What is web hosting and how does it work? : Hosting for beginners

Web hosting is a service and method to upload, host, run, and access a website or web application on the physical server (computer) that is connected to the internet.

A server is a dedicated 24/7 internet-connected computer with more data storage capacity, processing power, and with Linux or windows server applications or operating system.

In simple terms, to host and run your website you need a hosting server that can run your website and application. To do this you need to buy a hosting plan from any of the top hosting provider companies.

These hosting provider companies provide various hosting plans for websites and applications with monthly, quarterly, and yearly rent. You have to pay to buy a hosting plan. And on the renewal, you also have to pay again.

When you buy a hosting plan, you will get access to the server through nameserver or Ip, log in details, FTP, and file manager. And each hosting feature depends on the type of hosting plan that you buy. So, it’s important that you consider your website or application priorities before choosing the hosting company and buy the plan.

In other words, we can say that hosting is a space on the internet that you buy to host, upload, store, run your website, and application. It’s similar, to the way you buy a rented space for the office in your city.

If we understand the web hosting or hosting server with offline rented office space or personal living space on the rent then it becomes easy to understand and buy the best hosting plan.

Buying hosting space is not mandatory to run a website. You can convert your own computer into a hosting server or you can also buy a server on your own. Then it will become a one-time cost. Else buying a hosting plan or taking space on the rent is a consistent liability in the business.

But buying and managing your own on-premises server is not easy and this also contains maintenance cost.

That’s why hosting services and hosting related companies exist. Hosting companies invest in a larger computer or server infrastructure, security, team, and technology. And then provide these services for the website owners, businesses to host their website.

But in the long run, when your website or business becomes bigger, it’s good to buy and manage your own server.

There are various types of web hosting plans and servers, following are the top hosting services for websites/apps:

1. Shared website hosting:

  • A single server where more than 1 website is hosted is called shared hosting. It means the storage space (hard disk), speed is divided between all the websites hosted on that server. For example, in drive A there is a folder called User 1 – Now user one can host more than 1 website or unlimited websites in that folder. Hosting means a folder of files/data/information that is available for the publish through index.html or index.php file.
  • In the same drive A, there is another folder named User 2 – Now user 2 can host multiple websites.
  • In simple words, shared hosting is a storage space that is utilized by 1 to 1000s plus website owners to host (store and make the website) the website.

For example:

  • A building has 50 floors. Now on each floor is empty and has 5000 sqft. Now the whole space is utilized open as many shops in that space. It means in shared hosting, for example, there is 5000 sq space is equal to 500 GB storage space. Now, this hosting company gives each user 30 GB of space in the shared hosting plan. After that user 1 can host 10 websites in 30 GB. And another user can host 3 websites.
  • Shared hosting is best for those who have many websites with low traffic or user base. And it’s also best for those who have 1 website but getting 30000 users per day.

Related: Difference Between Website Builder And Web Hosting

2. Virtual Private Server Hosting:

  • A virtual private server is the complete private hosting. It means the whole 5000 sqft space is owned by 1 owner. Now he/she is free to host 1000 websites or sell that space to 1000 users. It means he/she owned that space. He will manage its updates, cleaning, optimization, backup, and everything.
  • A virtual private server is the complete private hosting. It means the whole 5000 sqft space is owned by 1 owner. Now he/she is free to host 1000 websites or sell that space to 1000 users.

3. Dedicated Hosting:

  • When a website owner buys the whole space and features of a single server then it’s called dedicated hosting. In dedicated hosting, the whole system is owned or rented by one owner. For example, the whole building is rented by one tenant. Now the tenant is free to utilize that space as per the choice. He can change its software, apps, configuration, performance, and speed. It’s best for big companies and websites that have 200000+ visitors or users per day on their website. And they will need maximum performance and higher capacity from the server.

4. Cloud Hosting:

  • Cloud hosting is a group of all shared/dedicated/single domain hosting plans. The difference is that each feature/functionality is expandable. It means when you need 40 GB space from 30 GB you can expand it automatically. When you need an 8.5 GB data transfer rate then it will automatically expand, when you only need 2.1 GB then it will automatically reduce.
  • It means you pay as per the use. And the website/apps/storage space is available from more than 1 server.

