Starting a website seems both simple and complicated at the same time. On one hand, it does not look hard to get a landing page built. On the other hand, it can be intimidating to figure out how to get that landing page online. Running a website is more than just building web pages and linking them together. There are many aspects involved that take consideration and maintenance. To start, every website needs to be hosted. Often, this idea is not thought of early in the process of making the website. Neglecting this point can lead to a few headaches by the time you have finished designing your site.
When you start looking into something new, it is common to have a few beginning questions. “Do I need web hosting in the first place? If so, why do I need web hosting?” Those are only two of the many questions you are likely asking yourself. If you have found yourself asking similar questions, use the table of contents below to learn more.
Table of Contents
What is Web Hosting and Why do I Need it?
Web hosting refers to giving your website a place where others can access it. The host houses the information for your website and allows users to visit it online. Comparing your website to a restaurant, your hosting service is not just the host, but the entire front door as well. Without a door, no one can even enter. After getting a host, it is like the door appears and the host keeps the door open for anyone interested in coming inside.
It should go without saying that if you have a website, you need web hosting. Even if you want to host the website yourself, that is still providing web hosting for the site. Unless you hand someone a flash drive or send an email attachment with your website files, nobody can see your site until it is hosted.
Do I Need a Hosting Site for WordPress?
So we know that typical websites have to have a host in order to be on the world wide web. But what if you build your site with WordPress? We can learn the answer to that by learning what WordPress is.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS). It is an intuitive and user-friendly tool that gives you an outlet to create web pages. You can design full websites with menus, frames, links to other pages on the site, external links, embedded videos, and everything else you have seen featured on other websites. It is free and opensource, so that means creating a website costs nothing. It also means that there are tons of plugins and themes you can use to customize your website.
Notice that the above description does not mention anything about hosting or domains. That is because WordPress does not handle either of those things. You cannot reserve a domain with WordPress. It is simply not a part of its functionality. You also cannot host your site with WordPress. The reason is that WordPress is not a hosting service. It does a great job of building websites. But to let anyone else visit it online, you have to get a host for your WordPress site.
Do I need managed WordPress hosting?
Let me start by saying, yes, you absolutely need managed WordPress hosting. There is no doubt about that. But what do I mean by “managed” hosting? At the base level, managed hosting is hosting that you pay for. You pay a subscription to a service that will host your website and manage that hosting.
But how does a service actually manage the hosting? For one, they work toward making sure the website is hosted correctly with the right resources. If you pay a host for unlimited bandwidth, then the host is responsible for ensuring that speeds do not grind to a halt on your website as it uses up loads of bandwidth. They make sure there are no issues or conflicts with the hosting. They keep up with the software and security measures involved with hosting your site.
But what is the alternative? There are services that offer free hosting. These are always a bad idea and are sometimes dangerous. The best-case scenario is that your free host never gives your website another look. Nothing is maintained or managed, so a slight hiccup can bring your site down. There is no one responsible for making sure that does not happen. More likely, the host will load your website with ads that you have no say in. These ads take space and resources from your web content. Plus, it appears that you personally endorse those ads. To make things worse, sometimes, free hosting services can be a front to hackers looking to collect, steal, and sell data.
Do I Need Web Hosting for Shopify and Other Plugins?
Using plugins can bring your website entirely new functionality. For example, Shopify can give your website eCommerce capabilities. With it, you can participate in financial transactions online. Now, your website can sell products and services to your visitors. There is nothing special involved in hosting sites with these kinds of plugins. However, you might be able to find hosts that better accommodate certain plugins. Since eCommerce, like with Shopify, needs an SSL certificate, you can find a host that will provide that certificate for free.
WordPress plugins can do some pretty great things. Unfortunately, they cannot supply web hosting. There are plugins that can help potentially keep track and manage the hosting you do have, but they do not have the capability to actually host your website. For that, you still need to seek a hosting service.
A managed WordPress hosting service will be able to handle your WordPress site as well as any plugins and themes that are compatible with your site. Luckily, there are hosts that specialize in WordPress sites. These WordPress hosts have increased functionality and can often run cheaper and more efficiently. And sometimes, one of these functions is plugin monitoring.
What’s the Best Hosting?
The best host is one that provides great quality, price, consistency, and service. Quality can be seen as the speed and performance of the hosting. To keep your users happy and rank higher on Google, you need your website to move fast. It also will need to have enough storage to hold all of the media you use for your website. You do not want to have to figure out what image or video to delete so you can add another one. Also, your site host needs to be able to handle multiple visitors at a time.
The idea of price is a little more obvious. The cost of hosting your website cannot break the bank. Luckily, most hosts offer different packages based on your needs. The best host for you will be one that has a package that meets your needs without anything going to waste. You do not need to pay for extra storage you know you will never need. And considering WordPress hosting, you should be able to get a great price without sacrificing quality.
Consistency refers to the reliability of the hosting. Will your site stay up constantly? The best host will do everything to make sure your site does not go down. It also applies to bandwidth. Speeds mean nothing if your website hits a bandwidth cap. This usually leads to a performance drop that can slow your site to a crawl. And while you do not want to pay for bandwidth you are not using, you want to make sure that you have plenty to avoid this problem. The good news is that the best hosts have great customer support that can help you determine the right package for your website.
Finally, you need to consider your host’s service. We already discussed great customer service. Make sure that your host offers this support 24/7. Service means more than this, though. It also refers to extra features. For example, WP Super Host offers update, speed, and plugin monitoring. We provide free SSL certificates, easy site migration, daily backups, and more. And all of this is on top of our fantastic quality, pricing, and consistency.
The best host
The best host that can take the best care of your WordPress website is WP Super Host. From speed and security to an intuitive dashboard and daily backups, we have everything you need. Your website deserves a professional, reputable host with reasonable prices. We have different packages to accommodate for different storage needs and expected daily traffic. Take a few moments to look at our hosting options today.
By now, you should have a clear answer to, “why do I need web hosting?” Regardless of what you use your website for, it has to be hosted. That is the only way to let people on the internet access your site. Even websites built using a great CMS like WordPress need to be hosted somewhere. Do your homework, and make sure you pick a host that works best for you.