Web hosting

What is web hosting? Basics for beginners in 2023

Updated on May 30th, 2023

What is web hosting you wonder?

Well in this web hosting basics for beginners guide article you will learn that.

You will learn

  • a website hosting definition
  • basic quick overview of the different types of hosting servers
  • summary of how to select a hosting service plan and company
  • the average price for each hosting server
  • and many more

What is web hosting plus other basics for newbies

Whether you’re a beginner starting a new blog, a newborn start-up, a small local business, a large corporation, or a multi-million dollar conglomerate, having your websites live online is very important to reaching your audience.

A live website helps you stay relevant and competitive, remain in sync with your industry, customers, audience, and clients, and provides value-add to every customer or audience interaction.

Websites give your business credibility and legitimacy.

They offer an affordable, modern marketing tool that can showcase your business as nothing else can.

As a business owner or website operator, you can collect enormous amounts of data and analytics about customer trends, behavior, budgets, and purchasing preferences.

But that’s not the whole story.

Unless your website or web application can be viewed and accessed conveniently and constantly on the internet, it would serve no purpose.

To do this, it’s essential to have a website with a domain name and access to a server.

Servers are computer programs or devices that mediate between computer users and other programs.

They may be located in data centers on a physical computer.

There are many different types of servers, including mail servers, web servers, application servers, proxy servers, file servers, etc.

Typically, a web server waits for and fulfills requests from clients.

It is not economical or practical for every website owner to have their own servers or support systems.

Instead, website hosting sites offer a viable and affordable alternative in the form of hosting plans.

The right company offers the best customer service and has fast servers that will speed up your website load time, is always available, secure, etc.

All of the above is basically what web hosting is about.

Do you know?

Some interesting website hosting stats.

  • According to a Securi 2018 report, most hacked sites are WordPress(90%), Magento(4.6%), Joomla(4.3%), and Drupal (3.7%)
  • A delay of 4-seconds in website page load can result in an 11.02% page view loss, according to an Optimizely article
  • In 2016, the American Community Survey (ACS) found that 89 percent of households had a computer

Do you need a web hosting service?

To answer this question, it’s important to understand how a website work.

  • Websites are composed in a format called HTML (hypertext markup language)
  • They have a unique domain name
  • The visitor’s computer is the client
  • The client uses a browser to make a request to visit/use a website
  • Websites are stored on computers called web servers that are capable of receiving demands from clients and responding with the format that displays the website
  • The visitor types in a web page address or domain name on the browser
  • Browsers connect to the server through an IP (Internet Protocol) address
  • When the web address is typed, a request is sent to an online server
  • This is verified and the server sends back a response with the HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) and a page is displayed from the appropriate storage files

Merely having a domain name and creating an attractive website is not enough.

You need to allow visitors and viewers to gain access to it via the Internet.

Additionally, your website has to be active on the Internet, stay alive, and grow.

This is possible by providing it with a place where website files can be stored and making them available to people anywhere in the world, at all times.

Websites occupy physical space on a server and in order to be viewed/used, they have to move out into a viewing space outside of the devices where they are stored.

In simple terms, web hosting services providers give a website a home that they can move in and out of whenever required.

While it is technically possible to have your own web hosting provider, this may not be a viable option for everyone.

Any computer can host a website if there is code compatibility.

Web hosting services can be outsourced to professional web hosting companies.

A hosting company generally provides a ready-made, off-the-shelf solution and also the necessary infrastructure.

This is the most suitable solution for a start-up, small or medium-sized business that may not have the technical skills, time, or financial resources to invest.

However, large corporations whose focus is on security and smooth operations would find this a good option.

They have the necessary resources and can hire the best equipment and infrastructure to manage their website in-house.

