So, you’re thinking that 2017 is the year you’ll build a website. But you still have a lot of questions on your list, like what is a web hosting provider? Fortunately, that’s one question we can tick off your list pretty easily.
Trust me; I do remember feeling a lot of confusion before I launched my site because of all the new and unfamiliar jargon. Hosting was a bit of a mystery to me, and I really wasn’t sure what direction to go in. But I sorted it out, and I can help you get comfortable too.
This is such a critical topic because reliable and secure web hosting is essential to the success of any website. So…fix yourself a cup of steaming coffee, sit back, and prepare to learn the fundamentals of hosting and hosting providers.
A web hosting provider is a business entity that provides all the services and technologies needed for readers to view your website on the Internet. Hosting providers rent storage space on their industrial-strength computers called web servers where your website files will reside. They also ensure Internet connectivity.
There are multiple hosting companies to choose from, and most offer a wide range of packages at various price points. The services included in your package will impact the user experience of your site visitors in addition to your wallet, so you’ll want to choose carefully.
Web hosting options include free hosting plans, shared servers, managed WordPress hosting, cloud servers, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and dedicated servers. The cost of web hosting may range from nothing to hundreds of dollars per month depending on capabilities and features offered.
If you are interested in creating and growing an online business, it is vitally important to understand and evaluate the features of a hosting package. Insufficient resources will impact the success of your website. On the other hand, choosing a hosting package that is more robust than you need will adversely affect your budget.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hosting Package
What website builder will you be using to create your site? There are many options available, but I stronglyrecommend going with WordPress.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the web for a reason. It is a free and open platform which means there are thousands of themes you can use to design a site that has the look and feel you desire. Additionally, there are an enormous number of plug-ins to choose from to enhance functionality.
Web servers store all of the content for your website including pages, posts, text, images, video, etc. on hard drives. The typical small to mid-size website requires less than 100 MBs of storage capacity so it shouldn’t be a huge issue. That said, beware of unlimited storage claims.
Hard-drives are physical hardware. Unlimited storage is technically impossible, and at some point, the combined requirements of all users on shared devices will exceed limits. Make sure you understand what those limits are and allow for the growth of your site over time. Remember, if you have a blog you’re continuously adding content and increasing your storage requirements.
Bandwidth refers to the volume of data that may be transferred from the server to a visitor to your site. Your traffic will determine the amount of bandwidth you use. Bandwidth is also impacted by a feature-rich site because images and video require more bandwidth than text.
Many web hosting packages specify unlimited bandwidth. Be cautious! Read the fine print and ask questions. Resources are never unlimited, and you will want to understand the consequences if your bandwidth requirements increase.
Initially, a new site will not have a lot of steady traffic. But, of course, you are anxious to change that. Raise your hand if you want more eyes reading your content and more potential customers visiting your site.
The Internet is open for business 24/7 all year round, and you want your site to be up and running whenever readers (potentially from around the globe) desire access. No host can guarantee 100% reliability, but you want uptime to be in excess of 99%. Read recent reviews of the provider to be sure their customers are not experiencing excessive downtimes. If your site is down, many readers will not try again.
Fast page loading speeds are imperative for websites and a key factor in defining the user experience for your site. Bottom line, readers will not wait for a slow loading website.
Is round-the-clock support included with the hosting package? Can you access support personnel by phone, email, or only through forums? If your site breaks, you will want to get it back up as soon as possible, and you will probably need assistance.
Will your site have robust security features to protect your privacy and prevent hacking, spam, and malware issues? If you intend to run an e-commerce site, does your package include an SSL certificate? How often will your site be backed up? The ability to restore your site from a recent backup is critical because let’s face it, stuff happens.
For a business website, you will want the ability to create site-specific email accounts. How many accounts can you create? Can you forward emails to another account?
We all have to work within a budget. The cost of the service will naturally play a significant role in your web hosting decision. But I’ve deliberately addressed cost last because if you haven’t considered other factors and you make your decision solely based on monetary considerations alone, you are unlikely to achieve a satisfactory web hosting experience.
Free website hosting has obvious appeal and may be a great option if you are interested in a personal blog that you can use to keep in touch with family and friends or simply share personal thoughts and opinions.
For many reasons, it’s probably not a good choice for a business website. With a free site, the hosting provider will typically display ads on your site to recover the cost of providing services. In most instances, you cannot remove the ads, and you face many limitations. Make sure you understand the restrictions before you waste time on this route.
