Web hosting, or rather website hosting is an online service, which allows you, as an individual to register a domain name and launch your own website. Also, website hosting is a service that companies could have… and frankly, they must have it. Without a properly hosted website, you nor your company could rise to fame, we are well over the times when newspaper ads or listing yourself on CraigsList was enough to get customers. Blogging isn’t a hobby either, and with the newest crazy ways to advertise and earn money from doing stuff online, a proper web hosting service is a must. For you, for us, for everyone. But… what the heck is web hosting?
The web hosting on its own accord is an artificial word and stands for the following: there is a company, which has a (or many) data centers. These data centers are large buildings, full of racked up servers. You, as a client who needs web hosting, you practically rent a portion of the data center’s servers’ capacity, and your website’s info, your account info, and the content of your website is stored on those servers’ storage.
What’s a Server?
The server is a computer just like any other. However, it’s more powerful, has more storage and RAM, and its only purpose is to store website data and content. The servers usually have Linux operating system. Some web hosting service providers offer Windows servers with the right control panel.
What’s a Data Center?
The data center is the place where all the connected servers are stored. It’s usually a constantly monitored and quite cold location, placed at strategically important points on the different continents.
The Different Types of Domain Hosting
The most basic type of website hosting. It’s the cheapest solution, and it provides a quite good service nowadays. Share hosting is “shared” because you share the server’s power, the storage and the overall performance with other sites. Nowadays, this means almost nothing, as you won’t have any troubles. The best website hosting providers separate the accounts and keep them secure, so you won’t feel anything if other sites are hacked or use excessive resources.
It is the second-best hosting service – well, it is for many – as it means that you get your own little server with good resources to run “behind” your site. The VPS means Virtual Private Server: it’s a virtual server which is a provisioned portion of the big box. These servers have their own parameters like CPU, CPU cores, RAM, storage (usually SSD) and bandwidth.
The cloud basically is a lot of servers connected together sharing and adding up their power. It’s a fascinating technology, as it offers access to servers remotely and in a fast manner. Nowadays, the cloud hosting has many faces: you can host sites via the cloud like in shared hosting, and the cloud can be the home of your virtual private server. As far as the prices go, it’s in the middle-range.
This is for the big fish. Companies which expect a huge load of traffic, but don’t want to have their own data centers usually opt-in for a dedicated server. The dedicated server is basically “a” server for you, which is like the virtual private server, only it’s not virtual. If you have a dedicated server hosting your site, you get an actual server being provisioned to you in the data center. In most cases, you get root access, but there are many managed services to (managed means the company’s experts to the IT stuff).
What’s a domain? If I have a domain then I have a website too? What’s a domain name again? These are the questions many newbies ask when they start to explore the world of online business, especially if they are looking for website hosting. The domain name is the “name”, the virtual address of your websites. If your company is called Something-Something, then you might choose a domain name like “something-something.com”. Your clients, who need one of your somethings, will enter this into their browser, or use the search engines to find it.
You can buy a domain name at a few sites, like GoDaddy, NameCheap, or the rather nicely named Domain.com. GoDaddy, for example, offers hosting services too. When you buy a domain, you have to choose an extension like .com, .uk, .org etc. The .com is usually the most respected one, and it’s usually a bit more expensive. You can buy a domain name for a year, or two, sometimes for three, and you have to renew your license when it expires… or, if there is someone who also runs a business called Something-Something, he or she might pay some nice price for it! Bu, that’s usually not the case.
The domain determines your site’s address, and it ties the domain name to you. Nowadays, since there so many frauds and scams which try to get the data of the website owners, most website hosting companies offer domain privacy. This means that if someone wants to find out who is the site’s owner (known as WhoIs info), only the hosting company’s info will appear. It’s usually not free, but it’s worth to opt in for it.
Basically, this is the web hosting: you get a domain, and depending on the chosen plan, you get access to different services. In another article, we are discussing how you can choose the best web hosting. There are many ways you could do it, and you have to pay close attention to what you choose!