In-house hosting provides:

  • Complete control over access
  • Perfect hardware and powerful computers
  • Good processor with high RAM
  • Licensed/latest/supported versions of OS
  • Better facilities and options for upgrades
  • Focus on the operating environment, software, and web server systems
  • More efficient use of storage space
  • Higher levels of performance
  • No hassles of legal contracts with specific web hosting providers

On the flip side, this is not a wise choice for smaller businesses because of:

  • High costs of web server hardware, appropriate software, and a dedicated net connection
  • Servers need specialized climate control
  • The requirement for the team of technical professionals to develop, maintain, monitor, and upgrade website
  • Need to install and be in sync with the latest tech advances
  • The requirement for 24×7 support for the website
  • Ensuring that the server is always on
  • The requirement for specialized security systems and efficient firewalls
  • Need for the ability to respond instantly to problems
  • The requirement for licensing compliance
  • The requirement for dynamic IP service

While free web hosting services providers offer attractive packages, they are more suited to personal, fun, or hobby websites.

Web hosting providers may not provide customization or branding options.

They work with low-storage, template-like formats that don’t offer scope for creativity and personalization.

Security and back-up options, along with certain important functionalities are limited or absent.

Some “free” plans come with hidden costs or those that kick in somewhere down the line.

Free services may be bundled with ad services or they may not give your website the look and feel of an exclusive domain.

If you need an enduring, robust, profitable website, paid web hosting companies are a better option.

Web Hosting Companies and What They Do

A professional website hosting company or hosting services provider makes infrastructure investments; leverages the latest advancements and security systems.

They provide transparent information about uptime and load times.

This, in turn, provides enhanced customer/visitor services along with reliability.

They offer a suite of features that includes:

  • Email services
  • FTP access: FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a client-server protocol that enables the transfer of files between computers on the Internet
  • WordPress support or other website building tool support
  • Databases

There are several real, tangible, long, and short-term advantages of opting for a hosting company.

Professional web hosting providers are more conversant with the business end of running web hosting services.

They can keep running costs low and provide a faster and more reliable page service than a home-based broadband server.

Home-based connections are subject to failure and this means website downtime.

Security threats are a constant bug-bear to people who use their work PCs as web servers.

This means you need to invest in a web server that runs web server software.

Web hosting services offer clients a certain allotted disk space and “bandwidth” or data transfer amount to access the server.

Websites that have more dense and intense customer interaction, a bigger range of files to download, a higher amount of content like images, photographs, maps, PDF files, etc need greater bandwidth.

Websites that have mainly readable text content need smaller bandwidth.

For small and medium-sized businesses, start-ups, and personal websites, a hosting company is a perfect solution.

  • Professional web hosting companies invest in servers and storage space
  • Web hosting providers install the proper environment to ensure the protection and smooth functioning of servers. This includes climate control, dust-free environment, uninterrupted power supply, prevention of over-heating, exposure to weather, etc
  • Investments are also made insufficient bandwidth to ensure speed and efficiency of servers
  • They employ professionally qualified, trained, and experienced experts for upgrades, monitoring, maintenance, and repairs
  • Cost of upgrades, new technologies, replacement of servers, etc is built into the company’s running expenses

This means that the hosting provider is completely responsible for keeping your website up and running 365x24x7.

If you run an e-commerce website that functions across geographies and different time zones, professional hosting services ensure that the site is available whenever/wherever a potential customer accesses it.

A single unpleasant experience and a single disappointed customer can impact your business in a negative way, affecting your brand, reputation, and revenues.

What They Do

You can certainly design your own website, but when you want it to be viewed and accessed by others, you require a hosting service.

This service functions as a rental space where the website files can be stored and where visitors can be directed.

What web hosting companies do is free the website owner to concentrate on their core business competency.

You don’t have to stress yourself over setting up servers, networking, dynamic DNS, security, etc.

The rental costs can be built into the overall running costs of a business.

Web hosting servers essentially represent the physical location of your website, almost like a street address.

They provide storage facilities for data, text, images, videos, audio files, and all other content that you use on your website.

Along with this, web hosting providers manage the entire back-end and front-end technologies of your website while enabling it to connect to the Internet.

The basic web hosting servers

There are different types of web hosting servers.

They include:


This is the most common type of hosting.

  • Almost every site owner who has just entered the world of web hosting starts off with a shared hosting
  • It’s a great introduction for small business and start-up owners who have just set up their websites.
  • It’s easy for newbies to understand, provides plenty of free features and add-ons, simple to deploy and manage
  • It offers an affordable option if you don’t expect too much traffic, don’t require too many resources or your website is not yet very popular.
  • However, a business may soon outgrow shared web hosting when their needs evolve.
  • There is also less control over performance, security, and speed.


