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Back to Basics: Web Hosting

Typically, when creating a website, a lot of questions pop up. One of the questions we often begin by asking clients who are looking for a new website is “Do you have your current web hosting information?” We’ll need that down the line and we like to ask early so that people have time to do a little digging if they don’t have the information easily accessible…or if they don’t know what we’re talking about.

Many people don’t deal with the nitty gritty and prefer to leave the technical stuff to others (we’re geeky and proud of it) but understanding the basics of what web hosting is is important. You should eventually be able to answer questions such as, “Do you want shared or VPS hosting? Do you want a CDN?”

So let’s dive into some web hosting basics that will help you understand what it’s all about, how it impacts your website’s performance, and how it can influence the user experience.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that lets organizations and individual people post a website onto the World Wide Web. A web hosting service provider is a business that provides the technologies and services necessary for a website to be viewed. Websites are hosted (stored) on servers.

Want people to be able to see your website? You have to publish it with a web hosting service.

What will a good web host service provide?


A good web host provides disk space and bandwidth, FTP accounts and sub-domains, databases (like MySQL), installed programming languages (like Python or PHP), and email accounts.

FTP Access:

The File Transfer Protocol is the technology used to upload and download files between computers on a network. FTP can be used to exchange files between computer accounts, transfer files between an account and a desktop computer, or access online software archives.

Control Panel

A control panel, in web hosting, allows you to manage your web hosting and site. Most control panels, like cPanel, will give you access to server logs, email account configuration, details to disk space and bandwidth, visitor statistics, and more.

Security Features

Hosting security is very important. Don’t want your website to be hacked? Ask the web host about the security features so you can rest easy knowing your data is secure at all times.

What is a domain name?

You need a unique domain name so that your site can be found on the internet. It’s the part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain. For instance, Dowitcher Design’s domain is “” In the URL, is still the domain.

What are the various types of web hosting?

Shared hosting

  • basic web hosting option
  • limited bandwidth, disk space, and control
  • good for start-ups and businesses who don’t have high incoming visitor traffic
Looking for more power or an environment you have complete control over?

Virtual private server hosting

  • VPS mimics a dedicated server within a shared hosting
  • fast, scalable, secure
  • more CPU and memory
  • dedicated space and resources for each VPS client

Dedicated hosting

  • client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else (you’re renting a physical server dedicated to your website only)
  • faster and more flexible than shared hosting
  • ideal for larger businesses and high-traffic sites
  • maximum customization, configuration, installation, and flexibility

Cloud hosting

  • alternative to hosting websites on single servers
  • client only pays for what they use
  • high scalability and flexibility: available in real time on demand, not limited by physical constraints of a single server
  • increased reliability
  • responsive load balancing


Our tech team can help you determine the best server set up for your company, be it shared hosting, VPS, dedicated, or cloud. And, I’m pleased to say, our eco-friendly approach extends to making our hosting green. Get in touch to learn more!

For more details, check out the below infographic from

What is Web Hosting - Infographic
What is Web Hosting – Infographic was created by FirstSiteGuide Team using info from their collection of the hosting reviews.

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