What is a Web Hosting Plan? (finally, an entertaining way to understand them)

What is a Web Hosting Plan? (finally, an entertaining way to understand them)

It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve worked all week and you’re ready to let loose and put back a few martini’s or beers (hey I’m not judging – we all need that time to unwind).

two friends enjoying a beer
Rollin with the homies

You have been texting your friends all day and getting silly gifs about cats taking shots! Nothing is going to ruin your night right?

You hop in your car, find your favorite song, open up the sunroof and put it in reverse.

You blaze through the parking garage and get out without a problem.

You’re singing at the top of your lungs, smiling and even using your turn signals (look at you go) just before you hit the highway towards the happy hour spot. 

Then it happens – you’re abruptly stopped by hundreds of brake lights. What is going on, why are you stopped? And more importantly how long is this going to take? Because you have shit to do and people are waiting on you. 

I know what you’re thinking, what the hell does this have to do with a web hosting plan? Am I reading the right blog? 

Yes, young grasshopper you are.

But nothing gets your mind ready for learning like a good old fashion story. One with an analogy to follow.

Which leads me to the first point.

This page contains affiliate links, click the link for more info.

Why is a Web Hosting plan important?

Web hosting is the most important aspect of your website. I bet you didn’t know that. It’s the difference between ranking on google and never being found at all.

Just like you texting your friends, jumping in your car and getting stuck in traffic, your web hosting plan controls how quickly and safely your content gets delivered and is the foundation of performance.  Screw this up and you’re pretty much well… screwed. 

Web hosting is all about speed, data, and not getting jammed up from too much traffic in one place.

And in order for you to understand anything (and retain it) you have to put it into a visual or terms you can truly understand, it needs to relate to something you already know about.

And who can’t relate to traffic jams or cat gifs (am I right)?

So now that we have that brief lesson on learning done, let’s move forward on trying to keep this topic of web hosting interesting, shall we? 

Hosting What On The Web?

trees with question, representing web hosting.
So many questions

That was the exact question that hit my mind, when I first heard about web hosting, hosting what?

How do you host the web? 

Well, web hosting is just a fancy way of saying storage space. Yup in layman’s terms that’s what it is. And it allows you to store your website, all of its features, images and other content you want to display on your website in a central location. 

So if you want to create a website and make it available for the world to see, it must be stored somewhere. Your web hosting plan is that shoebox where you keep all your old photos and knick-nacks 🤣 . 

box of photos

The cool part is once your website is stored by a web host can be accessed by other computers connected to the internet. So now everyone can see your photos in the shoebox (if you want them to).

Now, a web host can do way more than just store your website and photos, it can protect them too, and It also can make sure you never get stuck in a traffic jam, ruining your Friday afternoon meet and greet with your squad (metaphorically speaking of course). 

Let’s learn about the web hosting options available and some terminology used in the web hosting arena. I promise not to bore you to death.

I’m all about simplistic learning, so gitty up amigos were riding on to the next section. 

How Web Hosting Actually Works

So many moving parts

So, when someone types in your domain Name (Your website’s named address) into a browser window, what they’re really saying is, hey web host I want to get access to cupcakes.com. 

And your web host says owe yeah, I have that right here. Here you go, open sesame – and it serves up whatever you created for a website showing your viewer your blog or home page. 

web hosting analogy showing scallops on a table
Getting hungry?

Another way to look at it is –  you go to a restaurant, and look at a menu, you see scallops, you read how it’s prepared and say that’s what I want! The waiter comes over (your host or hostess) and says can I take your order, you say, uuuuuh, I want the scallops.

The waiter says oooo, let me check if we still have those – I’ll be right back. 60ms later (what? there fast) They come back and say you’re in luck! We have a fresh batch. You then get your scallops (aka your website you requested online from the web host).

Now I know someone is out there saying no no no, what about the webserver. Well guess what, this is a beginner blog about web hosting, and the concept is what is important. I refuse to clog this article all up with technical and boring jargon.

For those interested in the server you can read about servers here. Simply put, a server is a computer that stores data and sends data out upon request. That’s all you get. 

Back to our regularly scheduled awesomeness 🤟. 

So what are my options?

There are several flavors in the world of web hosting plans. I say flavors because it tends to be full of bittersweet promises from many providers that just don’t deliver. 

man screaming
Ever feel like this?

But, there are many hosting companies that are worth your time that have a great web hosting plan. But that’s for another article. For now, let’s just look at a shortlist of ways to host your website with a brief description of each.

