A website, either personal or business, is a collection of various computer files that are interlinked together. The computer files comprise videos, images, HTML files, and plenty more that the website owner puts on the Internet for the purpose of sharing with other people. For the website to be up on the Internet and the files to be shared, we put the website in a super computer with very high Internet connection. This super computer is referred to as the server.
Everybody talks about Web hosting or a place where we put our websites. Web hosting simply refers to a company that provides a space on their computer server, the Host, for your website. The host also provides Internet connectivity in order for the millions of computers out there to access the files on your website.
Web Hosting Types
There are different web hosting types. While the different types of web hosting vary in terms of capacity of storage space, required technical knowledge, reliability, and server speed, they are the same in the sense that they act as storage center for the different websites. The web hosting types are as follows:
⦿Shared Server Hosting – It is considered as the entry-level web hosting option because of its minimum technical knowledge requirement. In shared server hosting, one website shares the same server together with other websites, numbering from hundreds to thousands. The cost of shared server hosting is typically low, making this type popular among websites with low to moderate traffic and those using standard software. While this type of web hosting is popular among low-budget websites, there is the inability to handle a spike in traffic volume. The website is prone to crash whenever it experiences an unusual high traffic level. The performance of a website can also be affected by the spike in traffic of the websites on the same server.
⦿ Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting – This type of web hosting divides a server into several virtual servers where each website is treated like being hosted into its own dedicated server. They are, however, sharing a server with other users although in a very limited number, as compared to the number being hosted in a shared server. The individual website has root access to its own space, albeit virtual, and enjoys a hosting environment with better security. This is a popular web hosting type for websites that want to exercise greater control of their site at the server level but does not have to spend a lot more money for a dedicated server. While a lot better than shared server hosting, virtual private server suffers the same inability to handle high traffic levels and the website may be affected also by the performance of the other websites on the same server.
⦿Dedicated Server Hosting – In this type of web hosting, the website exclusively rents an entire server solely for its own use. Your website is the only website stored on this server. It is a very advantageous type of web hosting because your website is not affected by other websites, being the only website on the server. It comes, however, with a great cost, as this type of server is very expensive. It is recommended only for those types of websites that require maximum control and a high level of server performance.
⦿Cloud Hosting – This is the type of web hosting recommended to websites that expect high traffic volume. Cloud hosting is a group of servers that work together to host a number of websites. This allows multiple servers to handle traffic spikes for any particular website in the group. Cloud hosting is expensive and does not allow root access to the website owner.
The Next Step: Getting a Domain Name
A domain name is simply the name of a website. Before anybody runs a website, he will need a domain name. A domain name, like the name of a person or business, gives a website its distinct identity. A domain name is a string of characters that you need to register with a domain registrar. Google.com and Yahoo.com are examples of domain names. Domain names can be registered to domain registrars such as GoDaddy, Domain.com, NameCheap, or Network Solutions.
Domain name must not be confused with web hosting. A domain name and web hosting are two different entities. Domain name is like the name or the address of a business or a home while web hosting is the actual physical space where the business or the home is located. The domain name, that string of characters that identify your website, is the name of your website while web hosting is the space in the computer or server that is keeping your website files.
Domain Name Registration
Domain name registration gives the website owner the right to occupy or own a small space in the Internet real estate. Owning such space, however, entails providing a good deal of information about the website. It entails expenses also as it also takes a great amount of money to maintain Internet spaces. One needs to pay for the right to occupy a valuable space in the Internet real estate, which is becoming more and more valuable these days.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a global regulator or governing body of best practices for registrars, web hosts, and web clients determines guidelines for domain registration. All website owners registering for domain names must furnish contact information about themselves, their organization, their business, and in some cases even about their employees. Website owners registering for a country-specific domain name, such as “.us”, “.ph”, or “.co.uk”, are required during the registration process to show proofs that they really reside in that particular country and that they are legally allowed to purchase country-specific domain names.
Different domain name suffixes, such as “.com” or “.net”, require specific registration requirements, such as only duly registered organizations can register as a “.org” or only American citizens can register for a domain name that ends in “.us”. Because of the millions of registered domain names on the Internet, one has to check first if the domain name is not yet in use before one can apply to use it.