Consider a scenario in which you are starting a small business clothing brand. You have a complete stock, the staff members, and a logo. But you don’t have a physical location to store and sell your products. This is what to have a website without a web hosting service.
You have web page files, images, and a domain that make up your website but your visitors won’t find your website on the internet as there is no specific place. Just like that, your retail customers won’t find any physical store to visit and shop for your products.
In this guide, you will understand what exactly web hosting is, how it works, what are the different types of web hosting services and how to host a website to make it available globally.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible on the Internet. When a website is hosted, it is stored on a server connected to the internet and can be accessed by anyone using a web browser.
Web hosting provides the necessary infrastructure and support for a website to function properly. This includes storing the website’s files on the server that is connected to the internet, as well as providing an IP address that can be used to access the website. Additionally, web hosting providers often offer additional services such as security, backups and email hosting.
Furthermore, web hosting is necessary for any website that wants to be accessible to a global audience or have the ability to handle a large number of visitors. A website hosted on a personal computer or on a local network can be accessed only by the users within that network, with web hosting, the website is accessible to the whole world.
This is because the web hosting providers have servers that are connected to the internet 24/7 and have a much faster internet connection than a personal computer.
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Web hosting works by storing the files and data that make up a website on a server that is connected to the internet. When someone types a website’s URL into their web browser, their computer sends a request to the server where the website is hosted.
The server then retrieves the requested files and sends them back to the user’s computer, which displays the website in the web browser.
Here are the main steps in the process:
- The packaged files are then uploaded to a web hosting server using a protocol such as FTP.
- Once the files are uploaded, the website is accessible to anyone on the internet via a unique IP address or domain name.
- When a user types in a website’s URL into their web browser, their computer sends a request to the server where the website is hosted.
- The server receives the request retrieves the requested files and sends them back to the user’s computer, which displays the website in the web browser.
- Web hosting providers also provide additional services such as security, backups, and email hosting.
It is worth mentioning that the web hosting providers manage the servers, the security, the maintenance, and the uptime of the servers and the websites hosted on them.
Most providers also offer a control panel that allows users to manage their hosting account, view statistics about their website’s traffic, and make changes to their website’s configuration.
What Do You Need To Host A Website?
To host a website, you will need the following:
1. A Domain Name:
This is the address that people will use to access your website, such as www.example.com. You will need to register a domain name with a domain registrar, which typically costs around $20-$25 or more per year.
2. Web Hosting:
This is the service that stores your website files on a server connected to the internet. You will need to sign up for a web hosting provider, which typically costs $10-$20 per month.
3. Website Files:
4. Ftp Client:
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard protocol that allows you to transfer files from your computer to the web server. You will need an FTP client such as FileZilla to upload your website files to the server.
5. A Text Editor:
You will need a text editor such as Notepad++, Sublime Text, Atom or Visual Studio Code to edit the website files.
6. Some Knowledge About Web Development:
What Is The Difference Between Web Hosting And A Domain Name?
A domain name and web hosting are two separate but related components that are needed to have a website on the internet.
A Domain Name is the address that people use to access your website, such as www.example.com. It is the text that people type in their web browser’s address bar to visit a website; it functions like an address for your website. A domain name is registered with a domain registrar and needs to be reviewed every year.
Web hosting, on the other hand, is the service that stores your website files on a server connected to the internet.
The server is where all the data and files of your website are stored and it serves the data to the visitors when they visit your website. A web hosting service is provided by a web hosting company, and it needs to be paid on a monthly or yearly basis.
In simple terms, a Domain Name is the address of your website while web hosting is the space where your website files are stored.
You need both a domain name and web hosting to have a website on the internet. The domain name points to the web hosting, without the hosting the domain name will not have a website to point to.
Types Of Web Hosting:
The following are the main types of web hosting providers:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Colocation hosting
1. Shared Hosting:
Shared web hosting is the most common and affordable type of web hosting, where multiple websites share a single server.
The server is managed by a web hosting company, which is responsible for maintaining the server, ensuring that it is always up and running, and providing support to customers.
With shared hosting, customers are assigned a certain amount of storage space, bandwidth, and other resources.
The web hosting company typically provides a control panel, such as cPanel, that allows customers to easily manage their websites, email accounts, and other features.
Shared web hosting is suitable for small to medium-sized websites that do not require a large amount of resources or a high level of security.
The cost of shared hosting is usually very low, making it an affordable option for individuals and small businesses. However, shared hosting also has its limitations, such as a lack of full root access and limited control over the server configurations.
