Web Hosting: The Key to the Internet
Web hosting is a term used when a person or business rents a server online to store their data and display their website. Every single site on the Internet is hosted on some type of server or similar machine. However, there is not just one host that we all must adhere to. There are a number of them that each offers their own features, differentiating themselves from one another. For instance, some hosts are free and do not include many options, while others are dedicated systems that are more expensive, and therefore provide greater control.
Hosts work by storing your website files in high-powered computers, which are linked to an extremely fast network. Then, when a person types in your web address, the Internet connects to the web server holding your website files and in turn transfers your website information back to their computer. At that point, they have access to freely surf and view all the pages of your website. The hosts are the ones in charge of managing the server’s software, security, support, bandwidth and speed, making everything much easier for web users.
Before we discuss the different types of web hosts that are available, it is crucial you have a domain name picked out so that your website can be found on the Internet. We recommend that you have backup options in mind because if it’s already taken, you will need to come up with a new one, since no two people can share a domain name. Create one that is memorable and relevant to your cause. Also, make sure you are pleased with the name you chose because this will basically be your Internet address. The same way you have a street address to find you home, a domain name is used to find your website.
Types of Web Hosting
What originally started out as just one simple host has branched out into multiple ones with all different purposes. This is because as technology progressed, various types of hosts have been created to meet the needs of websites and customers.
Shared web hosting is the most common kind found, as well as the easiest to start out on. It is essentially a service where one server is shared between many customers. There are a lot of positive qualities about this host. For starters, it is cheaper because you do not have to pay for the whole server upfront. Also, the server is preconfigured with the most popular options that people typically need for their website. Plus, the host takes care of any maintenance and security updates for you. This is great for someone with little to no knowledge of computers. However, a downside to this host is that you share the server resources with your neighbors. What this means is that if one site becomes super busy, it could slow down all the other sites found on that server, including yours.
Website builder is another host that prides itself on being the simplest way to build a website and get online. The site builder offers hundreds of professionally designed templates that can be completely customized to meet your needs, leaving your website looking the way you want it. Also, website builder does not require any previous experience. Anyone can use it. Website builder includes a free domain name, where the host account is automatically setup for you. Besides all this, website builder provides professional results at a low cost. Hiring a web designer to create a site is expensive, especially if it is for mobile purposes. With website builder, you get all this for a cheap monthly cost. A negative aspect to this is that, for large ecommerce websites, it may get complicated. Even though you are able to sell products and service with website builder, problems could arise if you are in the business of selling hundreds of items online.
Then, there are dedicated hosts. Here, you get your own server and all of its resources. These are created just for you and no one else. For instance, dedicated hosts allow you to choose the exact hardware and software specifications of the server. You have full root access to your dedicated servers and can configure and tweak your setup however you see fit. However, since it is your responsibility to manage and configure the server, prior technical knowledge is required. Dedicated hosts are also a lot more expensive than their competition because the cost of the server isn’t shared with any other customers. You are completely on your own here.
Cloud is another host that’s used for websites. In essence, it’s a meeting place half way between shared hosts and dedicated hosts. This type of server still shares the physical server hardware with other customers, but it also employs a split-up in the server so that each partition has its own dedicated resources, which can be configured almost like a fully dedicated server. One advantage to a cloud host is that it provides the most flexibility since the cloud reacts to physical hardware problems and puts your site in a reliable location right away. It even has an upgrade option that’s quick and easy for those times when website traffic is high. A disadvantage to the cloud is that while you’re given a lot of freedom to configure your server, it also takes a higher level of technical experience to work it.