If you are going to start your online business or any kind of online presence, besides creating a website you need to determine how you are going to host it. If you are a beginner, this may seem a bit hard and confusing, but actually, there is nothing supernatural about it and this short article is intended to provide you with a basic idea of how web hosting works, what it consists of, which options you have, and how to find to a most suitable one for the needs of your project. Let’s get started!
How does web hosting work?
Hosting is the reason why we are able to use the internet. When we browse the sites, it may seem at the first glance that the site operates from some mysterious transcendental space located in the air or in the aether, but actually, it works through a network of interconnected physical machines, basically computers like your own home PC, but aimed at running files and applications that are accessible to other internet users through the network. So, each time you access anything on the internet, you are accessing files and applications located on some special computer somewhere in the world. These files and applications are hosted by this computer, and the machine itself is called a server. To launch a website, you need yourself run it on a server.
You can run the site on your own server, but, considering that to own and maintain a server is rather expensive and requires special conditions to be created, most companies use the facilities provided by different hosting providers – companies, that are focused on owning and maintaining servers in datacenters (buildings where the servers are kept) and renting them out to their clients with support and other additional services. Even such large companies as Netflix or Paypal use the hosting offered by third-party providers (Amazon and Google respectively), so you can see that the practice of renting hosting facilities is very widespread. Therefore, if you are going to start a website, you should find yourself a hosting provider. There is a vast variety of hosting providers, all with different offers. That’s why, to find a good hosting provider, you need to study carefully the offers that are on market and find a good one that will meet your needs. To give you an example of such, take a look at HostZealot hosting provider. They offer a broad variety of quality services, with affordable plans, a variety of locations, and 24/7 customer support.
The domain name
Apart from web hosting for your website, you also need a domain name for it. The domain name is the name of the website in the human language – basically, the words and letters that you type into the address line to access this or that website. For example, google.com, instagram.com, and youtube.com are all domain names of corresponding websites offering corresponding services. Keep in mind, that by buying a hosting plan, you do not automatically receive a domain name. Instead, you have to get it from a domain hosting registrar, a special service provider that is focused on registering domain names. However, many hosting providers cooperate with domain hosting registrars, so domain name registration may be included in their plans.
The types of hosting
All websites consume resources to operate. These include bandwidth, RAM, disk space, and CPU computing power. Websites can be pretty much different in scale, so they also require different amounts of resources, depending on whether we are talking about a one-page landing, a blog, an e-commerce website, a streaming service, etc. Different websites also have different requirements for security and reliability, while different website owners have different financial possibilities.
For all these reasons, the available hosting solutions are rather differentiated. So, let’s have a brief look at what we have at our disposal.
Shared hosting. The servers on their own can be rather potent machines, but they also cost money, while many sites don’t need that much power to run and their owner don’t have that much money to spend. That’s why there is the service of shared hosting that consists in sharing the resources of one single physical server. This solution is cheap, but there are no allocations of resources, so shared hosting can be rather unstable and unsafe and more vulnerable to hacking, which isn’t great, especially if your site performs some responsible task, runs resources-consuming applications, and deals with sensitive data. For this reason, shared hosting is best for small websites of small businesses, but otherwise, it’s better to look for other hosting solutions.
VPS hosting. Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the technology, in which a shared physical server is used, but with the help of special software, it’s divided into virtual servers, that have dedicated resources and thus do not affect the performance of each other. This type of hosting is more expensive than the previous one, but it offers an incomparably better level of performance and reliability. It is to be chosen in case you are seeking a stable, powerful, and reliable solution for an intermediate website. It’s offered in very diverse configurations and is easy to rescale, which is great for a growing business.
Dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting is just renting a server with all its capacities by one client. Naturally, it suits bigger websites that run powerful apps, deals with huge amounts of traffic on a daily basis, and store extensive amounts of data, so this solution is suitable for advanced businesses that need maximum performance for their website.
Web hosting is what provides us with the internet as such, and to become a part of it, you need to find a hosting solution for you as well. We hope that this article has given you a better idea of web hosting and you’ll successfully find the best solution for your website. Thank you for your attention. Take care!