If you are running a small website or blog, Shared hosting is an affordable and easy-to-use option that can help you get your website online quickly.
|· Affordable||· Limited resources|
|· Easy to use||· Limited control|
|· No technical knowledge is required||· Limited security|
|· Suitable for small to medium-sized websites||· Limited scalability|
|· Limited performance|
2. VPS Hosting:
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a type of web hosting that provides a virtual environment that mimics a dedicated server. It offers more resources and flexibility than shared hosting, while still being more affordable than a dedicated server.
With VPS hosting, each customer is assigned a virtual server that is isolated from other customers. The virtual server can be configured with a specific amount of storage space, RAM, and CPU resources.
Customers have full root access to their virtual server and can install their own software, configure their server to their liking, and also can reboot the server independently.
VPS also provides a higher level of security than shared hosting, as each customer’s virtual server is isolated from the others. This means that if one customer’s website is hacked, it will not affect the other websites on the same server.
VPS hosting is suitable for small to medium-sized businesses and websites that have outgrown shared hosting. It is also suitable for websites with high traffic or that need to scale quickly, as it allows you to easily upgrade your resources as your website grows.
|· More resources||· More expensive than shared hosting|
|· More flexibility||· More technical knowledge required|
|· Better security||· Not suitable for large businesses or websites|
|· Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses and websites||· Limited by the host’s infrastructure|
3. Dedicated Hosting:
Dedicated web hosting is a type of hosting in which a customer rents an entire physical server from a hosting company. This server is not shared with any other customers, and the customer has full control over the server and its resources.
With dedicated hosting, customers have complete control over the server’s operating system, software, and hardware.
They can install any software they need, configure the server to their liking, and have full access to all of the server’s resources, including CPU, RAM, and storage space.
Dedicated hosting provides the highest level of security and performance, as the server is not shared with any other customers and is dedicated to the customer’s use.
This means that the customer’s website will have a dedicated IP address and will not be affected by other websites on the same server.
Dedicated web hosting is suitable for large websites and businesses that require a high level of resources and performance, such as e-commerce sites, large forums, and high-traffic blogs. It is also suitable for businesses that handle sensitive data and need a high level of security.
|· Maximum resources||· More expensive|
|· Maximum control and flexibility||· More technical knowledge required|
|· Maximum security||· Not suitable for small businesses or websites|
|· Suitable for large businesses and websites||· Limited by the host’s infrastructure|
|· Scalability||· Limited in some cases by the host’s location|
4. Cloud Hosting:
Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that utilizes a network of servers, which are connected together in a cloud-like structure, to host websites.
The network of servers is connected to the internet, and the resources of the servers are shared among all the websites hosted on the network.
Cloud hosting is different from traditional web hosting in that it is highly scalable and can be adjusted to the specific needs of a website.
With cloud hosting, customers only pay for the resources they use, and they can easily scale their resources up or down as their website traffic changes.
Cloud hosting utilizes a pay-as-you-go model, which means customers only pay for the resources they use and can scale up or down their resources as needed. This makes it a cost-effective solution for businesses that have fluctuating traffic patterns.
Cloud hosting also offers high availability and redundancy, as the network of servers is connected together in a cloud-like structure, which means that if one server goes down, the other servers can pick up the load.
This ensures that your website is always available to your customers, even in the event of a server failure.
|· Highly scalable||· Dependence on Internet connection|
|· Cost-effective||· More Complexity|
|· High availability and redundancy||· Limited by the host’s infrastructure|
|· Highly secure||· Limited in some cases by the host’s location|
|· Suitable for businesses of all sizes|
5. Colocation Hosting:
Colocation web hosting refers to a service in which a customer rents space for their own server(s) within a data center owned and operated by a colocation provider.
The customer is responsible for providing and maintaining their own server hardware, while the colocation provider offers power, cooling, bandwidth, and physical security for the equipment.
In a colocation arrangement, the customer typically retains full control over their server(s) and can install and run their own operating systems and applications.
The customer may also be able to access the server(s) remotely, making it possible to manage them from a remote location.
|· Cost savings||· Greater responsibility|
|· Scalability||· Limited support|
|· Reliability||· Lack of integration|
|· Control and customization||· Higher costs for bandwidth|
|· Access to specialized services|
How To Choose The Best Web Hosting Service Provider?
