Websites and Web Hosting
Google. Facebook. YouTube – These are not just some words we use on a regular basis. These are some of the prominent websites of our times that we are accustomed to. Just like Facebook and Google, there are millions of websites out there, and that brings us to an important question that many of us may not know the answer to – what exactly is a Website and Web Hosting?
A website, simply put, is a set of different but related web pages that belong to a particular individual, group or organization. A web page can include text, pictures, videos, sound and a lot more. To put things into perspective, you can think of web pages to be like pages of a book, and the website itself being the book in question. The World Wide Web is similar to a library; just like a library contains many different books, the World Wide Web consists of various websites.
The website can be of any size; it can be just one page long, or it can span up to thousands and thousands of pages. The first page we land in when we enter a website on the address bar is called the home page of the website. It usually contains links to the other pages of the website alongside some information about the services provided by the site itself.
When we visit a website, we do it either to find a particular piece of information, or to accomplish some task. For example, you are reading this post for information, for which you visited this website. Similarly, you would visit the websites of amazon or eBay to buy something. Either way, you know what service a particular website is offering, and you go through the various web pages of that website until you find what you’re looking for.
A blog is another form of a website. Simply put a blog refers to someone’s personal website similar to a diary or journal where they constantly put up content for anyone to view. This could be just for fun or maybe as an information source on a particular niche that they are either an expert in or just have a big interest in.
What is Web Hosting?
It can be said with some certainty that you have come across the term ‘web hosting’ quite a few times in your life, especially in the last few years. In case you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, you are not alone; a lot of people don’t really understand confusing jargons like this.
Web hosting is a particular place on the internet where the website is placed. A bit like your own allocated parking space in a car park. You pay an x amount of money per month/year and that space is yours. For a website you pay an x amount of money per month/year to a Hosting Provider and they allocate you a space on the web. So if this is something that interests you then it might be a good idea for you to check out something like this cpanel hosting from Certa to give you an idea of what web hosting is actually like. However there are many high quality hosting websites on the internet, examples include Bluehost, InMotion and www.hostiserver.com. Each has their specific pricepoint and features and which is best is dependant on what your needs are.
When you access a file on your computer, you are basically retrieving it from the hard disc of your computer where the file is stored. You can access it at any time. Similarly, the web hosting is the place on a computer (also called server) on which a particular website and all its web pages are stored.
A web hosting company lends us a virtual storage place which will be accessible by people around the world. We use the term web hosting to explain this phenomenon.
However, don’t get confused between a web hosting and domain name. Think about the domain name as the address of your house, whereas the website is the house in itself – the actual place that contains all your belongings. Without a house, the address would be meaningless. Similarly, without a web hosting, the domain would be useless.
There are four types of web hosting services that you can use based on the needs of your website and its purpose. Though all of these types of web hosting will give you the virtual space on which to build a website, they are different in terms of storage capacity, speed of the server, reliability, amount of control you have over it, etc. Let us take a quick look into what each type is all about.
Shared Server Hosting:
This is ideal for any beginner/intermediate user. When a website is stored in the same server in which many others have been stored at the same time, we call it shared server hosting. Shared hosting is in fact very popular, as the costs associated with it is pretty low. Yet, websites that attract a moderate amount of traffic are usually hosted in a shared server. But if a website attracts high traffic, it probably would be better not to host it on a shared server. It is also easy to use, especially if the website’s owner has low technical knowledge.
Dedicated Server Hosting:
This is when an entire server is used only and only to store one particular website. The owner gets more control over the website in case of a dedicated server. Another good thing is that dedicated server hosting can handle a high amount of traffic without crashing or freezing. However, since the entire server is being rented by the website, the costs associated are much higher.
Virtual Private Server Hosting:
When one server is virtually divided into many servers and each of those hosts just one website, it is called virtual private server hosting. So essentially, you get the feel of a dedicated server hosting even though in reality it is a shared server hosting. These are usually unable to handle large traffic.
Cloud hosting is getting more and more popular these days. Here, a group of websites is hosted by a number of servers working in unison. As a result, the websites can handle high traffic as well as high storage. The flipside is that the website owners need advanced technical knowledge for this and need to pay much more.
If you are looking for a hosting service for your website, there are many options you can choose from. Some of the best these days include Go Daddy, iPage, A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, Web Hosting Hub and Bluehost. Depending on your budget and the purpose of your website, you can choose the host that you need.