Shared Hosting

This means exactly how it sounds, you are sharing a hosting platform with other people, it’s normally what a beginner just starting out would be told to use, or if you own a small e-commerce web store.

It’s the most affordable, but that never means it’s the best. Your server space is shared with other websites, which means you also share the resources. 

That is like being asked to share a 3rd of a chocolate chip cookie! it’s a morsel of satisfaction.

web hosting - shared hosting chocolate chip cookie image
The missing part is your piece! Now share that too!

Remember in the beginning when I said web hosting is about speed! Your site has the potential to see several brake lights and be forced to slow down abruptly if another website is hogging all the space.

If you have a website, that you’re just blogging on for fun, this may not be a big deal to you. But if you’re serious about what you doing on the blog speed and resources matter.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

This is the big brother or sister of the shared hosting option. You know… the stronger more advanced version of you as a kid (or so they thought 🤭 ).

While you do share a server (aka space) with other websites, you get your own resources that don’t get shared with others. Yup! you get your own cookie!

This is a better choice if you’re a small business, or prefer speed over price (it’s up to you). 

WordPress Hosting (Managed)

If you love WordPress as I do, you probably are thinking about creating a website with its software. If so, this is the recommended hosting package (affiliate).

You can learn more about how to easily pick a web hosting plan as a beginner here. In this article, I give my top three hosting plans for 2020 (pure fire content).

Having managed web hosting is like having your very own concierge for your website. The company handles everything! Leaving you to only focus on what matters to you… your business or blog.

The web hosting plan specifically caters to your WordPress site, which has support provided by WordPress developers that really know how to help if something goes wrong.

They also have security guarantees and automatic updates and so much more. See my article on picking the best web hosting plans that suit your needs

Dedicated Hosting

This option gives you the power to do whatever you want, you have full access to the server. You can install any software you please.

You will be driving down the information highway with no restrictions, no brake lights in site and people will receive your content quicker then they blink. Do your research before you buy, this is normally for major eCommerce businesses.

But if it sounds good to your go for it. 

Let’s wrap this up

So there you have it, the simple beginners guide to web hosting. It’s important to say that not all web hosting companies are equal, and there are several pieces of criteria you should consider before you let it fly with your bank card. Also, this is a shortlist, there are more plans, but this is good for now,

Picking the wrong web hosting platform is blogging or business suicide. All of your speed, flexibility, and security comes from your web hosting plan – not how pretty your website looks.

Not to mention the faster and secure your site is the better your reputation (think about it – google says so).

Your content needs to be found fast, consumed easily, and securely. That is all dependent on your web hosting plan. It is the foundation upon which your website is built. Don’t build a house made of straw! 

So what have we learned? 

  • Web hosting is like driving on the highway and getting stopped by a traffic jam? Sort of, but what’s more is that a web hosting provider stores your website information, and all of its content for others to access. 
  • Web hosting works like ordering from a restaurant, you or your date decide on a dish, you then tell the waiter what you want and they go retrieve it for you. The same holds true for the web host, it is storing your content, then when someone decides they want a piece of your delicious content, they use your domain name (aka your website name) to get it served up to them. 
  • Web Hosting has options, some are more exotic than others. It truly depends on what you are trying to accomplish online. Figure out how right here.

Web Hosting Infographic

web hosting infographic
web hosting infographic
web hosting infographic
shared hosting infographic
virtual private server infograpic
wordpress hosting infographic
dedicated hosting infographic
web hosting plan infographic

I hope you learned something and decide to start your journey in creating your website or business today.

So, what can you do today to get started?

You can do more research on the plans mentioned above. You can also review my other article, explaining how to select a plan that meets your needs. Or Download the infographic pdf here:

If there is anything you do not understand please comment below, I will answer you and clear up the confusion.

Check out the YouTube channel and sign up for the monthly newsletter for fresh new beginner WordPress content, and giveaways.

Tell me what your concerns, fears or objections are. I would love to hear from you.  

Until next time.

Create content your proud of,

WP {with} Me

Share me with friends

Rockey Simmons

Writing about software and technology is my passion. When I am not writing, I am building responsive webpages, learning about marketing, or reading about business. As a Saas and technology copywriter, my obsession is to continue learning my craft and offering unique and useful content to businesses, entrepreneurs, and WordPress beginners.

2 thoughts on “What is a Web Hosting Plan? (finally, an entertaining way to understand them)

  1. Hi Alan, thanks for reaching out. I will message you directly, so we can discuss a collaboration. Thanks for checking out the site, talk soon.

Comments are closed.

Back to top