Web hosting allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to make their websites or apps visible on the internet. Whether they're using a dedicated server, or sharing resources, every website is hosted on a server. The only way for a website to be visible on the internet is if it's hosted by a web hosting service provider, also known as a web host. In order to find a website, you type the domain name (or URL) into your browser. Your computer will then connect to the server where the website is hosted, and the webpage is delivered onto your screen.
The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or with minimal processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to subscribers. Individuals and organizations may also obtain Web page hosting from alternative service providers.
1&1 is an ultra popular web hosting provider that routinely shows up on lists in both the US and Europe — and it's not surprising how it got there. It's well priced, offers plenty of features, and is pretty straight forward. When it comes to shared hosting, the Basic package starts at only 99 cents per month for a year with that price rising to $7.99 per month after the first year. For that tiny sum, you get 100GB of storage, one website, 25 databases, 500 email accounts, a free domain name, SSL certification, and 24/7 customer support.
HostGator gained points for uptime monitoring and regular backups, along with free cPanel or Plesk. We liked that SSH is available for the more technically inclined site operators and that dedicated IP addresses could be purchased. We did take points off because it's sometimes difficult to tell what the price is once promotional plans run their course. That said, with a generous 45-day money back guarantee, there's a solution for almost everyone at HostGator.
If you do need to upgrade, be ready to pay for it: The cheapest VPS hosting packages start above $10/month, and can stretch beyond $50/month depending on how much storage space you need. Dedicated servers are more flexible, but are even more expensive, starting at $100/month. Hopefully your website will be paying for itself before you need that kind of power.
GoDaddy provides several cloud hosting packages to meet your small business needs. In addition to its domain registration services, GoDaddy offers a complete email marketing software solution. The software has a host of features: a drag-and-drop email composer; automatic removal of bad addresses, duplicates, and unsubscribes; and integration with Facebook, Google Analytics, and Etsy.
Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.