 In this type of hosting, the entire server is leased or rented by a single entity or organization.

  • The server is housed in a specific data center
  • The hosting company is in charge of providing server equipment, infrastructure, administration, etc.
  • It may also be called “managed hosting service” though there are certainly significant differences
  • They’re a great option for large corporations that require a high level of support and services
  • The hosting company may provide a dedicated team to manage everyday operations
  • This type of hosting offers superb flexibility, capability, and performance
  • This is the perfect option when you need to run specialized functions like enterprise management systems or you have to create customized software programs
  • Facilitates modernization of your business’s online visibility and presence
  • The company managing this server generally offer set-up, maintenance, support
  • The hosting provider’s huge power capacity and global networks are available to the client
  • It is also extremely high on reliability, security, and safety
  • However, it is expensive and complex
  • This is the most expensive option available and requires high levels of investment
  • It requires a high degree of technical expertise and professional experience


Here is what you need to know about Virtual Private Servers (VPS):

  • Virtual private servers website hosting combines the pros and cons of both shared hosting and dedicated server types.
  • It is the ideal option for running a SAAS (software as a service) business or in the business of developing specialized, bespoke software.
  • Offers exclusive services at a realistic price
  • Great security and performance
  • Complete control over the environment
  • However, requires extra maintenance
  • Is dependent on a shared server
  • The server is not a physical entity, but a virtual one
  • There are also different types of vps website hosting and the type determined your cost(for example, if you choose managed VPS services, the costs can go up)


The “cloud” refers to a number of computers linked together which enables the pooling of combined resources.

  • This is a great option for companies that are on a growth trajectory. Generally, websites graduate from shared hosting plans to cloud or VPS hosting.
  • It offers enhanced flexibility and speed, no matter what the traffic. With adequate hardware resources, there’s almost no way your site can go down, even if there’s a server crash.
  • Clients pay only for the resources they use. There is automated, scalable resource allocation, and pay-by-use convenience.  However, it’s important to know the nature/extent of the actual features that are offered and how much you’re expected to pay for them.


Business owners who lack the tech skills and/or don’t have the in-house find this to be a good option.

Here you will get proactive tech support in an environment where the experience has been configured to a single application.

WordPress Hosting

WP hosting is a type of specialty(managed) hosting service.

  • Specialized, platform-specific, and matched to a type of language, tool, or framework.
  • WordPress has certain specific requirements that are not generic.
  • With this type, you will get dedicated support, services, and performance for a WordPress installation.
  • It also offers an “auto-installer” to facilitate the process more easily.
  • Server resource usage is predictable, its configuration can be made more specific, in turn leading to swifter, smoother upgrades.
  • You need to read the contract carefully to understand the exact nature of the support.

Hosting pricing overview

Web hosting pricing is usually calculated by providers on the basis of:

  • Type of hosting: Shared, VPS, Dedicated, Cloud, etc
  • Payment terms: Monthly, yearly, quarterly
  • Features and options: Bandwidth, email, storage, etc
  • Plan Level: Entry, Mid-Range, Highest
  • Offers: Discounts, Set-up cost waivers, better terms for long-term plans, etc

Shared plan price

 This is the perfect choice for start-ups, small/local businesses, and personal websites as mentioned earlier.

Here the company owns a given number of servers and can host several websites on each one.

Since the resources are shared, the costs are lower.

  • They are great for sites that expect less traffic and don’t need too much bandwidth or storage space
  • Slower speeds, security issues, and occasional outages may bother you, but they don’t have a major impact on your site
  • There are several well-established, highly-reputed web hosting services providers in this space
  • Starting monthly plans range from as little as $4 to $7.99, with a choice of 3-4 plan options
  • The highest range of monthly plans are from $14 to $33.99
  • Most of them offer a money-back guarantee ranging from 30 to 90 days
  • Feature options include c-panel, email, unmetered transfers, free back-up and domain, SSL certificate, live chat, etc
  • Plans are also based on the amount of disk space, number of sites included, sub-domains, monthly visitor limits, guaranteed uptime performance, and other aspects like knowledge center and tickets

Dedicated plan price

At some point in the life of a business, it grows beyond what shared hosting can provide.

