Website Hosting Guide: How Hosting a Site Works

Hosting a website is a relatively simple procedure.

However, first-timers at site building often feel frazzled by this process. If you are new to website hosting, this simple guide will be all you need to know about the crazy world on the internet.

This article will provide you with a straightforward introduction to web hosting. It will also help you with Understanding How Hosting Works through a variety of steps necessary to put your site on the internet.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service or activity that provides a storage area to organizations or individuals for the websites that are attainable via the internet. With millions of people getting into the world of hosting and already near a billion sites that already exist, hosting is an enormous industry.

It is no secret that the entire web hosting process is intimidating until your wrap your head around it and understand how it works. To begin with, you need to learn some fancy words.

  • Self-Hosting
  • Blog Hosting
  • Site Hosting
  • Website Hosting
  • Web Hosting

Those may all be different, but they mean the same thing. They each say you have server space where you store your site’s files, and you have total control over all of it. “Hosted website or blog”: You could hear these terms and think they are the same as website hosting.

However, these two terms are different than what web hosting is. In this case, the actual host and most of its associated functionalities are by the third-party company. You usually get the software/tool to design your site but are restricted to that company’s functionality.

One other downside of the hosted solution is that you cannot easily move your site anywhere else and it can be a struggle to expand.

What More You Need to Know?

For a site to be available online, it must be stored on a computer/server that has a connection to the internet. The server where you store your website is your host. Your host can be anywhere in the world, but it has to have three simple things:

  • Dedicated IP address
  • Internet Connection
  • Power

An IP address is literally the address of your website. IP stands for “Internet Protocol,” meaning it is the set of numbers that provide location, identification, and communication for a computer connected to the internet.

“Dedicated IP” just means the address does not change with every connection. You are probably thinking to yourself, “I can get my own personal dedicated IP address and host my own website on my computer, right?

However, what if your internet goes down and you have to reboot your computer, or you lose power? If this happens, (and, it will) your website will not be available to anyone. To resolve this issue, web hosting companies own and operate machines that have one job– to serve sites.

Server’s location is in special places called data centers. These centers have all the necessary features to keep websites live everyday-all hours of the day. No downtime.

Web Hosting on the World Wide Web?

Your web hosting package/plan is a permission that appoints how you are going to use your space online. It will not matter which term you use because they all mean the exact same thing.

Most often, however, a web hosting package is bought along with a domain name, except they function independently just like your workshop and your business.

To make things a little clearer, think of your web host just like you do your landlord. Consider it as paying your hosting plan as if it is paying your lease.

Your domain name is part of your business, and you can move it at any time. So, consider the renewing of your domain name to be like renewing your organization license. Even though you need both at the same time, they are two completely different things.

You can take care of both at one time, and even though they are separate, you need them both. Webmasters new to the industry often find themselves confronted with a mass of webs host offering their variety of packages.

Windows and Linux Operating Systems are the most common packages you have. If you are new, you may be confused on if the OS of the packages matter. Moreover, if it does, which to choose, a Windows or Linux.

What technology your site relies on or you plan to build on, along with the needs of the site is how you figure out what type of hosting plan to choose. For example, depending on your needs, when you select a building, you pay rent. Therefore, you need to decide based on your hosting needs, then buy it.

Do You Need Linux Hosting?

At this point, you are probably shaking your head. All you need is to create a simple blog, sell something online, or get your website up and running. All this web nonsense sounds insane, right?

If you are merely wanting to sell products with a shopping cart, start an ecommerce website.

Side Note: The majority of the open source/ free software such as Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress, is the home of most website created today. It does not matter if you have an e-commerce site, blog, small business, they all build using a Linux based system.

Likewise, tutorials on the internet, especially the one on configuring your web server, do so on the assumption that your site is running on a Linux based system.

What About Windows Hosting?

Here the real question is, what will your site rely on; will it be an MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server), Microsoft Access, or NET? Alternatively, will it rely on Windows-specific technology?

The question is not are these technologies what you need on your personal computer, but, will your site be coded using .NET or ASP? If you do not understand this, the chances are you are going to use them.

If you have someone assisting you with creating your site, ask them which technology they use to help you understand what your hosting needs are.

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