What is Web Hosting & Best Web Hosting Service Providers

Written By:Callum
Last Updated: March 11, 2024
Reading Time: 11 minutes

A business website is an essential aspect for any business to maintain its visibility across the globe. But do you know what matters the most to keep the consistency of your online presence? It’s web host – a heart of the matter that takes the responsibility of maintaining the performance, securing valuable data, and keeping your website consistent.

Sounds alienated? Don’t worry; we have everything that you need for the right hosting. So, buckle up, grab a coffee, and let’s dive into the wonderful verse of web hosting!

What is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting

A web host is an unseen cornerstone upon which your digital storefront rests, ensuring seamless access and optimal performance. Besides, web hosting provides a multifaceted suite of features essential for a good website, which are as follows:



Blazing-fast loading times keep your audience engaged and prevent them from bouncing away due to frustration. Every millisecond counts in the digital world, and reliable hosting ensures your website remains nimble and responsive.



As your website flourishes and attracts more visitors, scalable web hosting plans allow you to effortlessly adjust resources to accommodate your growth without compromising performance.

Technical Support

Technical Support

Consistent uptime guarantees that your website is accessible 24/7, eliminating the risk of frustrating downtime and lost opportunities.

Security and Compliance

Security and Compliance

Robust security measures act as a digital shield, safeguarding your website and user data from malicious attacks and unauthorised access.

What are the Features of Web Hosting?

Features of Web Hosting

Website hosting brings many features, some of which go beyond securing the fundamental infrastructure. Before investing in website hosting, you must go through the list of crucial features:

Disk Space

Disk Space

Web hosts offer massive disk space that accommodates all your website’s essential components, including high-resolution images, multimedia content, and detailed product descriptions. Therefore, always make sure you choose the web hosting platform that offers the lion’s share when it comes to disk space.

Bandwidth and Data Transfer

Bandwidth and Data Transfer

It decides how seamlessly your website can handle the data, irrespective of the size. The larger bandwidth a web hosting account offers, the more efficiently it enables the transfer of information between your servers and visitors.

Email Accounts

Email Accounts

You do not need to create a separate account for your business; the web hosting platform offers an email account that aligns with your domain name, which delivers a sense of professionalism and promises brand recognition.



POP3 allows downloading and managing email messages received through your website’s domain hosting email addresses. It offers basic functionality for accessing your email through various email clients and devices.

Forwarding Mail

Forwarding Mail

This feature automatically redirects incoming email messages from one address to another. It allows you to consolidate email inquiries to a single address or manage multiple email accounts efficiently.



These are additional email addresses that can be created and linked to your primary domain-based email address. They provide flexibility in managing different identities or departments within your organisation and offer a professional appearance for incoming email communication.

FTP Access

FTP Access

This feature provides a secure and efficient method for transferring files between your local computer and your website’s server. It allows you to upload website content, manage files, and maintain your website’s functionality without needing technical expertise.

How Does Web Hosting Work?

How Does Web Hosting Work

Web hosts consist of a series of underlying functionality that seamlessly orchestrates your website. To ensure how your website, server, and user react to commands, the following intricacies of web hosting will help you navigate seamlessly.

Stage: The dedicated server, a powerful computer, acts as the stage upon which your website resides. This is where your website’s files and data are securely stored.

Conductor: The web hosting service acts as the conductor, orchestrating the flow of information between your website and the internet.

Audience: When a user enters your website’s address (domain name), their browser acts as the audience member, sending a request to the conductor.

Performance: The conductor then retrieves the necessary files from the stage (server) and delivers them to the audience member’s browser, bringing your website to life on their screen.

Types of Web Hosting Services

Types of Web Hosting Services

To accommodate the requirements of diverse organisations, each of the eight types of web hosting services provides varying degrees of security, control, and scalability. Moreover, its pros and cons listed below will help you make an informed decision.

1. Shared Hosting


  • Budget-friendly: Shared hosting is the most affordable web hosting option, making it ideal for beginners or multiple websites with low traffic.
  • Easy to set up and manage: Many shared hosting providers offer user-friendly interfaces and pre-installed software, making them perfect for those with limited tech expertise.


  • Security concerns: Shared hosting environments inherently increase the risk of security vulnerabilities due to shared resources.
  • Limited resources: You share web server resources with multiple websites, potentially leading to performance issues during peak traffic periods.

2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting


  • Performance Enhancement: Virtual Private Server hosting offers dedicated servers within a shared server, providing improved speed and reliability compared to shared hosting.
  • Greater Control: You have more control over web server configuration and software, allowing for customisation based on your specific needs.


  • Expensive: Virtual Private Server hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, although still considered cost-effective compared to dedicated hosting.
  • Moderate technical knowledge required: Managing a VPS server requires some technical knowledge, although many providers offer support resources.

3. Cloud Hosting


  • Scalability: Cloud hosting utilises a network of servers, allowing for seamless scaling of resources as your website grows.
  • High uptime and reliability: The cloud infrastructure is designed for redundancy, minimising downtime, and ensuring consistent performance.


