If you have a website, or at least plan on having one made, chances are you have heard of the term ‘web hosting’. Despite how ubiquitous the term has become in the online world, there are surprisingly many people who do not understand how web hosting works or even what it is. So much of the information out there focuses on the complex issues concerning web design, that when it comes to simple things like web hosting, it can actually be hard to find simple and easy-to-understand information. Consider this a beginner’s guide to web hosting.
First Things First: Before Web Hosting
Before we talk about web hosting, we need to look at the things you need to do before web hosting even comes to play Let’s say you want to create a website. The first thing you need to is find a great domain name so that people can easily find you online. Once that domain name is registered, you can start looking into the design of your website. Chances are you will be going with a professional for the design, in which case they will likely provide you with web hosting. The best professional web design companies offer web hosting as part of their web design package.
Having a domain name is great and having all the content and design for the website ready is even better. All that is left for you to do is to put the site online. This is where web hosting comes to play.
Understanding Web Hosting
For people to be able to find your website online, it obviously needs to be stored somewhere. Every picture, page and text needs to be stored on a server, in the same way that a word-document you use needs to be saved onto your computer. In the same way a word-document needs to be saved to your computer if you want to access it again later on, a website needs to be stored too. The main difference is that a website is not stored on your computer, but rather on the server of a company that specializes in offering ‘web space’. This explains why only you can view your own word document, but the whole world can visit your website. Companies that offer web hosting are known as hosting providers.