Choosing the best web hosting service provider for your business can be a daunting task. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:
1. Performance And Uptime:
Look for a hosting provider that offers a high level of uptime and fast page load times. This will ensure that your website is always available to your customers and that it loads quickly.
Consider a provider that offers scalability options, so you can easily upgrade or downgrade your hosting plan as your business needs change.
Look for a provider that offers robust security features, such as firewalls, SSL certificates, and regular backups, to protect your website and customer data.
4. Technical Support:
Consider a provider that offers a variety of support options, such as phone, email, and live chat, and has a team of experts available to help you with any technical issues.
Compare pricing plans and features from multiple providers to find the best value for your business. Be sure to factor in any additional costs, such as domain registration and SSL certificates.
6. Reputation And Reviews
Research the reputation of hosting providers you are considering by reading customer reviews and testimonials, and check their industry reputation.
7. Platform And Technology Support:
Consider what platform and technology you are using and check if the hosting provider supports it.
8. Additional Features:
Consider any additional features that you need, such as email hosting, website builder, and e-commerce functionality.
Ultimately, the best web hosting service provider for your business will depend on your unique needs and budget. By considering these key factors and doing your research, you can make an informed decision that will help ensure the success of your online presence.
How To Host A Website?
Here are the detailed steps on how to host a website:
Step #01: Choose a Domain Name:
The first step in hosting a website is choosing a domain name, which is the address that people will use to access your site (e.g. www.yourdomain.com). You can register a domain name through a registrar such as GoDaddy or Namecheap.
Step #02: Choose A Web Hosting Provider:
Once you have your domain name, you will need to choose a web hosting provider. There are many options available, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so you will need to do some research to determine which one is best for your needs.
Step #03: Purchase Hosting And Set Up Your Account:
Once you have chosen a web hosting provider, you will need to purchase hosting and set up your account. This typically involves providing your contact information, choosing a hosting plan, and paying for the hosting.
Step #04: Point Your Domain To Your Hosting Provider:
To ensure that your domain name is associated with your hosting account, you will need to point your domain to your hosting provider. This is typically done by modifying the domain’s DNS settings to point to the hosting provider’s nameservers.
Step #05: Create And Upload Your Website:
Once your domain is pointed to your hosting provider, you can create and upload your website. You can use a website builder, or a Content Management system (CMS) such as WordPress, or code your website from scratch.
- Using website builder: Choose a template, drag and drop elements, customize to your liking, and hit publish.
- Using CMS: Install CMS, customize it according to your preference, create pages and posts, and hit publish.
Once your website is uploaded, you can test it by visiting your domain name in a web browser. You can then make any necessary changes and re-upload the files as needed.
Step #06: Configure Your Email:
Many web hosting providers offer email hosting as part of their service. Once your hosting account is set up, you can create email addresses that use your domain name.
Step #07: Test Your Website:
Before making your website live, it’s important to test it thoroughly to ensure that it is working correctly. Test all links, forms, and other interactive elements to make sure they are working as intended.
Step #8: Make Your Website Live:
Once you have tested your website and are satisfied that everything is working correctly, you can make it live by updating your domain’s DNS settings to point to your hosting account’s IP address.
Here are some general steps to follow to update the domain’s DNS settings:
- Log in to your domain registrar’s account.
- Locate the nameservers for your hosting provider.
- Update the nameservers for your domain.
- Wait for DNS propagation.
- Check your domain’s DNS settings.
NOTE: It’s important to note that depending on your web hosting provider, the steps may vary slightly but overall the process is similar.
Your website needs a hosting provider to be accessed over the Internet. Choosing a hosting service that suits your needs and is tailored to your expected growth is critical to the success and performance of your website.
We hope you follow the steps we outlined and consider the plethora of service options available so you can make and host a website that gains the visibility and engagement you want.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Is it Necessary to buy hosting?
Yes, it is necessary to buy hosting if you want to make your website accessible on the internet.
2. Can I buy hosting without a domain name?
Yes, you can buy hosting without a domain name. However, having your own domain name can be beneficial for your website’s visibility, brand recognition, and SEO.
3. How much Does it Cost to Host a Website?
The cost of hosting a website can vary depending on several factors such as the type of hosting, the amount of storage and bandwidth you need, and the level of customer support you require.
4. Does Shared Hosting come with a Control Panel?
Yes, most Shared Hosting providers include a control panel as part of their hosting package. The most common control panel for Shared hosting is cPanel.
5. How does free web hosting work?
Free web hosting works by providing users with a web server and storage space to host their website, without any costs.