Securing a website host is an important step in making your website accessible on the internet. When you have a website host, people can find your website and interact with it from anywhere online. Without a web host, your website is private and only visible to you.
Read on for everything you need to know about hosting your website — from what it actually means, to web hosting costs, and how to host a website for free.
What is web hosting?
A web host is responsible for saving all the files that make up your website onto a computer server. When a person clicks on your website, it’s the web host’s job to respond and send the requested content to that person’s browser. Without being saved (or “hosted”) on a server, your website content won’t be publicly accessible.
How much does it cost to host a website?
To host your website, you need to buy a domain name and choose a website hosting service. Web hosting can cost as little as a few dollars, but it ultimately depends on the type of hosting service you choose. For example, hosting your own website can come with high expenses — even major companies don’t always host all the parts of their website on their own.
Web hosting is included in every Squarespace plan, with added benefits like a free domain name, unlimited storage, and 24/7 customer support.
Four common types of web page hosting
There are several different options to consider when you’re picking a website hosting provider. Here are four common approaches to choose from:
This means you’ll share space with other websites that are also paying to be hosted on the same server. Shared hosting is cost effective, and usually starts at just a few dollars a month.
2. Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS)
Similar to shared hosting, with VPS hosting you still share space with other websites on one server. With VPS hosting, you get the added benefits of private resources that can help your website handle large spikes in traffic and other unique events. VPS hosting can be a good option for mid-sized companies, and comes with higher costs than shared hosting.
3. Dedicated hosting
Usually one of the more expensive web hosting options, dedicated hosting means that you have a private server devoted to hosting your website — and nothing else. This gives you complete control over variables like admins and security, but it also requires technical expertise to install and manage over time. Generally speaking, dedicated hosting is a viable option for major corporations or other large online entities.
4. Cloud hosting
The option that offers the most flexibility to scale your online presence over time, cloud hosting means your website is hosted by multiple computer servers. If one server goes down, your website will still be up — and you can pool resources across servers, which means you won’t have to worry about outgrowing your web host if your site traffic and content grows over the months or years ahead. Similar to shared hosting, cloud hosting can start at just a few dollars a month. Cloud hosting is included in all Squarespace plans.
Still need to pick your domain? Learn how to choose the right domain name.