A guide to web hosting in SA by Domains.co.za

The dynamic landscape of web hosting has changed remarkably over the years, making it more diverse than ever. Nowadays, it’s not just limited to large corporations; individuals, small businesses and even hobbyists can create and maintain an online presence. However, to choose the right hosting, you first need to understand the basics.

This Hosting Guide aims to answer the topmost frequently asked hosting-related questions to aid your choice.

Web hosting allows websites to be stored and managed on specialised servers that are constantly connected to the internet, thus ensuring visitors can access the site anytime and anywhere. By choosing the correct web hosting provider, you can guarantee optimal performance of your website, improved security and dependable support.

2. How does web hosting work?

Web hosting providers rent out server space on their powerful servers, based in a data centre, that will store the files that make up your website. These servers are essentially the living, breathing heart of the internet, ensuring your site remains accessible, functional and your audience can engage with it. When someone types in your website’s domain name in the browser address bar, they “send a request” to the web host’s server, which then immediately delivers the relevant files for display on that person’s device.

3. What is dedicated server hosting?

Dedicated server hosting is a robust solution for businesses and individuals seeking more control, flexibility and performance for their website. With this type of hosting, you have exclusive access to a full physical server, allowing you to manage and configure it as per your requirements. This eliminates the risk of sharing resources, such as storage or bandwidth, with other users on a shared hosting platform.

4. What is cloud server hosting?

Cloud server hosting utilises virtual servers from one or more remote data centres to store and manage data and applications. What sets this technology apart is its unique ability to efficiently allocate resources on-demand, scaling up and down according to needs.

5. What is shared hosting?

Shared hosting is a popular choice for individuals and small businesses looking to get online. It’s a cost-effective solution that involves multiple websites running on a single server, thus dividing the server’s resources among the various users.

6. What is virtual private server hosting?

Virtual private server hosting, often abbreviated as VPS hosting, bridges the gap between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. With VPS hosting, your website is hosted on a virtual partition within a larger physical server, but still has access to dedicated resources. The result is increased performance, flexibility and control without the price tag.

7. What is managed hosting?

Managed hosting is when the hosting provider takes care of all technical aspects of a niche type of website like WordPress, while you focus on building and growing your business. This approach saves you time and effort, supplies a sense of reassurance and delivers tailored hosting for your precise needs.

8. How much does it cost to host a website in South Africa?

The cost of hosting a website varies greatly depending on factors such as storage, traffic allowances, accessibility and security measures. You can expect to pay anywhere from R10 to R300 per month and more depending on the package you are looking for. Remember, though, you get what you pay for.

9. Can I host my website for free in South Africa?

With local and international platforms such as Sitebuilder, WordPress, Wix and Weebly, you can create and customise your website while enjoying several basic features free. Keep in mind that a free hosting service may come with certain limitations such as limited storage space, rigid templates or a monthly subscription.

10. Which type of hosting is best for beginners?

Shared web hosting is an ideal solution for beginners, primarily because of its affordability and simplicity. Shared hosting providers often offer easy-to-use control panels and website builders, allowing even those with minimal technical knowledge to effortlessly create and manage their online domains.

When searching for the perfect hosting solution for your website, it’s important to remember that price should not be the only deciding factor. To find the ideal hosting services, it is good to first establish what your needs are before finding suitable hosting options.

Ensure your choice truly meets your expectations by finding a hosting company that can confidently back up their claims with evidence, particularly when it comes to stability, speed and security.

Furthermore, it’s essential to select a host that can adapt to your business as it grows and can offer excellent after-sales support.

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