Web hosting is a necessity for every website. If you are going to build and run one, you need to get a hang of what it is and what it involves.
What is website hosting?
Web hosting refers to the service that allows a website owner to store the website’s data on a server, from where it can then be accessed by users on the internet. The servers are housed in facilities called data centers.
Web hosting service is offered by companies known as hosting providers. Today, there are several hosting companies such as HostPapa, SiteGround, InMotion, and many others that allow you to host your service at a fee.
To make it possible for your website to be visible and accessible on the internet, web hosting servers use special software known as a web server that’s locally installed on the server.
The web server receives the request to access your website and sends the requested page to the visitor’s browser. However, you don’t need to bother yourself with the minute details to host a website.
What Do You Need to Host a Website?
For individuals or organizations to host their website, they need a domain name and a web hosting provider. We have dealt with the latter, so we’ll go straight to domain names.
In simple terms, the domain name is the text that visitors type in the search box of their browser to direct them to your site. Think of a domain name as a website’s address.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
To get your website up on the internet, you need hosting and a domain name. The latter is linked to the web hosting company that rents you space.
Apart from storage space, the hosting company provides file transfer protocol (FTP), SSL certificates, security, bandwidth, and guaranteed uptime as well as fast loading speed depending on the plan you are subscribed to.
Hosting providers offer different types of hosting options to cater to the needs of various customers. The common ones include:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Managed WordPress hosting
Why do I need a hosting provider?
It’s possible to host your website on a local computer. However, it is more trouble than its worth. This explains why even big corporations with enough resources to host their websites opt for a hosting provider instead.
To give you a clearer understanding, here are some of the downsides of hosting your website on a local computer.
- You will require a fast internet connection 24/7, which is not easy to achieve.
- Maintenance, back-ups, updating the web server, and security all become your responsibility. Cumulatively, these responsibilities are very demanding.
- Should the local computer you are using get infected with malware, your website may be affected and be offline as a result.
- You incur additional costs such as purchasing a static IP address from your ISP
To bring off all these, you will have to put in a lot of effort, skills and time which is really a hassle.
Understanding web hosting is critical to succeeding in building and managing a website. Though there is a lot more technical stuff involved in the other stages, it’ll be a downward slope as long as you get the gist of web hosting.
If you liked this article, do not forget to read our article on free platforms for hosting static sites.