  • More traffic and security concerns begin to gain importance as your business grows and unless you scale up the website, the business could be negatively impacted.
  • One of the options available is dedicated hosting, where a complete server can be utilized exclusively by a single website or client.
  • It offers comprehensive control over RAM, bandwidth, storage, software configuration, etc.
  • It provides greater flexibility, control, processing power, and better utilization of resources.
  • However, it’s also the most expensive web hosting service that’s available.
  • It’s the perfect choice for large, high-powered, high-worth businesses that have a specific need for huge bandwidth, storage facilities, security, and powerful performance.
  • Pricing depends on speed, RAM, storage, bandwidth, the kind of processor being provided, etc.
  • Monthly plans are based on the kind of features and add-ons that you select.
  • Plans can range from as low as $67.58 for a monthly package that provides support and state-of-the-art tech, protection from system failures, fast and fail-safe performance, 100% network and uptime guarantees, auto-migrations, back-ups, real-time monitoring, customized configurations, add-ons like block/object storage, 500GB SSD – 5TB disk space, optimized WordPress, 24×7 support,  etc.
  • Managed dedicated hosting is available at slightly higher rates. It offers software configuration, installation of updates and patches, environment management, etc.
  • There are different tiers of managed services, ranging from self to fully managed options.
  • Core managed hosting covers the client’s hardware, web server, and third-party software, server infrastructure, and LAMP stack core elements.
  • These plans start from $105. 69
  • Unmanaged dedicated hosting is suitable when you have your own in-house experienced developers and site admins while offering the required tech support.
  • These plans start from $99.59
  • There are several other options in the dedicated hosting space:
    • Dedicated Linux server
    • Dedicated Windows server
    • cPanel dedicated server
    • Plesk dedicated server
    • Dedicated server with free SSDs (solid-state drive)
    • Dedicated server with unlimited bandwidth
    • Reseller dedicated hosting
  • Monthly plans for these types start from $19.95 and go up to $105. 69
  • While dedicated hosting is ideal for some business requirements, on the flip side, it is expensive in terms of set-up costs and maintenance.
  • Extensive tech knowledge and skills are required.
  • If you lack these in-house, you have to pay extra for managed services.

VPS plans price

The virtual private server bridges the gap between shared hosting and a dedicated hosting service.

  • It resembles a dedicated server within a shared hosting ecosystem, combining aspects of both.
  • It’s the right choice for an upgrade from shared hosting for websites that are on a growth path.
  • You get the advantages of privacy, security, dedicated resources, and a certain amount of control.
  • There are two different VPS options available: cPanel VPS hosting and Cloud VPS.
  • Hosting plans are available from several reputed, big-name web hosting service providers.
  • They include between 3-4 plan types, ranging in price from starting rates pegged at $29.99 – 89.99
  • The highest range plans are available at between $99.99 – 159.95
  • Pricing is also based on available RAM, root access, OS (Windows/Linux), bandwidth (standard, enhanced, or ultimate), storage, uptime performance, etc
  • Features include email, money-back guarantees, live chat, 24×7 phone, SSL certification, number of domains allowed, dedicated IP address options, CPU cores, etc

Cloud plan prices

Cloud servers are a system of interconnected servers where websites can be stored on multiple servers.

  • This enables the availability of resources from different locations, creating a virtual server or “cloud.”
  • It is a great option for websites that demand a high level of flexibility, scalability, reliability
  • If your website experiences frequent fluctuations in traffic, the cloud is a great hosting provider to choose
  • Plans range from simple, stress-free options to complex platforms
  • You can choose the best option based on your business goals, traffic, tech expertise, and budget
  • While scaling up from a shared hosting service, larger and growing businesses should identify a hosting provider that retains some of the features they loved in shared hosting
  • Pricing plans are based on the services, features and support offered
  • Different hosting companies offer plans ranging from starter to business pro plans
  • Monthly plans start at $4.95 and go up to $29.99 and may vary based on the monthly term period opted for
  • Features may typically include
    • websites allowed ranging from 1 to unlimited,
    • money-back guarantees,
    • free site transfer and managed services,
    • storage space and bandwidth options,
    • available RAM,
    • email accounts and email storage,
    • free and premium SSL certificates,
    • domain privacy,
    • automated back-ups,
    • local caching,
    • SSH,
    • cPanel
    • SpamExperts mail filtering and a range of marketing offers
  • Add-ons may include additional domain names, dedicated IP address, SEO tools, expired account reactivation, etc at extra cost, enterprise-grade firewalls, etc

It’s a smart strategy to do a detailed price comparison across different cloud hosting providers.

