Web hosting services provide help maintaining websites created by individuals and business owners. Think of a web host as someone renting out space to store your website and its components, while providing internet connectivity to ensure accessibility. Different hosting companies will provide you with different incentives to go with their services, but Web Hosting at a basic level will include the following things.
Web Servers: All Web hosting services will have servers they use as rentable space for their clients. You want to make sure that the servers are fast and reliable when vetting the hosting service. Make sure to verify these claims through independent benchmark tests and customers’ reviews that should be readily available online. You want to make sure you consider the brand, RAM and type of hard drive in the provided servers. These considerations will help determine faster performance on web page load times. You also want to consider what type of operating system the server provides. With VPS and dedicated servers, you might have more of a choice in the type of operating system downloaded to the server, while shared hosting options tend to use what is available and best fits the majority of their clients.
Administration Tools: Administration frameworks such as cPanel, Plesk or custom coded systems allow for server setting configuration. Depending on the type of configuration, the hosting company can monitor usage through traffic analytics and ensure that everything is running efficiently within the servers they are renting out.
Domain Management: Most shared web hosting companies either use cPanel or proprietary administration tools for configuration. In some cases, hosting plans will offer an unlimited amount of domains under a single account, with the understanding that the IP address for all of them will be the same. If you need to run https on each domain, you will need to purchase unique IP addresses to manage SSL certificate settings. There is no valid way to host multiple domains using a single SSL certificate, but with cPanel, it is easy to add subdomains to your account as you grow. The administration tools will help ensure proper domain management.
Data Security: Any website hosting plan should have some type of security measures in the place, like firewalls and monitoring software to prevent automated attacks to your data and sites. Web hosting plans sometimes go above and beyond by providing automated site file and database backup tools in case of a crash, but always make sure there is a basic level of protection in the services you are researching.
Technical Support: When buying any service as a small business or individual, always consider technical support to be a must. Most web hosting plans will provide at least some type of technical support or are not worth your business. The support should be provided 24/7 and hopefully be available via telephone, chat, and email to ensure easy access where ever you may be.
At its core, web hosting services are meant to make maintaining your web presence easy as you grow your online platform or business. With these basic aspects of the services to look for when choosing a web hosting service, you will be sure to find the best one for you!