This article, Web hosting basics explained in simple terms will explain the whole system of web hosting and explain using real-world examples. You will learn some of the beginners’ misconceptions. I promise not to use boring or Deep and hard to understand geeky language.
What is web hosting?
So, what is web hosting, and why is it important anyway?
We would like to define web hosting as the activity or service of providing storage space to Individuals or Organizations, for their emails or websites that are accessible via the World Wide Web (Internet). There are many hosting service providers on the internet, and you can check one such provider by visiting this Web Hosting Company.
This is quite important because your hosting determines whether your website is accessible to the world or not.
For any website to be available online it has to be stored in some server or computer that is connected to the internet. To make this simple, you need to think of this server as a building where your business is located, and your business being the equivalent of your website. This will make you realize that your hosting service provider is your “Land Lord”.
Can you Host your own website?
The simple answer is yes. So, why need a hosting service provider you may ask.
Well, hosting your own website will require someone who has the technical know-how and to add on to that you need the resources mentioned below.
- The computer (Server)
- Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)
- Internet Connection (High Speed)
- Dedicated IP address
You may think, I could get all this at home and host a website on my Personal Computer. But your power or internet could go down and that means your website will no longer be accessible online.
To solve this problem, web-hosting companies own and operate dedicated machines that exist only to serve websites.
This also entails that you will get highspeed servers, and also that should save you a lot of dirty work on the technical aspect of website setup. These servers are located in specialized buildings called data centers, and these centers have all the necessary features to make your site available 24/7/365
What is a Domain?
Your domain is simply your website address. Earlier on we mentioned that you should think of your website as if it’s a business. Every business has a name, and this domain is the name that will be used to identify your website. (e.g. facebook.com)
When signing up for your hosting account, you will need to have a domain name for your website. It is of utmost importance to get the right domain name for your website. Always remember this is the name that will help your audience to identify your website.
Points to remember when selecting your domain:
- Pick a name that is unique. You can go online to find out if that name is already taken.
- Make it easy to remember.
- Make it easy to type. The shorter the better.
- Try to make it brandable.
- Always avoid using numbers and hyphens.
How to choose a hosting Company
Looking for a hosting company is like looking for a place to set up your business. There are many things to consider when looking for a hosting company.
- Ability to expand. You could buy hosting services anticipating a certain amount of traffic, but then you never know what happens, you might find out that you may end up needing to upgrade your packages. A good hosting service provider must give you the ability to expand.
- Price and Payment options. The trick here is to find a company with no hidden costs, and that makes it easy to upgrade or downgrade your packages. Most if not all hosting providers will make you pay an additional fee for an upgrade or a downgrade.
- Disk space. You need not to worry much about space unless you are planning to build a website that deals with constant upload and download of files.
- Reliability and uptime. This is one of the main things to consider when buying a hosting service. It is recommended that you buy hosting service from a company that offers at least 99.9% uptime, and has reliable servers. Remember your website needs to stay online all the time.
- Location of the company. It is often good practice to buy hosting from a company that is at least located closer to your place of residence. For some reason, I find it easier to deal with companies close by.
- Website security should never be overlooked. If you are planning to sell goods or services through your website, you need to make sure that your hosting service provider will allow you to set up SSL (a secure server).
Adding your content
Getting new content for your website can be likened to getting new supplies in- the physical store if you had one. Your supplies need to stay current, fresh and always stocked. It is the same with the content on your website, it will need to be treated like your stock in your physical store. This is your responsibility as the website owner, not your host’s.
How this can be done!
This can be done from scratch using HTML and CSS or by using design tools and then apply it to the web or at least find Content Management systems to add your content to your website.
Web hosting is just one other piece required to complete your online presence puzzle. You certainly need to have your website hosted with excellence and make sure your website doesn’t go offline. Of course, Servers are just pieces of hardware so they will need to be rebooted here and there, and so that is why it is not possible to get 100% uptime of your website.
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Facebook: Tapiwa T. Muriyamwe