A cost-benefit analysis with fine-tuning on return on investment analytics can net you the best deal.

This is a highly competitive market and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean low quality.

The big, well-known hosting companies constantly innovate, extend, deepen, and widen their portfolios to provide affordable options.

This enables a better reputation and traction in the web hosting services space for reputed players.

Features of good web hosting

What makes a good web host?

Exceptional speed, support, and security are what to look for in a web hosting services provider and their plans.

Those are the keystones of a good website hosting service.

If your website ever goes down, experiences frequent downtimes, lags in performance, and speed, it can negatively impact your business.

Experts compare this to posting a “We’re Closed” sign at your door.

Visitors and customers expect you to be open for business 365x24x7 if you run an online business, e-commerce website.

Visitors also expect websites to be accessible regardless of time and geography.

Unless you meet these expectations, you could miss business opportunities, damage your brand, and find yourself dropping way down in search engine rankings.

The truth is that having great web hosting services is one of the most important factors for your website conversion rate and SEO performance.

No matter how great your content, how attractive and memorable your website is, and regardless of the amazing deals and discounts offer, unless your website is accessible and can be viewed, everything else amounts to zilch.

The presentation, loading speed, reliability, security, features, and ease of navigation of your website are factors that play a major role in customer appreciation and loyalty.

Partnering with the wrong web hosting services provider can swiftly turn your dream into a nightmare.

What should business owners look for in the ideal web hosting companies or website hosting services providers?

i) Do a needs analysis: It’s important to list out your preferences, needs, and budget before you begin the search.

This also means that you need to analyze your business requirements at the present moment and in the foreseeable future.

Is yours a start-up, small or medium-sized business on the growth path, a large corporation, or a multi-million dollar conglomerate?

Take into account what you expect from a hosting company.

Remember that:

  • Shared hosting is ideal for start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses
  • VPS is the choice for businesses and websites on a sharp growth trajectory
  • Dedicated hosting is the choice for high-performance, super-security, resource-rich businesses

ii) Type of site: This depends on the nature and scope of your website. Is it focused on these features:

  • Text only
  • 24-hour video streaming
  • Video blogging
  • E-commerce or Online store
  • Local, small target audience
  • Blog
  • Personal website for job search or talent showcasing

These factors will determine how much storage you need to purchase.

It’s wise to stretch a little beyond what you need right now so that future expansions and upgrades can be done more smoothly.

It’s also a smart idea to select a portable content management system rather than getting locked into a particular hosting service.

This is because the industry is highly dynamic.

Management can change, technologies may shift and there could be acquisitions and mergers that impact your contract.

Ensure that you have your own domain name. It helps you to change website hosting providers whenever you want and has control over the SEO benefits you’ve earned previously.

Read the terms of service in great detail.

If possible, get them read by an expert or trustworthy, knowledgeable legal professional.

Such contracts could have hidden clauses, charges, fees that kick in at a later date, refund policies, money-back guarantees, redress terms, etc.

Take your time to go through the entire terms and conditions section before you sign on the dotted line.

iii)Resource requirements: This is a highly competitive market and it’s easy to get trapped into buying features and add-ons that you may never use.

New websites or businesses that cater to a limited, localized audience may not require much bandwidth.

Ensure that you keep a margin for future growth while also making sure that you’re not locked in.

  • Do you need Windows applications?
  • A WordPress blog?
  • Special software needs?

It’s important to understand Need-To-Have features, Want-To-Have features, and May-Need-Later features that you consider essential.

Prioritize them according to what you need right now and in the middle and long term.

