Making Sense Of Web Hosting Services

Posted on 25 June, 2018 by Heather in

a number of computer servers stacked on top of each other in columns

a number of computer servers stacked on top of each other in columns

You’ve decided to start shopping around for the best web hosting service for you and your company. But how do you wade through all the information out there? Use our handy guide to figure out the best way to get your website onto the devices of your audience.

Types Of Web Hosting

Free Hosting

Does what it says on the tin. You do get free hosting, but remember that you get what you pay for. Free hosting is great for blogs, or very simple websites when you’re just finding your feet. Big names include WordPress and Blogger. Because you aren’t paying for a domain name, you’ll have to have .wordpress or .blogger as part of your website name. This may not matter, or it may signal to your audience that you aren’t serious. It all depends on your reasons for choosing free hosting.

Shared Hosting

This can be an attractive option when you’re starting out, thanks to its low price point. Shared Hosting means that the service provider lets a number of different websites use the same server. Limits on the use of the server are put in place for each customer, but  pages might not load as quickly as websites with dedicated hosting (more on that later).

VPS Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, or in other words, a virtualized server. It’s one of the newer options out there.  It’s still on a physical server, but each website gets to have its own allocated server resources and operating system.

Dedicated Hosting

Again, some of these terms almost explain themselves! When you choose this type of hosting, a server is dedicated to your website. No need to share your server with anyone else, and nobody else will cause any slowdowns – especially important if your website gets lots of traffic.

Managed Hosting

It’s probably best to check with the hosting providers you are researching, as this term can sometimes be a little vague. You’ll want to find out exactly what they manage – usually they will manage and maintain the servers, along with taking care of security, monitoring and data storage and backup.

Co-location Hosting

If you are a big enough organisation to have your own servers, you can pay to have your hardware installed at a colocation provider. Basically, you place your physical machines on their racks, and share their bandwidth.

Reseller Hosting

This is also known as third-party hosting. Someone can buy a large amount of hosting space and then turn around and sell it to their customers, piece by piece.

Web Hosting Capacities

Disk Space

Also known as disk capacity, it’s simply the number of bytes, from kilobytes to terabytes, that can be stored. In order to determine the amount of disk space you’ll need for hosting, you’ll need to have an accurate idea of how many bytes each webpage contains.

Monthly Traffic

Bandwidth is all about the speed at which data can travel. Think about how many images, videos and music files are on your site. The more complex your site, the more bandwidth you’ll need.

Important Factors To Consider


This is where things can get a bit sentimental. Do you need 24/7 support? Would you like to talk to someone over the phone, or are you more of a live chat person? Does the web hosting company offer online resources, or have comprehensive FAQs?

Control Panel

Time to look under the hood. You’ll want to find out everything you can about the control panel, and all the ways you’ll be able to manage your hosting services. The best ones have easy to use interfaces along with  resources and forums, just in case you or your systems administrator get stuck.

Server Configuration

Continuing with the car metaphor, the configuration of the server refers to how all the parts are put together – the details of the hardware and software, the arrangement of the network, and also the hosting company should describe the options available for configuration.


The database is the part of your website hosting that remembers everything, especially if your website uses a content management system and has a great deal of information to keep track of.

Who are Web Design Review?

Our team at Web Design Review research and evaluate web design companies from across the UK. This saves you the time, effort and money doing the research yourself. We’ve also developed a handy tool so that you can fill in an enquiry form which is then forwarded to the 10 companies we’ve ranked as the best in the country.

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