Do I need web hosting?
If you’re asking yourself the question “Do I need web hosting?” then hopefully by the end of this article you’ll have your answer and a better understanding of what web hosting is and why you would ever need it.
Basically, you only really need a web hosting service if you intend to add a website to your online presence. Sometimes you can get away with not having a web hosting service, depending on what you want to do.
For example, if you just need an email account then you only need an email hosting service, such as our dedicated email hosting or Google Workspace. Or if you just want to redirect your domain name to another website or service, you can just set up a redirect.
Some great reasons to need web hosting would be:
- Setting up a small business website with some information about you and your business, as well as contact details.
- An eCommerce website, which you can use to sell products or services over the internet.
- Creating a blog: To share your personal experiences and insights, talk about different topics, or advertise your business’ products and services.
Another thing to note here is that a common misconception we find some people may have is that when you set up a website using a service like SquareSpace, Wix or Weebly, you also need a web hosting service. This isn’t the case, because that company (e.g. SquareSpace, Wix or Weebly) hosts the website for you. All you need is the domain name, and to point/link that domain name to your SquareSpace, Wix or Weebly website.
What is a web hosting service?
Web hosting can seem like a complicated concept to some, so to break things down, let’s liken web hosting to an apartment building. The building is much like a server and the street address in your domain name. Like a tenant renting an apartment, web hosting customers will rent space on a server.
Similar to a luxury apartment building, VentraIP servers include the highest quality amenities which enhance things like security, performance, and service. Once you have your space, it is over to you to decide what you want to do it with, furnish your server space with a blog, business site, or even an e-commerce store, the possibilities are limitless.
What is a domain name?
The domain name is the name or address for your website, a good example of a domain name might be google.com or ventraip.com.au. You’ll need to register your own domain name, in order to have an address people can use to access your website. If you’re interested in searching for the perfect domain name, you can do so on our website here.
How do they relate?
The domain name “points to” or “links to” the hosting service, where your website is stored. So when someone visits your-domain-name.com, the website on your web hosting service pops up.
Some web hosting technical terms?
Every industry comes with its own terminology and unfortunately, the web hosting industry uses some fairly obscure and lesser-known terms to describe different things. We’ve made a small list of the common phrases and terms that are used to help navigate through the features of a web hosting plan:
- The Cloud: What does it actually mean?
We’re going to let you in on a little secret, it’s honestly just a marketing term. Every website or online service you use, is just running on a server which is located in a data centre somewhere in the world. The term “cloud” just makes that concept super easy to explain.
- CMS: It stands for Content Management System
A CMS is basically software that you use to build a website and website content with. A good example of a CMS is WordPress.
- Disk Space: The amount of storage made available to you
Your website and other content will take up space on the server. Typically your web hosting provider will set a limit on your disk space.
- CPU: The brawn for your web hosting service
When someone visits your website, your web hosting service needs to process the request. This will take up some of the CPU allowance assigned to your web hosting service. The more visitors you get and the heavier your website is, the more CPU you will use.
- Memory (RAM): The brains of your web hosting service
Much like CPU, when someone visits your website this will be needed to handle the request. However, the amount of Memory you have will dictate how many requests your website can handle or how much it can do at one time.
We hope we’ve been able to answer most, if not all of your questions regarding what web hosting and domain names actually are, and whether or not you actually need web hosting.
Want to know more? Feel free to have a read of our article about what goes on behind the scenes of a web hosting service.