These are some typical aspects to consider:

  • Email functionality
  • Storage and RAM
  • High bandwidth
  • High security
  • Data transfer
  • Domains
  • Uptime rates
  • Reliability
  • Support
  • Hosting upgrade options
  • Pricing terms: Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly
  • Ecommerce features
  • Control panel
  • Live chat and/or Phone chat
  • Site back-up
  • Subscription period

You can also check about account limitations, visitor limitations, add-ons, number of domains possible, etc.

iv) Reliable Servers and Uptime Rates:

Websites need to be alive 24×7, especially when you want global outreach.

Your web hosting services provider has to have stable network connections and servers.

Today, these aspects are tagged as being 99.9% even in shared hosting configurations.

You can access uptime information by reading reliable online reviews and/or track your website with server monitoring tools.

Third-party reviews are a great help to see consistent problems, complaints, and user feedback.

How a company responds to customers can give you a fair idea of the level of support you can expect from them when hosting a website with them.

It’s good to have a basic understanding of server types so that you don’t get snowed under by tech jargon delivered by hosting company reps.

The cheapest one is shared hosting available on shared servers.

However, your site’s performance and security can be affected by the environment and the neighborhood you find yourself in.

v) Support: This is something that can make or break a relationship.

Unless you have experienced, professionally-trained experts in-house, pick a hosting service that provides the level of support you need.

Most web hosting service providers offer certain basic support features like email, phone, and/or ticketing support.

What you need to check is what the turnaround times are( keep in mind that responding fast doesn’t mean solving your problem.

Actually, if they respond too fast, there is a huge possibility that they are not doing their research properly before responding, especially, with technical issues).

Most web hosting providers offer 24×7 phone support, but you need to understand what kind and level of support it is.

If the phone number merely connects to a call center that gives you a ticket or records your complaint, it could spell trouble.

It’s important to have a searchable, information-rich, easy-to-understand knowledge section, with a section on FAQs and a bank of useful, relevant articles written by true experts.

Test every support channel yourself before you opt for the service.

Ensure that they are able to address your concerns and that their response is reliable, prompt, and trustworthy.

Reviews and customer feedback are a great way to cross-check the claims of a web hosting services provider but be careful because a lot of the reviews online are by affiliate marketers who are not providing information fairly.

For a hassle-free support service, the better option is a managed hosting service.

You may have to pay a higher price, but it can save you unnecessary stress and frees you to focus on your core business areas.

vi) Pricing: While this should never be the sole determining factor, it certainly plays a major role in selection.

Don’t hold the price hostage to security and performance.

These are non-negotiables.

Cheapest is not always the best, but the cheapest doesn’t always mean unreliable, shoddy, or scam.

Free hosting may be a great idea for start-ups or personal websites but you may have to compromise on performance and security when you choose cost-savings and convenience.

Some firms may offer free hosting initially, but a reading of the fine print could tell a different story.

Watch for seemingly great deals like unlimited offers – these may come with hidden clauses that could limit your performance or shut your site down after you reach a predetermined usage level.

In this industry, it pays to opt for a slightly more expensive option even if it means stretching your budget a bit.

Price also depends on the kind of services you opt for.

Starting with an affordable shared hosting package, you can go all the way up to dedicated servers, managed services, etc.

Avoid lock-ins as much as possible.

According to industry watchers, website hosting costs are based on several important factors and it’s good to be aware of these.

  • Shared hosting across the board generally amounts to between $2.75 – 15 a month.
  • Monthly rates for VPS hosting can range from $5 to $80
  • Dedicated hosting rates per month may cost you between $80-730
  • Cloud hosting pegs at monthly rates between $4.50  and $240
  • WordPress hosting is tagged at $4.99 – 290 per month

Aside from these rates, you may have to fork out extra for:

  • domain name registration (between $10-15 annually)
  • SSL certification ($50-450)
  • automated backup and restore services (may range from free to $2 per month)
  • site lock security ($24 a year)
  • business email/productivity suites ($6-15 per month).

vii) Security: We’ve listed this last on the list, but that’s only to highlight its supreme importance.

According to statistics on data breaches listed on Wikipedia, at least 4.5 billion records were exposed due to data breaches in early 2018.

Nearly 2.7 billion records that contained private information regarding email addresses and unique passwords were up for sale on the Internet in 2019.

These figures are alarming and they’re only set to grow.

