How Does Web Hosting Work?12/14/2009
A simple question, yet one that many still can't answer.
Do you know how web hosting works?
No? Well, read on for a simple and easy to understand description of how web hosting really works.
Web hosting is a service that provides you with the space, bandwidth, hardware, software and technical support to put your files online for surfers around the globe to see. If you are going to have a website you will need some sort of web hosting.
In essence, you could host your site yourself with a computer, the right server software and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that will provide you with a static IP. This is not very reliable and if you want to get serious about your online business, I would not recommend it.
Web hosting comes in a variety of packages, also known as plans. There are many web hosting providers to choose from, the key is to find one that is reliable, offers a package/plan tailored to your needs and promises minimal downtime.
Before purchasing a web hosting package/plan, you will want to ask yourself a few questions:
Will your website be for personal or business use?
Are you looking at grabbing a lot of attention to your website? Or will the amount of surfers viewing your website be minimal?
You will want to know approximately how much bandwidth and space you will need prior to researching/purchasing a hosting plan.
Small and/or start-up companies will be able to take advantage of a shared server. A shared server is one large computer that hosts many websites.
Larger companies will need a dedicated server. A dedicated server is one computer that hosts only your website(s).
Massive companies like www.google.com will need multiple dedicated servers to run their website.
Ok, so now you know the basics of web hosting but I bet you are asking yourself, "But how do I begin to use my new web hosting service?".
Using your new web hosting account is simple. Most hosting providers will set up your account and email you over your File Transfer Protocol (FTP) login information. This information gives you access to the server in order to upload your files. You will need an FTP client in order to do this. There are several free ones available online.
In addition to the FTP login information, you will receive name-server (DNS) information. Once you have uploaded your files to the server, you will want to change the DNS of your domain name(s) through your domain registrar. This will point your domain name to your server.
You are done! Now when anyone types in your domain name, they will be routed to your server and the files you have uploaded will be displayed to them through the magic of the World Wide Web.
I hope that was simple enough and easy to understand. Should you have any additional questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below:)