Do you understand what happens when you access your Facebook account, open Gmail or visit any other website? We visit countless websites each day but how many of us have an understanding of how the entire thing works?
In this brief guide, we will cover the fundamentals of web hosting, websites and domain names.
What is a Website?
A website is a collection of files and folders that are connected and work together to render a web page. A website can have one to thousands of web pages depending on its complexity.
All the webpages of a website are interlinked and share the same domain name (more on this later).
All the publicly accessible websites together create the World Wide Web.
To build a website, you need a programming language. For simple, static websites HTML and CSS can be used. For advanced websites with complex functionalities, we require languages like PHP and ASP.
These days, non-technical people who are not familiar with programming languages have the option of using software called as website builders for creating a website. Popular website builders include Wix.com, WebsiteBuilder.com and Gator.
Website builders offer a user-friendly interface that allows you to build website structure, website design and upload content of your choice. A website builder can, however, be used to create only simple websites with limited functionality.
The other way to create a website is a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS can be used to build a news portal, a blog or any other kind of website.
WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are among the popular Content Management Systems.
What is a Domain Name?
Now that we know what a website is, let us try to understand the concept of domain name. A domain name is the address you type in the web browser while trying to access a website. For example, if you want to access Go4hosting website, you can simply type ‘Go4hosting.in’ in the browser and the website will get loaded.
So how do you get a domain name for your website?
It’s pretty simple. You need to get the domain name registered. If the domain name you want is already registered with some other individual or business, you have to look for other domain names.
However, if you are adamant on having that domain name, you can contact the owner to acquire that particular domain name or wait for the domain to expire. The most hassle-free option is to identify a suitable domain name that is available and get it registered.
Once you register a domain, you need to pay a renewal fee every year. If you fail to do so, your domain name will expire and you will lose the ownership.
Most of the web hosting companies offer domain name registration as well. But if you want to keep the two separate, companies like GoDaddy let you register without requiring you to avail their hosting service. GoDaddy also suggests domain names from the ones that are available.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service where a company, or the web host, rents their server (a powerful computer) to store your website. A web host allows you to store files and folders related to your website on their server for a fee and provides internet connectivity so that other users can access your website.
The server on which your website is stored (or hosted) is placed in a data center, a building that houses hundreds and thousands of physical servers.
A data center offers a highly secure and professionally managed environment for the servers. It often has a multi-tier security system, firewalls, fire alarms, air conditioning systems and power generators that ensure the servers remain safeguarded from threats and keep up and running all the time.
While most of the web hosts own the data center (and the servers), some of them rent servers from others and resell hosting accounts to others. While hosting reselling has become common these days, it does not deliver the best service.
Nowadays, most of the web hosts do a lot more than storing your website. They offer several additional services such as domain name registration, email hosting and basic technical support.
What are the different types of web hosting?
Given the types of web hosting services available in the marketplace, you can easily get overwhelmed while looking for a hosting plan for your business. So, before you buy a hosting plan, it is important to understand the commonly available kinds of hosting.
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
- Dedicated Server Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
Shared hosting is the most common type of hosting that offers all the basic features required to host a simple website with moderate traffic levels. In shared hosting, your website is hosted on the same server as several other websites, typically ranging in hundreds or thousands.
As a result, your website shares server resources like bandwidth, RAM, CPU and disk space with several other websites.
So, if one of the websites on the shared server experiences a surge in traffic or gets infected by malware, your website can get impacted. Shared hosting is, thus, the least secure kind of hosting.
Shared hosting is the cheapest kind of hosting available in the marketplace. But it has certain limitations: with shared hosting, you can access limited bandwidth.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
In Virtual Private Server hosting, a single physical server gets partitioned into several small servers (called as virtual servers), each of which remains isolated from other tenant servers and has its own bandwidth, RAM, CPU and disk space.
Here, many websites share the same physical server but are hosted on separate virtual servers and have their own dedicated set of resources.
A VPS hosting plan gives you the flexibility of configuring the server according to your requirements. Although VPS allocates a separate virtual server, your website can still be somewhat affected by traffic spike on other websites.
Dedicated Server Hosting
In dedicated server hosting, you rent an entire physical server exclusively for your usage. Here, you get exclusive rights over the resources of the physical server including its bandwidth, RAM, CPU and disk space. For this reason, websites hosted on dedicated servers deliver superior performance and speed.
Besides, a dedicated server can be tailored to suit the needs of your website. A dedicated server India is the most expensive kind of hosting as there is no one to share the cost of resources.
Cloud hosting is the newest and most flexible kind of web hosting. In cloud hosting, the host combines several large physical servers placed in different locations to form a single large virtualized server, referred to as the ‘cloud’.
Cloud hosting combines the resources of many servers and, therefore, makes it easy for websites to scale their resources up and down as required.
Cloud hosting services usually charge users on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis where they pay only for the resources consumed.
How to Choose the Right Web Hosting?
With a plethora of web hosting plans flooding the web space, choosing the right kind of hosting solution may appear overwhelming at first. But if you are clear regarding your needs, the task simplifies to a great degree.
If you have a simple website or blog that is expected to draw moderate traffic and/or you do not want to spend much on website hosting, a shared plan should work just fine.
Websites on a shared server are vulnerable to resource consumption by tenant websites. So, your website may experience downtime once in a while. If occasional downtime does not hamper your operations, shared hosting is the option to go for.
If you are currently using a shared hosting plan and feel the need to upgrade on account of an increase in web traffic, VPS hosting can be a good alternative.
If your website is indispensable to running your operations or you expect heavy traffic in the near future, or if you have stringent data privacy or hardware requirements, dedicated server in India is the optimal choice for your business.
Dedicated server hosting may be the most expensive option but offers consistently high performance. So, if you are prepared to pay some extra bucks for a high-performing hosting plan, choose a dedicated server in India for your website.
If your website attracts visitors from all across the globe, and you want to deliver a smooth experience to users located outside your country of operation, a cloud hosting plan should work well for you. When you host your website on a cloud server, you gain access to a network of servers spread in different locations.
When a user visits your website from a certain location, the resources will be drawn from the nearest server. This way your website will work smoothly for users based in all locations. Cloud hosting is, however, not suitable for storing sensitive information such as client data.
Looking for a reliable web hosting solution? We are there to help. At Go4hosting we offer premium dedicated hosting solutions at the most competitive prices. For information on dedicated hosting price, get in touch with our technical experts at our toll-free number 1800 212 2022.