Studies conducted by Sophos Labs, a private cyber-security firm reveal that every day, at least 30,000 websites are compromised.

They distribute malicious code to random users.

Most of these websites are owned by legitimate small and medium-sized businesses and they are inadvertently caught in this criminal activity.

Security and protection are some of the most important features to look for when selecting the right web hosting companies.

Websites contain huge amounts of confidential data about not just your business, but also about your customers.

If you run an eCommerce or retail site, you have to protect your customers’ data and confidential information.

Malicious attacks, hacking, cybercrime, data theft, identity theft, etc. are some of the issues you could face.

Security measures that are essential for any sized website include:

  • Network protocols
  • Spam filtering
  • Virus and malware scanning
  • Firewalls
  • User permission
  • Multi-level authentication
  • Password configurations
  • Security audits

Selecting web hosting companies that provide secure hosting means you have to look for certain basic requirements.

Your website should have SSL (secure socket layer) certification that ensures that all information that flows back and forth through the website is kept safe and private.

Visitors can, therefore, access the website using HTTPS which is doubly secure and encrypts all communication between the website and browsers.

You also need a WAF (web application firewall) to monitor the HTTP traffic. This prevents SQL injections, cross-site scripting, and other types of malicious techniques.

Network monitoring has to be a regular feature to prevent intrusions and unauthorized activity on the website.

Detecting malware and ensuring the removal is a combined effort between the website owners and the website hosting services providers. Special software can be installed to prevent malware attacks. Regular reports should be given to the client on the monitoring efforts.

Automated, regular offsite backup is a crucial aspect of security, especially for larger, more complex websites.

While selecting the right plug-ins, updates, and apps, it’s important to check their numbers and that they are current.

Default settings should be changed immediately.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks happens when miscreants flood the website’s servers with unprecedented amounts of requests and traffic.

This makes the website “crash” or become unavailable to genuine visitors.

Security systems should focus on the prevention and mitigation of such attacks.


Below are some answers to basic web hosting questions answered.

Q. When should I look for a new web host?

While loyalty is always preferred, there are plenty of reasons to switch to a new website hosting if you have one now.

Here are when:

  • Not enough bandwidth/storage
  • Not capable of handling growing traffic
  • Poor customer service
  • Changing price points: Not enough features to match the price
  • Not satisfied with current features
  • Excessive downtime
  • Slowdown in page-uploads
  • Bloated add-ons
  • Poor security
  • No automated back-ups
  • Lack of reliability and site maintenance
  • You need more control/access
  • Bad treatment from support staff
  • Poor-quality passive support (FAQs)
  • Billing errors/conflicts
  • Non-fulfillment of contractual obligations
  • Hidden charges or clauses in a contract
  • End of package-deal facilities and features

Q. Can you host your own website by yourself?

Yes, it’s technically possible if you have professional expertise, experience, and resources, and your website is small/local/low-traffic. You need:

  • Dedicated Internet
  • The IP address for servers
  • Domain name
  • Hardware and software
  • Skilled technicians

Q. What is hosting on a website?

A web hosting service offers storage space for websites and web applications on an Internet server and allows them to be accessed and viewed.

Q. How do I pick a good web hosting company?

  • Do a detailed needs analysis
  • Be aware of your preferences, budget, and requirements
  • Prioritize must-have/nice-to-have/want-to-have conditions
  • Compare prices
  • Get recommendations from trustworthy experts
  • Test out features
  • Read the Terms & Conditions carefully

Q. What are the different types of hosting?

  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Colocation
  • Cloud
  • Managed

Q. Do I need a domain name?

Yes. Though third-party domain names are available and some companies offer free domain names, they’re suitable for personal websites or blogs.

Not having your own domain name makes it difficult to move to a new host when you want.

They can also be monetized later when your site gains brand value, popularity, and traction.

Q. What is the “cloud”?

Cloud computing refers to a hosting service that comprises a large number of servers linked together so that resources can be pooled.

Websites with high traffic and requirements for scale and flexibility are the best candidates for cloud hosting.

Q. What are the different types of operating systems for website hosting?

The answer is Linux and windows.

Linux web hosting applications are the most popular and preferred as it is more versatile.

About the Author

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ years of experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency…[Read full bio]