What is web hosting?

by | Feb 26, 2022 | Blog

Web hosting involves renting space from a company (host) that provides the tools and services to house a website so it can be viewed on the internet.


Websites are stored, or hosted, on large servers (computers). When somebody wants to visit a site, they enter the domain name (website address) into their internet browser, such as Google Chrome. This connects their device to the server where the site is located and the webpages are delivered through the browser.

In addition to renting out space on their server to a website owner, a web host provides other services such as tech support, malware (virus) scanning and back-ups.

Do I need it?

In a word, yes! Every website has to be hosted somewhere. Without it, visitors will not be able to view your webpages. Unless you have your own server, which isn’t the case for the majority of people, you will need to rent space from a web host.

How do I find a host?

With a mind-boggling array of web hosts available offering hosting at very competitive rates and sometimes even for free, it can be difficult to know which provider to opt for. As a result, you could spend a lot of time trawling the internet, making comparisons and searching for the “one” to suit your needs.

When choosing a host, three of the most important factors to consider are:

  • Cost
  • Website speed
  • Level of service



As with a good number of smartphone apps, there are hosts that don’t charge for their services. At first, this juicy apple might seem like a temptingly good pick, but look a little closer at the core, or in this case the Ts&Cs, and you will discover that you don’t have full control over what appears on your website. Free hosting often means a site that is littered with adverts, which generally only serves to annoy your visitors and make them more inclined to go elsewhere.

Web hosting prices can range from a few pounds per month for shared hosting, through for example, Bluehost or Siteground, or up to hundreds of pounds per month for a managed, dedicated server. If your site has just a few pages and less than 10,000 visitors per month then shared hosting at the lower end of the cost scale is the best option, especially for small businesses.

Website speed


The speed of your site will vary from host to host, with the data centre (i.e. server) location being a crucial determinant. A web host may boast superfast speeds, but if its server is in the US or Asia and most of your site traffic comes from the UK, you won’t receive the speeds being advertised. In short, it makes more sense in this case to choose a host whose data centre is UK-based, meaning faster retrieval of information and less of a wait for your web pages to load.

Level of service


Researching the quality of customer service provided by a host could mean the difference between a swift resolution to an issue and a painfully frustrating experience. Some hosts will offer a priority telephone service, while others will work on a ticketing system where they aim to respond to customer queries within a certain number of hours. Many of the larger providers will be open 24/7 but others might only operate during the daytime, which may not fit in with your schedule if you go with a host in a different time zone.

Need help finding a host?


Alternatively, if you opt for a web design company to create your site and give it that professional edge, they tend to include hosting as part of a package. That way, a suitable host will be found on your behalf by an expert who understands the market, to ensure you get the best deal for your needs. You can then sit back safe in the knowledge that should any tech issues or niggles with your site arise, these will be dealt with by someone in the know who can work with your host to resolve them.