Hosting is the storage of website files that are accessible via the Internet. Website files live on a web server, which receives requests from site visitors for specific information and then sends the desired page to the user’s browser. Each website hosted on a web server has a domain name that functions like a digital address.\nBusiness website owners need a host to ensure the company’s website is fast and accessible. Hosting service providers offer platform maintenance and assistance managing a website’s uptime. Hosting company engineers monitor the servers, allowing you to focus on your online store or building your business. From bloggers to small business owners, many people can easily find web hosting providers that fit individual functionality and website needs.\n\nJust as there are many different types of websites, there are multiple unique types of hosting providers to address business websites’ needs:\n\n1. __Dedicated hosting__: A dedicated server signifies that you rent the entire web server where your website lives. Your own server will only have your website files, giving you greater leverage and control. These can be more expensive and are best for larger companies.\n2. __Cloud hosting__: Cloud hosting involves a virtual server composed of other singular web servers. Should one web server malfunction, another can step in, which minimizes downtime and ensures service consistency and dependability. \n3. __Shared hosting__: Shared hosting plans are the most common of these types of hosting. Most websites are on shared hosting plans, wherein the files for multiple sites are stored on a single server. Shared hosting is more economical and a typical choice for small businesses.\nSelf-hosting is uncommon, so for those who are scouting web hosting plans, follow these steps:\n\n1. __Find a web hosting service provider__. People will not see your website on the Internet until you have a hosting service. There are many web hosting companies, so you’ll have to narrow your search based on your website needs and pricing options. Consider uptime, customer support, firewall protection, and bandwidth needs. A TLS certificate provides additional security—particularly for visitors’ credit card information—and can also enhance your website’s [search engine optimization](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/seo-strategy-guide) (SEO).\n2. __Choose a web host plan that fits__. Shared hosting options are more affordable and are suitable for younger companies with less involved website needs. For growing companies, cloud hosting can be a better fit as it handles traffic spikes more smoothly. For larger companies with hefty website files, look toward dedicated hosting or a virtual private server (VPS hosting).\n3. __Secure a domain name__. For [domain name](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-name-your-product) registration, have multiple options in mind. Ensure that the domain names you consider are memorable and SEO-friendly. Some hosting accounts may offer a free domain name as an incentive.\nGet the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) for exclusive access to video lessons taught by business luminaries, including Sara Blakely, Chris Voss, Robin Roberts, Bob Iger, Howard Schultz, Anna Wintour, and more.\nBusiness and e-commerce websites require web hosting that prioritizes speed and accessibility for the user experience.