SiteRubix – My Recommended Web Hosting Provider
SiteRubix is my personal choice for a web hosting provider, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The SiteRubix platform is powered by Wealthy Affiliate and represents the best in high-speed, reliable, managed WordPress hosting.
The chart below describes the awesome hosting features I enjoy as a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate
The #SiteRubix platform represents the best in high-speed, reliable, managed WordPress hosting.
Consider also that superior hosting with the SiteRubix platform is only one aspect of membership in Wealthy Affiliate (WA). The WA community is a large and growing online marketing training center with more than 100,000 members.
Step-By-Step Task-Based Training
WA provides extensive hands-on training that will walk you through all aspects of creating an online marketing business. You can quite literally create your first website with four mouse clicks and view it live on the Internet in moments. Your membership also includes a keyword research tool that is invaluable in creating content that ranks in Google and draws traffic to your website.
Two Membership Levels
Let’s talk about the two membership levels offered by Wealthy Affiliate.
- Starter Membership – A starter membership is 100% free to join (no credit card required). This is where you should begin your online journey because there are absolutely no risks or continuing obligations involved. It’s your opportunity to check out both SiteRubix hosting and the WA community.
- 2 Websites
- SiteRubix hosting and website builder
- 10 video-based, task-oriented lessons
- Your choice of 12 beautiful WordPress templates
- Access to support and the WA community for 7 days
A Starter Membership is not a trial. You will lose access to the community and 24/7 support after the first 7 days; however, you keep the websites and can stay on as a free member for as long as you choose.
- Premium Membership – A premium membership opens up a world of opportunity for online entrepreneurs including amazing training, resources, hosting and online community support.
- Host up to 25 domains that you own
- Host up to 25 free SiteRubix websites
- a marketplace where you can purchase domains
- 7 Levels of Certification Training including over 100 lessons
- Full access to the WA community where new training is published by members on a daily basis
- All of the SiteRubix hosting features included in the chart above
I joined WA as a free member just about a year ago. I spent 7 days exploring the site, created my first website, and completed my first 10 lessons. After finding the experience exciting and energizing, I made the decision to become a premium member. A year later, I have no regrets and no plans to leave WA.
What is the Cost of a WA Premium Membership?
The cost of a premium membership, with all of the advantages discussed above, is $49 per month. There is also a more cost-effective annual membership available for $359 per year. That works out to slightly less than $1 per day which is a gonga deal and one I opted for a few months back.
First Month Bonus
If you decide to upgrade to a premium membership within the first 7 days, you will receive your first month at a deep discount of $19. Payment of this discounted price unlocks all training modules and gives you an additional 30 days to assess everything and thoroughly kick all the tires before paying full price.
I encourage you to take full advantage of the Starter Membership so that you can make an informed decision that’s right for YOU!
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My hope is that you can now comfortably answer the question, what is a web hosting provider? Hosting is absolutely essential to the success of any online business, so please ask any remaining questions in the comment section below.
If you liked this post and found it helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform. Good luck with your online endeavors!
12 thoughts on “What is a Web Hosting Provider and Why Do You Need One?”
Great article on web hosts, I used to be that guy who wanted to build a site the first time too and I was asking myself the same question – What is a web host and why do we need it.
I realized that it’s no funny matter not knowing and it’s very stressful too, I remember last time I was arguing with Hostgator support to teach me but they just copy pasted an answer and expected me to understand. I wish I had come across your article sooner last time. It would have been much easier for me to start my website. Loving your article!
So glad to learn you enjoyed the post and found the information useful. I think when we’re brand new to anything, we all have a bunch of questions. I think you make an excellent point about dealing with support at Hostgator or any number of other web hosting providers. Their focus is on resolving issues rather than explaining and teaching. That’s what sets SiteRubix apart from other providers because it’s the proprietary engine of Wealthy Affiliate. Since WA is a training facility, you can get answers to any question you may have which not only resolves your current issue but helps you avoid similar issues in the future. Members of the Wealthy Affiliate community pose dozens of questions every day. Within minutes the answers start coming in from more experienced folks in the community and we can all learn from these exchanges.
Good luck with your site and thanks for chiming in!
