Google indexed more than 56 billion web pages. This indicates how many websites are online.
Have you ever wondered how the internet really works? There are a lot of terms to know, especially if you plan to set up your own website.
You need to know about website hosting, domain names, and URLs. It can be intimidating to learn, but don’t let the technical side of the internet keep you from learning.
What is web hosting and how does it work? Keep reading to find out.
How Information Travels Online
Let’s break down the various components of a website. A website is made up of code and files. These files are images, directions, and text.
You also have a domain name. This is the address of your site. Your domain might be the name of your business, initials, or something else.
The URL is similar to the domain name, but it’s not the same thing. The URL is the complete address that a person types in to reach your site. It includes the https:// and ends with a domain extension, such as .com or .it.
Think of the domain name as your phone number, and the URL is the area code and phone number.
What does this have to do with site hosting? Let’s say that someone dials your phone number with area code, or types in your URL in their web browser.
They’re actually making a request to see your website. This request makes its way through their network, WiFi device, and router.
The request travels to the internet service provider (ISP), which then routes the request through a series of servers to your web host.
Your web host then receives the request, gathers the appropriate files that pertain to your site, and returns them through the internet, to your ISP.
The request goes through your network and reaches your device in a matter of seconds. Your website browser decodes the information and makes it appear as intended on your device.
What Is Site Hosting?
The internet is nothing short of a miracle when you really think about it. So much happens in so little time, you just assume that everything works perfectly all of the time until it doesn’t.
That’s why the role of a website host is so important. Your website’s files get hosted on a server. They reside there and when the server receives a request, it serves the files to your site’s visitors.
A slow host or unreliable host has dire consequences for your site and your business. People expect a site to load quickly. They will go elsewhere if they can’t find the information they need quickly.
Types of Website Hosts
There are a number of types of website hosts and hosting plans. This is helpful to understand if you’re about to build a website or blog.
Websites are usually hosted or self-hosted. A self-hosted site is the scenario described above.
You build the website using whatever platform you like. Most people use WordPress because it’s the easiest to get up and running.
Hosted sites are ones where you have the website and hosting combined on one platform. These are cloud-based platforms, such as Squarespace and Wix.
People choose hosted sites because that makes the process simpler and easier for them. They don’t have to know too much to build a website.
Hosted sites don’t offer a lot of ways to customize the site. With a self-hosted solution using WordPress, your options to customize are limitless.
Website Hosting Plans
Self-hosted companies offer various levels of hosting to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
Shared hosting is the most familiar to website administrators. This plan lets your website reside on a server with many other websites.
This is the cheapest option because the costs and resources get shared between hundreds of other sites. There are some risks in signing up with this option.
A shared server with an account that gets a lot of traffic at once takes up more resources. That could slow down your site.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a dedicated server. This is the most expensive option, but for good reason.
You have a server all to yourself. This gives you complete control over the server.
In the middle are virtual private server hosting (VPS) plans. A VPS gives you dedicated space on a server. You have more control and it’s cheaper than a dedicated server.
There are also fully managed plans. These offer more features and maintenance options to help you manage the backend of your website.
How to Choose a Website Host
Finding web hosting services is often overwhelming because of the sheer number of hosting companies. Start by defining your needs.
Do you need a WordPress hosting company and don’t want to worry about maintenance? You’ll want to find the best managed WordPress hosting company.
If you’re an experienced developer with a large website, you might opt for a VPS or dedicated server.
You’ll want to outline your budget and website needs.
Look for website hosts that are known for being fast and reliable. You can find this information in customer reviews and testimonials.
The main thing is to reach out to customer service. There should always be a way to contact customer service and get a quick response. The top hosting companies have live chat, email, and a phone number.
What Is Web Hosting and How Does It Work?
Who knew the internet was so complex? You really don’t think about how it all works until there’s a major outage.
What is web hosting and how does it work? Web hosting is what holds the internet together. It’s where website files get stored and served upon request.
Are you ready for more web hosting facts? Check out the Technology section of this site today!