Web hosting is an online service that allows individuals and organizations to publish their website or a web application to the Internet e.g. World Wide Web. By doing so, they make it accessible by other computers on the network. Service providers, also known as web hosts, sell or rent a place on their servers, and allow you to store your website’s contents on it. From that point on, the server is the place your website or web application “lives”, the web hosting is the “land” it lies on, and the domain name used to access it via the Internet, its “address”. Now that you have a basic idea about what is web hosting, let’s press on.
Web hosting terms
Here are all the terms related to web hosting you need to know:
A powerful physical computer that holds all of the files your website is comprised of. When someone visits your website or opens a web application, they send a request to the server, and your web hosting fulfills that request and serves the data. Web hosting servers typically use a Linux operating system. It’s cheaper, better-suited, performs better, and is more reliable.
Web hosting service providers
A company or business that provides web hosting services. They store servers in data centers and take care of cooling, power supply, Internet connection, and overall, ensure its smooth, uninterrupted operation at peak performance. We review web hosting providers to help you find the right one.
IP (Internet Protocol) Address
The server is connected to the Internet, and so, your website has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address that can be entered into the browser to send a request. However, this is impractical since numbers are hard to remember for visitors. For that reason, it’s replaced with a domain name.
A domain name is the name or address of your website that the user can enter into their browser to access your website. It has to be unique and registered with a public domain name registrar to prevent others from using the same name. For example, “domain-name.com” is a domain name.
To ensure your website is always available, the server must be running continuously. Uptime refers to the percentage of time it has been up and running and should be as close as possible to 100%.
Bandwidth is a unit of measure of how much data passed through a connection at a given time. The more visitors you have, the more bandwidth your website requires to simultaneously serve content at optimal speeds. Limited bandwidth prevents some visitors from loading the website, and negatively impacts your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ratings.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or its improved version, SFTP (Secure FTP), is a file protocol for transferring data between two computers on the same network. It allows you to access the storage space on your server from your computer, and manipulate data directly.
CMS (Content Management System)
Although you can build a website from scratch, it would take a lot of work and money. CMS is a computer application that will help you create, modify, manage, and maintaining the content of your website, usually with very little technical knowledge or invested time. To better demonstrate this, look at the pros and cons of using WordPress CMS, which we personally use.
cPanel (Control Panel) is an online Linux-based graphical user interface (GUI) that allows remote control of your website. This includes publishing your website, using web-based FTP/SFTP, manipulating databases, creating and e-mail accounts, parking domains, creating subdomains, making backups, restarting your server, and much more.
We already went into detail about what an SSL certificate is.
Acquiring a domain name comes with the right to use a domain email account. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org. Creating and using an e-mail account is recommended. It provides a free marketing tool during interactions and makes you look more professional.
What is a website builder?
Website builders are custom online tools that let you make, modify, and manage your website without technical knowledge or coding skills. They’re simpler and more beginner-friendly than CMS since they usually come with templates and drag-and-drop control. On the other hand, they’re significantly less feature-rich. Additionally, you cannot migrate a website created with a website builder to another web host, since they won’t be compatible. With CMS, you usually can.
How to know what type of web hosting I need?
We made a thorough guide about different types of web hosting.
How much does web hosting cost?
The price primarily depends on the web hosting type. Then, it rises based on the resources or bonus services you need to operate your website running at peak performance. Free web hosting exists too, but users should only utilize it for practice or personal projects.
Can I host a website on my computer?
Yes, you can host a website on your computer. But the question is – should you? Check the 8th type of web hosting in the guide above to find out what difficulties await.