What is web hosting?

What is web hosting?

For your blog, website or online store to be viewed online, it must be hosted somewhere. Web hosting is the technology you can use to make all your content permanently accessible on the web. This technology usually consists of a computer connected to the internet: the server.

Web hosting plan definition

In general, website hosting as a concept refers to a storage space that can be used to make content visible online. Web users can then visit your website, and browse its contents. However, this is not a term limited to the world of business or e-commerce. Strictly speaking, without hosting, there would be no internet. When the internet was first launched, web hosting plans were used to put simple, fixed pages online — but today they are used to publish interactive websites and complex applications.

How do they work?

It all starts with a domain name. This is the main component of your brand identity — like a business card on the internet. Why? Because the Domain Name System (DNS) needs the domain name to link it to your IP address. The domain name is also what enables users to find you on search engines by entering your URL, or part of it. With this system in place, anyone who wants to find out more about your business can view your content.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a set of terms linked to your IP address. It redirects visitors to your website. For example, our domain name is www.kimsufi.com. It consists of several elements. In reading order, we have:

  • The third-level sub-domain, which is “www” here. It remains the most common one, and is widely used on the internet.
  • The second-level domain, which is not present in this case. It represents a sub-category of your domain name. As an example, this would be the ‘careers’ section of: www.careers.mystore.com.
  • The primary domain (or root domain) — in this case, ‘kimsufi’. This is the central element of your domain name. It should be short, easy to read, and give a clear view of your business.
  • The top-level domain, otherwise known as a domain name extension. Here, it is .com. This is the last element that makes up the domain name. You will most likely be familiar with the most well-known extensions, such as .org, .eu or .net. These are generic extensions (gTLDs). You will also find geographic extensions (ccTLDs) such as .uk, .fr or .de. They are available for all uses on our website. You can browse the list of all extensions offered by OVHcloud, and find the one that best suits your business.

To find the perfect domain name for your business, try out different combinations in our search bar and make your choice.

What are the different types of hosting?

They vary depending on their technical features, and each has its own advantages. Below are the solutions often proposed by a web hosting provider.

Shared hosting

This is the most well-known hosting solution. It offers particularly good value for money in terms of performance, when you want to start your business online. This technology is referred to as shared because you share the physical server’s resources with other users, whose packages are powered by the same machine. However, your content is not accessible to other customers hosted on the same server. Some IT hosting providers offer managed web hosting solutions. This means that they take care of the maintenance, updates and monitoring for you.

At OVHcloud, content management systems (CMS) are also included and pre-installed with shared hosting packages. You can choose between WordPress, PrestaShop, Drupal or Joomla!. They are useful for building your website or online store in just a few clicks.

This means you will be less dependent on programming languages and frameworks. OVHcloud web hosting plans also include additional services, such as an SSL certificate, anti-DDoS protection, backups and a free domain name for 1 year. In short, it is the perfect solution if you are getting started online — since it offers all the essentials for hosting your website or application.

Virtual private server (VPS)

A VPS is a virtual machine created from a physical server. You get an environment that is fully dedicated to your web project. As a result, a VPS is a more flexible solution, and is a great way of getting familiar with server management. At OVHcloud, we believe that a VPS should be adapted as much as possible to fit a user’s activity. This is why we have taken customisation and flexibility to the next level. You can choose your VPS’s operating system from a number of pre-installed Windows and Linux distributions, as well as management platforms to help you manage it, such as cPanel or Plesk. You can also add resources to your VPS at any time (to handle traffic spikes, for example).

Your data security is paramount, so you have Automatic Backup and manual (Snapshot) backup options.

Dedicated server

Since it is equipped with more resources — especially CPU, RAM, bandwidth and disk space — this machine is the perfect solution for complex web projects. All of the server’s resources are allocated to you, which makes it a cornerstone of your cloud infrastructure. It is highly customisable, and can be adapted to a wide range of uses — including multisite hosting, business applications, virtualization, artificial intelligence (AI), gaming, and much more.

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Which web hosting solution is best?

No need to panic! There are several factors to consider when identifying the best cloud hosting solution for your needs:

  • Analyse the purpose of your web project.
  • Define the target and volume of the service.
  • Assess the criticality of your project and its security requirements.
  • Establish whether you have teams to manage the solutions you choose.
  • Set a budget to suit your online goals.

The key to managing your web hosting plan is to plan realistically for your needs.

If your goal is simply to put a personal blog online about your passion, a shared hosting plan will probably be enough. Since the potential traffic for your blog may be lighter than for a company website, you will need to plan for fewer resources.

However, if you would like to create an e-commerce website, a dedicated environment might be preferable. You would also get more flexibility in terms of how you manage your website. In this case, we recommend opting for a VPS. OVHcloud VPS solutions are also powered by NVMe SSD storage technology — so you will get quicker loading times for your content.

Getting started with AI requires more resources, so in this case, we would recommend one or more dedicated servers with high computing power. This solution can also be used for critical business applications that require high availability and resilience.

You will also need to consider the other services you would like to link to your hosting plan. You may need to host a mailbox, several websites and several domain names on it, or add a CDN (Content Delivery Network), for example.