5. WordPress Hosting:

  • WordPress hosting is a type of specific hosting service that is created, managed for the use of a single application or method. It means all functionality, operating system, storage space is utilized for the use of WordPress websites or blog websites.
  • For example, if you’re looking for the space to open a bank then there will be particular places that are only designed and available for banks.
  • Or WordPress hosting is like PG for girls. In which the whole building is designed, managed, controlled, secure, and facilitated for girls. And it’s not for all.

Web hosting with cPanel:

Web hosting control panel is the place for the user to enter into their hosting plan or server. From the control panel, the user can control, manage the websites. They can install WordPress, they can create email accounts, they can access file manager to upload the website files, they can access PHP, my admin, they can add the domain name, and many other things. Everything is controlled from the control panel and it is provided by all the hosting companies.

Which is the best hosting service:

There are various hosting companies and prices are very close to each other. It’s difficult for new website owners to decide which one is best. These days the reviews, feedbacks, and testimonials are controlled and managed or manipulated. So, it’s tough to select which one is best.

But it can be understood easily if you consider your website goals. What kind of hosting features that you need and beneficial for you? I have written complete personal experiences here in this post. And I hope that will be very helpful for new website owners and hosting users to buy the best hosting space for their website on the web.

Why we need web hosting for websites?

We don’t need hosting services for the website. We can convert our own computer into a server. Or we can buy a server and then place it in our own office. But it cost more and needs technical expertise to manage a server. For example, to open a small restaurant we have two options. We can buy that place for rent. Or we can buy another place, and build the infrastructure or building and then open the restaurant. Now, this process took more time and money.

But new website owners who even don’t know the future the website don’t buy their own server or plant a physical server in their office. But once the website traffic goes more than 3 to 500000 users per day then it’s time to buy your own server or hosting infrastructure. That’s why new website owners or start-ups have to buy hosting services and it’s like rent to run the website on the internet.

For example, Facebook, google, amazon, YouTube is not buying hosting services for their website. They have their own server and hosting infrastructure. It means they are doing business from their own building. And even they have purchased many buildings now providing that space for rent.

We need a website hosting service because we want it to be live 24/7 and 365 days and people can use it easily and fast. We need hosting services because it’s more secure, managed by hosting companies and they have experts to do it.

In the beginning, even if you have money and server management or configuration knowledge then you can buy your own server. It’s not mandatory that you need to buy a hosting service, you can buy a complete fully configured server on your own.

Let’s understand the various hosting plan and their features:

1. Single domain hosting plan: –Single domain hosting plan costs 100 to 300 rupees per month. In this single domain hosting plan, you can host a single domain and get 25GB to 40GB storage space. This storage space is like a pen drive, a memory card that you use on your phone.

It means you can use 40GB of space and this space is utilized by an application that you install (such as WordPress) or website pages, libraries, images, videos, databases, and other kinds of content. You will also get unlimited bandwidth and website backup options.

Many web hosts charge for restore and backups separately. So, consider the hosting plan based on your requirement, as a small business website, or blog only with less than 1000 visitors or 10 people real-time frequency, you can use a starter or basic plan or single domain hosting plan.

2. Multiple-Domain hosting or shared hosting plan: –Shared hosting means you rent a server to host multiple websites, but that server is shared with other websites or companies. This plan is effective for people looking for more space and flexibility options from their hosting service provider.

It costs 300 to 500 rupees per month. And you can host unlimited websites, unlimited storage space. Many hosting providers free emails or unlimited email ids.

Domain-specific email ids are accessible through Microsoft outlook or webmail and these email IDs are based on your own domain name or business name. This not include @gmail.com but it will use your domain name such as info@examplecompany.com. But you can configure your business email ID in Gmail too.

Some shared hosting service providers include 1 Click WordPress Installation, Antivirus protection and 30 days money-back guarantee.

