The scene happens all of the time. Someone has spent a long time researching how to build a website. They took a seminar on using WordPress. Then, they devoted a lot of time and care developing the best website they can. Then, they move to publish the website. There’s a prompt, maybe an error, and one question. Wait, what is web hosting?
There is no shame in asking the question. What is web hosting? Basically, that refers to giving your website a place to live. When you think about it, there’s no way that people all over the world can visit a website that doesn’t have a location. And we are not just talking about a digital location with a domain, but a physical location as well.
What is web hosting? Well, let’s break it down. Use the table of contents if you want to skip to a particular section.
Table of Contents
What is Meant by Web Hosting?
So we know that web hosting refers to giving your website a place to live. But what does that mean? All websites need to be present on a server of some kind. They have to have all of their assets and resources stored. Then, that server needs to have a consistent connection online. Now, when a website is running on a server that is connected to the internet, all that is left is to let others access the information on that server. They do that by entering the website address or clicking a link that directs them to the website.
Hosting Websites Yourself
Many times, the first thought is thinking that you should host your own website. You do have a computer after all. Even under the best circumstances, self hosting your website can be a bad idea. In this case, we just learned the very basic answer to “what is web hosting?” There is a long way to go before self hosting is even an option. After thinking about the logistics for a minute, it is clear to see that the saved subscription price does not save you money or time in the long run.
For those who do self host, they provide all of the hardware that will run the website. They make sure that the machine is equipped to handle the demands of a live website. This includes supporting all of the users on the site. If the hardware cannot handle 1,000 visitors at once and it gets that traffic, then the site can suffer from low performance or crash altogether. Also, if a storm knocks out the power, the site is down unless you have a backup for power and internet connectivity. And we have not even started discussing how to handle security, updates with WordPress, and more.
In the end, it is in your best interest to find a professional website host.
What Does a Web Hosting Service Do?
So we know about web hosting, but what is a web hosting service? When you tell WordPress to publish the website, why does it not do that? First, WordPress is not a host. WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). It is great at creating content and facilitating updates, but it has no functionality to host your site. For that, there are specific website hosting services. They provide the hardware, resources, and physical location that house the website. Then, they make sure it stays running smoothly. Unlike most homes, professional website hosts are prepared and ready to handle potential interruptions of service. It is their job to do so, and reputable hosts do the job very well.
There are many different kinds of website hosting on the internet. But specifically looking for managed hosting options gets you started on the right path. Managed hosting services offer their servers to house your website for a fee. This way, you do not have to worry about buying, setting up, and maintaining expensive hardware. Companies who offer managed hosting take it a bit further than that, though. They also handle some general administration, security, and update tasks involved with hosting a website. You will likely see that hosts focused on WordPress are managed in order to monitor for new versions and to increase overall performance.
So your web host would give your website a place to live and makes sure it is available online at virtually all times. They also make sure that it is up to date with the latest security to keep it safe. And a really good host will even monitor your website speed and provide backups at consistent intervals. Mostly, they take care of all of those things so you do not even have to think about it.
What About a Domain
To have a website, you need a domain. A domain is the website name (basically, it is the name of the site and the dot suffix part: ex. wpsuperhost.com). A surprisingly common misconception is that web hosts provide domains. This is not the case. Your website host cannot give you a domain just like they cannot develop your website for you. All three of those projects are separate pieces of the website pie. There are specific services that exist to register domains for users. This is mostly because simply registering a domain through a registrar is already an involved, official process. The domain has to be officially registered to the user and properly documented. So when looking to create a website, your first step should be to visit a domain registrar and register a domain. It is typically best to do this quickly, as domains are all unique. Each second, many more domains are registered, and it would be a shame for the one you want to be taken.
After registering the domain, you are free to build the website, assign the domain name to that website, and find a web host to get the site online.
What is WordPress Web Hosting?
Enough about looking at what is web hosting. What about specifically WordPress web hosting? There are specialized hosts that are focused on hosting websites that use WordPress as a CMS. At first, that may seem limiting. However, consider that WordPress is the most popular CMS in website development. Optimizing a hosting service to coordinate with WordPress gives these hosts a leg up when someone needs a WordPress site hosted. There is a little more to it, though.
WordPress is designed as a free and open-source website CMS. It was initially created as blogging tool, but it has evolved much since then. The open-source nature of WordPress has served it well. It has allowed for the third-party development of a wide range of plugins and themes. These have taken the WordPress world by storm. Themes aid heavily in the look and feel of websites. Plugins offer access to endless customization options. We are talking about everything from donation collection to contact forms. There are even plugins designed to help you with your website’s SEO. This also means that a host can better provide hosting for these sites. An open-source code gives hosts a chance to coordinate with the CMS. This can lead to extra functionality, like a host that can monitor when WordPress updates.
What is the Best Web Hosting for WordPress?
For your WordPress site, your best hosting option is one specially designed to work with WordPress. This gives you access to more performance and often savings as well. Your best bet is to go with a service that offers multiple levels hosting. That way, you can upgrade if you need to. It needs to be able to support a large number of visitors across multiple websites at high speeds. And having the option for unlimited bandwidth is always a huge plus.
WP Super Host provides all of this and more. We run daily backups and keep them for 30 days just in case you need to revert to an earlier version. Also, we offer super fast setup and easy migration if you are moving from an existing host. We even provide CDN. And with our focus on WordPress, we not only monitor for updates, but we monitor your WordPress plugins as well. And all of this comes together on a user-friendly, intuitive dashboard. Check out our hosting packages to find the right one for you. What is web hosting? WP Super Host is web hosting.
So now, you have an understanding toward what is web hosting. There are many pitfalls to self-hosting, especially if you are new to this. Most often, it is more trouble than it is worth. In most cases, WordPress is your best source for building your website. And if you are using WordPress, then it is safe to say you are better off going with a host that specializes in WordPress sites. You know you have the right host when you do not even have to worry about how your website is being hosted. And when that is the case, you are free to get your own work taken care of.