operating a small site, like a blog, that receives little traffic.
For businesses that are growing, cloud, VPS, or dedicated hosting options are the best, depending on what their needs are and their budget constraints.
VPS is a good option for those who have outgrown a shared server, while cloud hosting provides far more flexibility with the addition of more physical servers for users to utilize and is most appropriate for midsize websites and businesses.
Dedicated hosting is best suited to larger organizations that require more specific extensions, tools, utilities, and frameworks for their site or web apps—advanced customization is key for those seeking dedicated hosting.
Why Should Businesses Use Managed Hosting?
For businesses that have an internal IT team capable of managing their own web hosting, they will likely be fine on their own.
For those that are operating without a dedicated internal IT staff to manage their website, it’s often a sensible choice to have a provider manage it for them.
This is not only because it means they can take a more hands-off approach with management and focus on their business operations and the content side of things, but because there are clear detriments to poor website management today.
These include cybersecurity threats from not regularly and properly patching and monitoring the site; slow loading times due to reaching capacity (which because of new Google algorithm updates has real implications for a site’s ability to rank effectively with SEO); and quite simply not being able to handle sustained amounts of traffic in times of growth.
In addition to this, organizations that have to deal with compliance regulations will want to ensure that their website is correctly secured by the relevant standards they have to adhere to, whether it’s HIPAA, CCPA, or any one of the increasing number of laws coming into effect.
Bottom Line: Why Web Hosting Is Needed
There are a wide variety of web hosting options to choose from—website owners should have a clear understanding before deciding on an option whether it meets their needs and goals.
Managed web hosting is an excellent way of removing the hassle of managing a website’s infrastructure personally and allows organizations slim down their expenses on their internal IT team.
Impact’s web hosting experts have decades of collective experience building, hosting, and maintaining quality websites for clients. Learn more by visiting our Web Hosting solution and speak to a specialist to get the ball rolling.