But you need to move your website from shared hosting to dedicated hosting when it’s high traffic approximately, 5000 visitors per day.

 

3. Dedicated Hosting services: – Dedicated hosting means a whole building is only configured for only one company and their websites. It means all the unlimited domains and websites you can host on a dedicated server mean you rent a whole server like you rent a whole building but not shared with others. It means the building can handle the high volume of the public and your website pages do not need to reload.

 

4. Cloud-based Hosting services: –Cloud hosting is promised by its provider that it is the fastest method to load websites on the server. While cloud hosting means your website is operated or run or online from more than 1 server if any server is facing downtime it will load from another server.

In simple words, for example, you stored songs folder on multiple computers such as Computer A, Computer B, and Computer C. Now you want to play songs on the computer and you selected computer A, now due to maintenance or any reasons you aren’t able to play from computer A, then it will turn you automatically on computer B, and computer C.

Similarly, when you host a website on the clouds it means your website is hosted on multiple servers. So, if any server is down it will load from another server. And also, it’s kept changing their position from A to B to C and never be down.

Else VPS and Dedicated hosting or shared hosting based on the single server. You can see very often that many websites give you error about the server is down or reload or refresh, and sometimes the server is busy in maintenance.

But if cloud hosting has to maintain the server then the website keeps running from another server. It means you opened a shop in multiple buildings, if one building is not live then it will run from another building, and common internet users not have an idea that it is running from computer A or computer B.

5. Website Builder (Hosting + Domain + Applications to build a website), all in one plan:– Above plans and information, knowledge is tough to digest for first time user hosting the website or for basic computer or internet users.

But if anyone wants to host their website or want to build a website, they can use it all in one package solution. Yes, that comes with a website builder application or website building services provider.

A website builder is an application that helps people to build websites based on pre-designed layouts, structure, and content. You only need to sign up and the website builder will take you from point A to Point Z with the complete website.

When selecting the hosting plan for the website do not consider the advice of only one person, but also compare the point of view of 3-4 people writing about the best hosting services and plans.

Related: Difference Between Website Builder And Web Hosting

Domain and hosting

A domain name is the verified address of your website on the Internet. Such as your friend’s name is Suresh and you saved his number with the name of Suresh in your mobile number.

When you click on Suresh’s name on mobile it will dial his number. Now it’s possible when you both have a mobile number. One mobile number connects with another mobile number. That’s when you type klientsolutech.com in a web browser it will open the website but behind the name of a website, there is an IP address. And you will be able to open it with your own computer IP address. One IP address connects to another IP address.

Similarly, when you type the domain of any website on the URL bar it will open the website, but first, it uses your own computer IP address and then connect with the IP address of the server in which your website is hosted.

Let’s understand the domain in simple language with an example. A domain is the name of your website that people type in browser URL to visit. Now, this domain is opened it’s because it is hosted on another computer or server.

The IP address is what works for the browsers when we send and receive data and information on the Internet. One IP address is able to connect to another IP Address. This means when you browse the internet it will connect your computer IP address to the server. Now the server is another computer on which your website is hosted.

That website has a unique identification address such as www. example .com and it is hosted on the server address. When someone types www .example. com in a browser and hit enter then it will send a request to the server it is hosted and displays the website.

That’s simple, and what I understand so far.

Now let’s understand the difference between Domain and Hosting in a table.

Domain and Hosting:

  • A domain is the name of your website.
  • Hosting means the website is live and it’s running from the Hosting server
  • The domain name is like a songs folder in your memory card.
  • Such as your songs in mobile play from memory card, but it is played by the music player. Now the music player is like a web browser. And songs are like a website. And the memory card is a server. And that server has an address called IP. That is used to open the website.
  • Hosting is rented a place on the Internet to run your website.
  • You also own the domain name for rent.
  • You need to add a hosting name server in the DNS settings under domain management.
  • You need to add the domain name to the hosting panel.

It’s possible that learning 1st time about web hosting, server, and domain can be overwhelming for beginners. But you will learn all these things on the way when you start to use hosting for your website.

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