What Is Web Hosting?
Think of a domain as your home address, and hosting as the land where your house rests on.
Generally speaking, it is a place
where companies keep their websites.
This is critical if you want your content to be visible online.
For a monthly fee, you rent space on their
servers. In return, they provide a safe and secure place for your website.
There are many hosting companies out there, but I’ll list a few ones.
Wondering why your website/blog is not getting the best performance?
There are several things you don’t know about Web Hosting, the types and how they work for a specific kind of website/blog.
Some sites are faster than others whiles some too are very slow.
In this post, you’ll get to know the types of hosting and why most websites perform better than others.
Now there are different types of hosting services that people are currently using, they are;
- Shared Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
- Virtual Private Servers
- Dedicated Servers
But we’re going to be looking at shared hosting first because, that’s the most popular and cheapest type of hosting.
Its the computer and
network infrastructure that keeps your website available across the internet.
It also provides other key services like email for you.
So how does it work?.
It all starts with a server which is essentially a powerful computer that stores data in a highly secure purpose-built multi-million pound facility called the “data center”.
The data center provides the network and powered connectivity with temperature control backup systems, fire suppression and high levels of physical security.
Security is also important at the server level so the servers actually comprises of dual components.
Things like hard drives and power supply units, and the reason for this is to make sure that your website is available all times.
So when you order a hosting
service, what you’re actually purchasing is the physical disk space on the server, as well as the bandwidth which is a network connection for the server, and you’ll often see hosting advertised in terms of disk space and bandwidth.
You might see for example, 5Gig(five gigabytes of disk space and 100 gigabytes of bandwidth per month).
The disk space covers your website and all of your files including key files, things like your emails and the monthly bandwidth allowance (this is the amount of traffic that comes in and out of your website and your hosting space).
So usually, most of it will be made of email traffic in and out but also things like people visiting your site and where you actually publish your files in order to manage your webhosting.
You’ll need access to a user-friendly interface called a “control panel”.
One of the most popular control panel is called cPanel, this allows you to manage key areas of your hosting, things like setting up email addresses, managing domains, forwarding, and managing databases, that kind of thing.
This shields you basically from any of the technical aspects of hosting.
If you want to build your own website, you can use a tool like website builder which is also part, and this basically
allows non-technical users to build and maintain a website. It uses pre-made templates, you just add your own text, images and then publish it.
For more advanced users or maybe you’ve got a web designer, there are more advanced tools and applications which are included for free so you can sort of manage databases and also use other tools to build your website.
These kind of applications include popular content management systems like WordPress as well as more
advanced ecommerce tools like PrestaShop and Magento so you can start selling right away.
Online other security features are things like anti-spam software and data backup, these ensure the integrity of
your email and data.
If you’re with one hosting company and you want to transfer to another hosting company that’s very straightforward.
This is a process called migration, and basically your files are copied from your current hosting to your new hosting service.
There are just a couple of small changes that needs to be made to your domains and nameserver settings for that process to be fully completed.
Dedicated Server: In this hosting, the owner has the complete server and all the resources exclusively for himself.
However, the convenience and solitude makes it the costliest
option in hosting. It is ideal for large enterprises and those organizations, whose websites
have heavy traffic and CPU needs.
It’s like having your own home where you can live according to your convenience, but you will
also have to bear the costs for its purchase and maintenance alone.
Similarly, in dedicated hosting, you will have to pay more than any other type of hosting for
availing server, bandwidth and resources all by yourself.
In this hosting, virtualization technology is used to partition a computer virtually into multiple servers.
No physical partition is there, but because of virtual or software partition, each user is given much more privacy and security as compared to the shared hosting.
It’s like living in a comfortable condo, where you get your own privacy, fewer neighbors and better space but you still share your walls and plot with others.
The price for added space is obviously more than apartment housing, but is not as exorbitant as the cost of having your own home.
Similarly, in VPS, you are less affected with busy websites and the cost is more than shared hosting and lesser than dedicated hosting.
VPS hosting also gives you the freedom to install whatever you want on the server. You can try any new programming language or deploy a custom Apache module.
As you have the root access, you can make any changes using the remote desktop command line or remote desktop.
VPS hosting offers many more advantages than shared hosting and almost the same
advantages as dedicated hosting.
But in terms of price, VPS hosting is less expensive than dedicated hosting but more expensive than shared hosting.
A reseller acts as a middle man and sells hosting space of someone else’s server.
Instead of utilizing one server, Grid Hosting spreads resources over a large number of servers, It is quite stable and flexible.
The servers can be added or taken away from the grid without crashing the system.
Webhosting Is For Who?
It’s for everyone, no matter the kind of project you’re working on, hosting is the best quick fix.
So how do you choose the best hosting?
For you to select the optimal webhost, first consider what your needs are.
Here are some questions to ask before choosing your hosting provider:
- What kind of website would you like to build?
- How much traffic do you need?
Not knowing what your criteria is, it will be very difficult to pick your ideal host.
There are five basic things to look out for when choosing a web host:
- Service Uptime Record
- E-Commerce Features
- Company’s Terms of Service
- Site Back Up
- Service Support
Data transfer and disk space should not be your main focus, when choosing a hosting company.
Server Uptime Record
First, you need to make sure that your hosting provider operates 24/7, has a power server, and stable network connections.
Generally, companies do not give what their uptime score is on their website. You can restore this info for free through 3rd party sites.
Pingdom is one of the popular 3rd party websites.
The recommended uptime score is 99.5% and above. If below, this score is deemed to be unacceptable.
If you plan on running an e-commerce website then it is necessary for you to choose a host that provides sufficient e-commerce support.
SSL certification and shopping cart software installation are some of the features your website will need.
Examples of All-in-One E-commerce features
Tip: Data Transfer and Disk Space
Data transfer and disk space are not relevant when looking for a hosting company.
Most websites provide unlimited storage and data transfer but remember that unlimited is not necessarily “unlimited”.
Disk storage and bandwidth are not that important today because images and videos can be stored on 3rd-party sites such as YouTube and Flickr.
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