Aside from people who have just registered a domain name and are thinking about developing a website, even the people that own a website multiple years may find it difficult to answer what is a web hosting and how it works.
While this may be due to the fact that they pay for website maintenance, domain and hosting service to an agency that does it all for them. Still, it is important to get to know that it is and how it works because this insight can give you ideas about how to improve your website.
What is Web Hosting?
In general, Web Hosting is a paid service rendered by third parties which provides you with an online storage space and server time that enables you to present a website or an online service.
In western countries, as well as globally, the Web Hosting service usually is an Internet hosting service that enables individuals or organizations to have their websites or online services accessible through the Word Wide Web.
Using your own hardware, software and infrastructure to make your website accessible on the Internet is possible but is not practical as it would induce a number of expenses (links to the Internet, servers running 24/7, hardware and software maintenance ) that are much higher than what a typical Web Hosting service would cost.
Because of this even very large companies or businesses use web hosting services from companies that specialize in this field.
How does a web hosting work?
The traditional means of web hosting are done with large datacenter infrastructure which is connected to “Internet backbone” with strong redundant links. These data centers provide individual paying users with control panels through which they can manage the resources they own with that service.
Furthermore, you as the user can direct these resources to present a website or a specific online service for your own customers, coupled with a domain name which serves as the online address for said website or service.
Whenever your customers type in your domain name, the domain name system will lead them to your website which is served by the web hosting company.
Tips and advice about web hosting
If you have ever visited a web hosting company website, you have noticed that their offers consist of a diverse range of services and you do need a bit of insight to be able to choose the right one.
Most commonly those are Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting and Cloud Hosting, with a few specific ones tied to a website development platform and marketed as WordPress Hosting or branded hosting (for example Shopify).
For most users the optimal choice of web hosting is Shared Hosting, where you pay for a service and share a server with other clients. Because the server resources are shared the service is very affordable, while the performance of your website should be within acceptable limits.
On the other hand, Dedicated Hosting is a more expensive option though it also provides better functionality and performance as you are “alone” on the server which will “dedicate” its resources to your online project no matter what.
Developers and software engineers will benefit the most from VPS hosting as these are virtual servers which offer high levels of interactivity and enable them to fine tune how the virtualized hardware and software work.
Next, Cloud Hosting is a somewhat specialized type of web hosting which does not hold your online project on a single server, but will spread it between a “cloud of computers” on the Internet. The main benefit of this kind of service is that clients accessing your website globally will have a better user experience because your site data will be distributed and moved to the cloud server that is the closest to users.
Finally, WordPress Hosting, Shopify and similar web hosting services are aimed directly at the end-user with a goal of building a website fast through a template and without any coding knowledge. We can say that this kind of websites can be company or business presentations, online stores, though usually these are not very complicated but more of a simpler website with a purpose of presenting information online.
I am sure that we have answered at least a couple of questions that are related to your starting or building your website.
Knowing these additional informations will help you choose the right service while keeping your budget tight and not overpaying for a service you do not need.