What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the process of storing information online. This includes everything from email accounts to databases. A web host provides space on its servers where you can store files and data. You can use these files to build your own website or simply upload them onto the web host’s site.
Every single website has some type of web hosting behind it, whether it’s a big website like YouTube or your friend’s knitting blog.
When you purchase web hosting, you’re essentially renting space on a computer. This could be part of a computer that you share with other people, an entire computer, or even space on a network of computers (AKA “the cloud”).
Once you have your website hosting, you can start putting it to use.
Common Types of Web Hosting Available
Now that you know what web hosting is, let’s go through the five main types of website hosting options available in Kenya.
All of these hosting types are fully capable of powering WordPress sites. However, some may be more suited to your WordPress site’s unique situation than others.
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is where many people start their hosting journey because it’s one of the most affordable ways to host a website.
With shared hosting, your site/account will share resources with other accounts and websites on the hosting server — hence the name.
By sharing resources like this, hosting providers are able to keep their costs down and offer rock-bottom prices.
That’s really the only benefit of shared hosting — it’s cheap. Shared hosts also typically advertise high-resource limits such as “unlimited websites”, “unlimited storage”, and/or “unlimited bandwidth”.
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as truly “unlimited” hosting and every shared host will still apply a “fair use” policy. But still, shared hosting can be a very affordable way to host multiple websites because of this.
While the low prices of shared hosting are attractive, there can be some very real downsides when it comes to performance, reliability, and security. For example, if the other accounts that you’re sharing resources with are consuming a lot of resources, that could have a negative effect on your site’s performance because there aren’t enough resources to go around.
For this reason, many people move beyond shared hosting once their websites start growing, as other types of hosting can offer major upgrades in key areas like performance and reliability.
2. Cloud Hosting
With cloud hosting, your website gets its own dedicated resources on a huge network of computers called “the cloud”.
That’s one of the key differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting — instead of sharing resources, you get resources that are 100% dedicated to your site. This generally leads to improved performance because you don’t have to worry about someone else’s websites affecting your site.
Cloud hosting also offers excellent reliability because there’s a network of computers powering everything, rather than a single point of failure.
It’s also easy to upgrade or downgrade your hosting resources because all the hosting provider needs to do is allocate your account more (or fewer) resources on the network.
Because of this, cloud hosting is one of the fastest-growing types of hosting. For example, you might’ve heard names such as Google Cloud Platform, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean, etc. Those are all examples of cloud hosting providers.
Within cloud hosting (and many other types of hosting), you can further break the hosting down into two categories:
- Managed – the hosting provider will configure and maintain the basic server details for you.
- Unmanaged – you’ll be responsible for configuring and maintaining your server.
All things equal, unmanaged hosting will cost less than managed hosting because the host is offering extra services with the managed option (and those extra services cost more money).
In general, non-technical users will almost always want a managed solution. However, developers might prefer unmanaged hosting for added flexibility and/or cost savings.
3. VPS Hosting
VPS Hosting is a lot like cloud hosting. The main difference is that your site gets its dedicated resources from a single physical server, rather than “the cloud”. While you don’t get the whole server to yourself, the resources that are allocated to your site are 100% your own (unlike shared hosting).
While traditional VPS hosting used to be quite popular, it’s kind of taken a back seat now that cloud hosting has grown.
Most people will be better off with the cloud hosting approach because it offers more flexible scalability. That is, it’s easier to add more resources to your server if needed (or reduce resources).
Despite that, you still will see a good number of hosting providers advertising VPS hosting, so it’s worth knowing about this type of hosting.
4. Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a special type of hosting that’s unique to the WordPress space.
You can host a WordPress site on all the other hosting methods, so this is definitely not the only way to host a WordPress site. However, unlike the other hosting types, managed WordPress hosting can only host WordPress sites, which can be limiting in some situations. For example, you couldn’t install your own self-hosted analytics tool (e.g. Matomo) to go along with your WordPress site.
It can use different types of hosting environments such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, and so on. In this way, managed WordPress hosting also isn’t entirely separate from the other types of hosting.
The key thing that differentiates it from “regular” hosting is a suite of concierge services that are added specifically for WordPress sites.
Typically, this includes the following types of services:
- Automatic daily backups, with the option to manually back up your site if needed.
- WordPress staging sites.
- Automatic WordPress updates.
- WordPress-specific performance optimizations, such as page caching and maybe a content delivery network (CDN).
- WordPress-specific security rules.
- Expert WordPress support.
The main benefit of managed WordPress hosting is convenience. You’re getting more than just web hosting, and those other services can save you time when it comes to maintaining your site.
The main downside, however, is the price. Assuming you’re talking about plans with identical resources, managed WordPress hosting will always be more expensive because you need to pay for those extra services somehow.
This means that managed WordPress hosting can be a good option for people who are willing to pay a bit of a premium for convenience and extra features.
5. Colocation Hosting
Colocation hosting is an advanced type of hosting that’s really only used by large businesses.
With colocation hosting, you physically own the hosting hardware. That is, you’ll actually purchase the hosting servers that you want to use. However, you rent space in another company’s data center to have that company power and maintain that hardware for you.
Basically, you get to keep using your own infrastructure but you eliminate the need to have your own physical space for that infrastructure (along with all of the associated costs such as electricity and air conditioning).
Again, this is not something a WordPress user will ever need, but it is a type of hosting that you might see, so it’s helpful to know this term.
Why We Are Your Preferred Partner For Web Hosting in Kenya?
While we offer you competitive rates, fast support and high uptime rates, we also offer domain names registration.
Domain Name Registration is the process of registering a domain name. Domains are how we identify websites online. When someone visits your site, they type in the address bar of their web browser what ever comes after the www. Your domain name is the bit before the www. We offer a wide range of sites in this category. Talk to us and let us discuss the best one for you.
Also read about 10 Questions You Should Answer on Web Design as you navigate through the web hosting options available in Kenya.
Whether you are new in this field or you already have an existing website, Gentum Media Services are here to support you in every journey as the most convenient web hosting partner in Kenya.
We also offer other premium business services like Digital Marketing where we support your businesses get the visibility it deserves. Social Media Management is a service we offer to our customers who are busy on their schedules. We ensure that their social media sites are well attended to and accorded the support necessary. Others include Web Design, Corporate Branding and SEO.