  • Complexity: Cloud hosting can be more complex to manage compared to other options, requiring some technical understanding.
  • Potentially higher cost: While scalable, cloud hosting can become more expensive as your resource usage increases.

4. Reseller Hosting


  • Become a hosting company: Reseller hosting gives you the opportunity to buy hosting resources in bulk and resell them to your customers, thereby generating income.
  • Flexibility: You can choose different hosting packages and customise them for your clients’ needs.


  • Increased responsibility: You become responsible for managing your clients’ hosting needs and providing technical support.
  • Marketing and sales effort: Marketing and attracting clients requires additional effort.

5. WordPress Hosting


  • Optimised for WordPress: Pre-configured settings and software specifically designed for WordPress performance and security.
  • Enhanced security: Additional security measures to protect against common WordPress vulnerabilities.


  • Limited website flexibility: Primarily focused on WordPress, limiting options for other web development needs.
  • Potentially higher cost: Compared to shared hosting, WordPress hosting can be more expensive.

6. Managed Hosting


  • Minimal technical expertise required: The hosting provider manages all web server maintenance, software updates, and security measures.
  • Enhanced performance and reliability: Proactive monitoring and optimisation ensure smooth website operation.


  • Higher cost: Managed hosting is the most expensive option due to the level of hosting service provided.
  • Less control: You relinquish control over web server configuration and customisation options.

7. Dedicated Hosting


  • Unmatched performance and security: You have exclusive access to the entire server, offering maximum control and customisation for optimal website performance and security.
  • Full root access: You have complete control over dedicated server configuration and software installation, allowing for ultimate flexibility.


  • Highest cost: Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option, requiring significant investment for both server resources and tech expertise.
  • Advanced technical knowledge required: Managing a dedicated hosting server demands in-depth technical knowledge and experience.

8. Java Plugin


  • Optimised for Java applications: Provides the necessary environment and configuration for smooth operation of Java-powered websites and applications.
  • Enhanced security: Specific security measures tailored to protect against vulnerabilities associated with Java applications.


  • Limited to Java applications: Not suitable for websites built with other technologies.
  • Potentially higher cost: Compared to a shared hosting service, Java plugin hosting can be more expensive.

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service Provider?

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Service Provider

Assessing The Website Requirements

This is the foundation of your decision. What kind of website are you developing? Is it a simple blog, a dynamic e-commerce store, or a complex application? Each type of website has different needs in terms of storage space, processing power, and bandwidth. Identifying your specific requirements will guide you toward web hosting plans that cater to your website’s unique needs.

Bandwidth Allowance

It determines how much data can flow in and out of your own website simultaneously. High-traffic websites or those with large files like images or videos require more bandwidth to ensure smooth loading times and avoid frustrating downtime. Don’t underestimate your expected traffic, as exceeding your bandwidth allowance can lead to throttling or additional charges.

Control Panel

This is your digital command center for managing your website’s hosting environment. User-friendly control panels allow easy management of features like file uploads, email accounts, and databases. Choose a host with a control panel that’s intuitive and aligns with your technical expertise. Some popular options include cPanel and Plesk.

Upgrade Options

As your website grows, its needs will evolve. Opt for a hosting provider that offers seamless upgrade options to accommodate your future growth. Look for plans that allow scaling up resources like storage, bandwidth, and processing power without the hassle of switching providers.

Web Host’s Uptime

Think of uptime as the heartbeat of your website. Aim for a host that guarantees at least 99.9% uptime, meaning your website is accessible to visitors almost all the time. Downtime translates to lost revenue and frustrated users, so prioritising high uptime is crucial for a reliable online presence.

Technical Specifications

Dive into the technical details! Understand the type of server your host uses (shared, VPS, dedicated), the operating system (e.g., Linux, Windows), and the supported software versions. This information ensures compatibility with your website’s needs and future development plans.

Online Reviews

Research online reviews from other users to gain valuable insights into the host’s performance, customer support, and overall reliability. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews, analyse the recurring themes, and address any concerns you may have.


Choose a host that offers robust security measures, including firewalls, malware protection, and regular security audits. Look for features like SSL certificates to encrypt data transmission and protect your users’ information.

24/7 Customer Support

Opt for a host that provides reliable and responsive 24/7 customer support. Different channels like phone, live chat, and email support cater to various preferences. Check thoroughly that the support staff is informed and ready to help you at any time.

Additional Services

Some web hosting providers offer additional services that can enhance your website’s functionality and ease of management. These could include domain registration, email marketing tools, website builders, and SEO optimisation tools. Evaluate your needs and choose a host that offers web hosting services that align with your goals and budget.

Benefits of Paid Web Hosting

Benefits of Paid Web Hosting

Uptime and Speed

Paid web hosting companies prioritise reliability and performance. They invest in robust infrastructure, redundant servers, and advanced caching mechanisms, ensuring your website remains accessible and lightning-fast, even during peak traffic periods. This translates to a seamless user experience and increased engagement, crucial for building a loyal audience.