I joined Wealthy Affiliate and their SiteRubix platform that host my website. I was completely new to this type of role but wished to learn the online ropes, so I got involved with their training to accomplish building my affiliate marketing website.
You are so right regarding WordPress as this is by far the most well known and used website platform with so many themes to choose from.
The funny thing is I never think about the hosting however itâ€™s the most important part, making sure youâ€™re safeguarded from hacks and spam and that your website loads quickly and efficiently.
Since joining Wealthy Affiliate Iâ€™ve never had a problem and donâ€™t think about the most important hosting part running behind the scenes, I just get on with publishing my content.
Having said all that, there is support 24/7, so if I ever require help thereâ€™s always someone there.
How long have you been hosted by SteRubix?
I’m rapidly approaching my one year anniversary with SiteRubix and the experience has been seamless and uneventful. Reliability and uptime has been outstanding. So much so that I recently switched from a monthly to an annual contract.
I’ve found working with WordPress to be an incredibly user-friendly experience given the power of this CMS. But I’ve also come to realize that is is due in large part to the managed WordPress environment. Site support works tirelessly in the background to handle technical aspects like regular updates to WordPress and the various plugins I use. That’s invaluable for a non-techie like myself.
The security features have also been fabulous. I’ve experienced no issues at all with malicious activity and from everything I read on the Internet, this is a real problem for many website owners.
Thanks for joining the conversation. It’s always best to have multiple perspectives. Good luck with your site!
You are spot on about SiteRubix. I used to use 1&1 and although the package was really inexpensive, it offered very little in the way of support. It’s been quite the opposite experience since I joined WA over a year ago. The information, training and support that they offer is invaluable. It’s a really great value when you consider all that’s included with the membership, plus a great community of online business entrepreneurs.
I appreciate the insights you’ve provided on SiteRubix. They’re especially helpful and relevant because you’ve been enjoying the services for a year. I have to agree with you that “value” is the most important consideration when selecting a web hosting provider for a new online business.
I recognize the appeal of more inexpensive packages (don’t we all?) but if they don’t meet the needs of your fledgling website, it can be very counterproductive to go that route. Strong support is essential!
Thanks so much for adding your comments!
I absolutely agree with you that SiteRubix is definitely the best for a new beginner who wishes to build their site. The reason being? It allows the user to sign up for free for 7 days to get the experience on site building. I personally have been scammed quite a few times where credit card info is required for signing up for any program. So Siterubix and WA are definitely the best choice for beginner!
You make an excellent point. Beginners in the online arena need to be particularly vigilant when engaging any online service provider. My rule of thumb is that a legitimate provider will happily allow exploration and allow you to see exactly what you’re purchasing prior to charging you. Any provider that requires payment before you fully understand the services is suspect. WA and SiteRubix are not threatened by knowledgeable consumers and this is a huge plus in my book.
Thanks for commenting!
Thank you. That is a very clear and in depth explanation of why we need a web hosting provider. Very easy to understand from a beginners point of view. One of the most important things to consider when choosing a host is security. Does worry me a bit that nearly all aspects of society rely on the cloud?
I’m glad to hear you found the post helpful and thorough. That’s certainly my intent. I would certainly agree that security is huge when choosing a web provider. In addition to understanding what the company offers in the way of security, I would strongly advice reading customer reviews to see what their experiences have been. Have they had a lot of downtime? Have their accounts been hacked?
Cloud computing offers major economies of scale advantages but there are worrisome aspects also. Any time data is stored remotely there have to be security and access concerns. Everything depends on your Internet connection and any server can also be hacked. When major cloud providers like Google or Amazon go down, the impacts are major and widespread.
Thanks for your comments and for visiting my site!
Hello Linda. One of the things that stuck out to me was the site builder. How does it work? Is there any coding involved? With all the things you mentioned, I think that wealthy affiliate will be a great option for people looking for great hosting for the price. It seems like something a beginner would easily get into.
WA’s site builder foes not require and coding or technical knowledge. It is incredibly intuitive to use and literally requires four mouse clicks to create the foundation for an awesome website. Please view the video on my build a website page to see the site builder in action.
As for hosting, your observation is correct. My 18 month experience with WA hosting is amazing. I can’t touch managed WordPress hosting (with an SSL certificate) anywhere else for this price. The all-inclusive nature of WA’s services is outstanding for both newbie and established webmasters.