There are many different aspects of website creation and things you need to know before you can create a website. You have to understand domain names, bandwidth and basic web design for example. One hugely important area of website design is the website hosting. Many people may know that hosting is required, but may not understand what it actually is – this article unfolds the mystery behind hosting for your benefit.
Web Hosting – a Basic Explanation
Website hosting is an essential part of the internet. Without website hosting, you would not be able to access a website. When you type in a web address into Google Chrome such as Amazon.com, you are actually accessing a web server where those website files are stored. This is what web hosting is – without hosting, no one would be able to access website files.
Web hosting requires a website URL, a DNS record, and a physical server. The website URL is the domain name – this is what users type in to locate a website such as www.Google.com. A DNS server then allocates a website URL with an IP address and keeps a record of its location. When you type in a URL in your web browser, the DNS will tell the browser where the website is stored, and then you can form a connection with the server to retrieve the files.
The web server is an actual physical server – it will have a myriad of hardware facilities such as hard drives and processors. The storage is where you upload your files using FTP transfer. You usually access a web server using an admin control panel – you will also be given a username and password that gives you a secure login to access your files.
Different types of website hosting
Now that we have defined web hosting, we can look at the different types of hosting. There are several different types of hosting – depending on your business, one particular type of hosting may suit your needs better. The following are three common types of hosting service:
As you would expect, shared hosting involves sharing the resources of a web server with other users. You essentially purchase part of a server’s resources (i.e. bandwidth and storage). There could be a hundred other users also using that same server. This type of web hosting is the cheapest available. The only downside is that response times and speeds can be unreliable – it depends on who else is using the server at the same time.
Dedicated hosting is generally reserved for large enterprise level companies. If you purchase dedicated hosting, you are purchasing a whole web server. No one else will use your server except your business. The full server resources are at your command. This is usually the most expensive type of hosting, and required if you have large databases or a huge customer base.
Finally we have reseller hosting. This type of hosting is for those who wish to sell website hosting to third-party customers. If you own a web development business for example, you may wish to sell hosting as part of your service. You would use reseller hosting to offer that service. You effectively buy hosting from someone else, to sell it as a middleman.
You should now have a clear understanding of what website hosting is. When choosing a hosting provider, ensure that you have considered aspects such as available storage, bandwidth, and security. There are many different hosting providers and not all of them offer the same!