Domain-based Email Address

Ditch the generic free email address and embrace a professional identity with a domain-based email address like “info@[[invalid URL removed]]”. This reinforces trust and credibility with your audience, fostering a more polished brand image. Moreover, many paid hosting plans offer multiple email accounts for your team, fostering collaboration and streamlined communication.

Tech Support

Technical hurdles are inevitable, but you don’t have to face them alone. Most web hosting companies offer dedicated technical support teams ready to assist you with any challenges, at a charge. Whether it’s troubleshooting server issues, configuring software, or optimising your website, you’ll have access to expert guidance, ensuring your website stays up and running smoothly.


Free web hosting often comes with limited security measures, leaving your website vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches. Paid hosting providers prioritise robust security features, including firewalls, malware protection, and regular security scans. They also offer SSL certificates to encrypt data transmission, safeguarding your user information and building trust with your audience.

SEO Optimisation

Visibility is key in the digital age. Paid hosting often includes tools and resources to help you optimise your website for search engines, improving your website ranking in search results and attracting more organic traffic. This can include features like SEO-friendly website structures, meta-tag optimisation tools, and integration with popular SEO plugins.

Short Domain Name

First impressions matter, and a short, memorable domain name is a crucial part of your online identity. While free hosting may restrict domain name system options, paid hosting offers a wider selection, empowering you to choose a name that accurately reflects your brand and resonates with your audience. Investing in paid hosting goes beyond the cost; it’s an investment in your online success.

What’s the Difference Between Web Hosting and a Domain Name?

Difference Between Web Hosting and a Domain Name

Website Host

  • The storage space and infrastructure that houses your website files and makes them accessible online.
  • It stores website files, databases, emails, and other resources.
  • The cost varies depending on the web hosting plan and provider, typically starting from $3-$10 per month.
  • Owned by the web hosting provider.
  • Web hosting requires renewal at the end of the hosting plan period.
  • You can switch web hosting providers without changing your domain name.
  • Think of it as the physical land where your house (website) is built.

Domain Name

  • The unique address users type into their browser to access your website.
  • Directs users to the location of your website on the internet.
  • Varies depending on the domain extension and registrar, typically starting from $10-$20 per year.
  • Owned by the individual or organisation that registers it.
  • Can be renewed indefinitely as long as registration fees are paid.
  • You can transfer your domain name to a different registrar if desired.
  • Think of it as the address of your house (website) on a street (internet).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting definition illustrates that it is like the rentable space where your website lives online. It stores your website’s files (text, images, code) and makes them accessible to visitors through the Internet. Think of it as the land your house (website) sits on.

2. What do I need to build a website? Domain name or Web Hosting?

You need both! A domain name is your website’s address (e.g., [invalid URL removed]), while web hosting stores the actual content of your website. Imagine having a house address, but no house on the plot.

3. Can I move my website to another web hosting company without changing the domain?

Yes! Your domain name is separate from your hosting provider. You can transfer your domain to a new hosting company while keeping the same address.

4. Do I have to buy a domain name and hosting together? Or can I buy them separately?

You can do either. Many providers offer bundled packages for convenience and potentially lower costs. However, you can also buy them separately from different providers.

5. What are the requirements of modern web hosting?

Modern web hosting needs to be:

  • Secure: Protect your website and data from cyber threats.
  • Reliable: Offer consistent uptime and avoid downtime.
  • Scalable: Adapt to your website’s growth without performance issues.
  • Performance-oriented: Ensure fast loading times and smooth user experience.
  • Feature-rich: Offer tools like email accounts, databases, and backups.

6. What are the best web hosting services?

The best web hosting services depend on your needs and budget. Popular options include:

  • A2 Hosting
  • Bluehost
  • Hostinger
  • SiteGround
  • DreamHost

7. What are the reasons to use a third-party hosting service?

  • Expertise: They manage server maintenance and technical aspects.
  • Reliability: They offer robust infrastructure and uptime guarantees.
  • Security: They provide advanced security features and protection.
  • Scalability: They allow you to easily upgrade resources as needed.
  • Convenience: They handle technical aspects, freeing you to focus on content.

8. What are the typical costs associated with web hosting?

Costs vary depending on the features and resources needed. Shared hosting can start from $3-$10 per month, while dedicated hosting can cost hundreds.

9. What are the best website hosting options for small businesses?

Shared hosting is often a good starting point for small businesses due to affordability and ease of use. As your business grows, consider VPS or dedicated hosting for increased performance and control.

Let's work together

Do you need
creative Design?

Hey, I'm Callum. Here at Creato we re determined to produce creative Web Design. My only questions is, will it be yours?

About callum

Callum is the founder of Creato, a Sydney based design agency that specialises in creating holistic brands for Aussie businesses.

With a talent for crafting memorable and effective branding solutions, Callum has built Creato into a respected and successful agency. His work has been featured in various publications, including The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Entrepreneur.

If you re interested in working with Callum and Creato to bring your brand to the next level, don t hesitate to get in touch!

Table of Contents