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What Is Web Hosting and How Does It Work?

What is web hosting
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Web hosting is a crucial element of website creation. Websites wouldn’t exist without it! But for those starting their website creation journey, it can be a difficult concept to grasp. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of web hosting and how it works. But first, let’s look at what web hosting is.

 

What Is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that publishes your website on the internet. It’s like a home for your website that stores your site’s content and allows users to view it. Web hosts offer hosting services and charge an annual or monthly fee to keep your website live. If you terminate a contract with a web host, your website goes offline on the end date. All your files remain intact and in your possession, but people can’t view them on the internet anymore.

When setting up your website, it’s a good idea to look at a range of providers. There are different types of web hosting available, and providers offer several subscriptions to choose from.

 

Types of Web Hosting (Brief Guide)

1. Shared

With shared hosting, your website uses the same server as other websites on the same plan, and resources are equally shared among all websites on the server. Because of this, shared hosting is usually the cheapest and easiest web hosting plan for beginners to use.

However, larger bandwidth or high-traffic websites won’t perform well on shared hosting. Sharing resources can compromise your website load speeds and lead to poor website performance.

2. Dedicated

In contrast, with dedicated hosting plans, the web host manages a whole server just for your website. This means you get all the resources the server has to offer. You get full control over optimising your site for better performance and user experience.

Dedicated web hosting is necessarily more expensive than shared hosting. Dedicated hosting is best for high-traffic sites. If top-notch performance is your priority, this plan is for you.

3. Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a combination of shared and dedicated hosting. VPS hosting runs on virtualisation technology, installing a virtual layer over the system that divides the server into partitions.While you share the server with other websites physically, you still get all the resources of the server virtually.

So, VPS hosting is still like a private server, as it’s only the physical system that’s shared. VPS hosting is both affordable and gives you full control over your website’s optimisation. If you want the best of both shared and dedicated hosting worlds, VPS hosting is a great option.

You can learn more about the different types of web hosting in this article. Whether you decide to go with shared, dedicated, or VPS hosting, the basic mechanics of hosting remains the same. Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

 

How Does Web Hosting Work?

Web hosting allows you to upload your website to the internet by storing your website’s information on a server. This server can either be a physical cluster of servers (a data centre) or virtual. The web hosting providers run and maintain these servers to allow their customers to upload and run their websites. So, the subscription fee you pay to a web hosting provider is essentially a maintenance fee for your website.

When you make any changes to your website, the web hosting provider uploads them to its server and stores them as data. Then, when someone looks up your domain name, the server connects with their computer, and displays the saved content on their screen.

So, you can see why it’s extremely important to choose a reputable and trusted web host. One such host is Hostinger, our personal favourite!

 

What Does Web Hosting Allow You to Do?

Web hosting helps you maintain your website online so internet users can view it. However, that’s not all that web hosting has to offer. Here are some other features you might have access to with web hosting.

Website Builder Page

One thing most website owners overlook is their website builder page. Without it, most non-coders can’t build a website from scratch! Many people use the content management system (CMS) WordPress to build their website. A CMS is a piece of software that lets you create and publish content on your website. But you can’t use it on its own.

Web hosting allows CMS software like WordPress to integrate into your site, giving you a simple interface to work on your website. This integration is ideal for people who don’t know how to code. And don’t worry, most CMS tools are open-source and free!

Professional Email Accounts

Many web hosting providers include a professional email account in their various plans. While normal email accounts are free, they aren’t exactly professional. Some web hosts give you an email with “yourname@yourwebsite.com”, which indicates that any emails you send come from your business or website. A business email address like this reassures clients that there is a direct way to contact you and adds legitimacy to your business.

File Manager Access

There are lots of files involved in website creation. Whether the files are for your home page, contact page, or even just a blog post, they’re all stored by the web hosting provider. In most cases, the web host lets you access these files through a file manager page. Different web hosts install the file manager in different places, but most of them are under the cPanel or FTP sections. With access to your files in this way, you can do a few different things.

Edit Code

First, you can easily edit your code. WordPress runs on a programming language called PHP, and a little mistake in your code can result in the whole website failing to respond. If you’re a programmer, you can spot the error in the code through the file manager and fix it as quickly as possible.

Even if you have no coding knowledge, you can still fix the error. You can try copying the code for the original file and uploading it to the file manager. If this doesn’t solve the problem, there are many file configuration tutorials online which you can use as a guide. If in doubt, reach out to your host and they will usually solve the problem for you!

Fix Errors Outside of the CMS Dashboard

Next, you can fix errors if you’re kicked out of the CMS dashboard. Sometimes, faulty plugins or incorrect code can mess up the system and log you out of the CMS builder completely. If that happens, you can still access the file manager to fix these issues and restore everything back to normal.

Verify Website Details

You can also verify the details of your website through the file manager. If you choose to integrate external software like Google Analytics on your website, they can send verification to your file manager. From there, you can confirm the notification, and implement the system on your site.

WordPress Support

With WordPress being the most popular CMS tool, it’s no surprise that people have created WordPress support services. If you choose the right web hosting plan, you can often get premium WordPress support for free.

Managed WordPress hosting comes with WordPress.org already installed. You won’t have to spend extra effort meddling with WordPress and any complex integration. Managed WordPress hosting plans usually have step-by-step guides, guiding you through your entire website creation journey. They also have a customer support team of people with extensive WordPress experience, which is invaluable for beginner website creators.

 

Do You Need Web Hosting?

You need web hosting if you’re going to create a visible and accessible website. Not only does web hosting give you the means to publish your website, but it also comes with a load of other benefits to help you build your website. Web hosts aren’t just selling web hosting services anymore, they’re selling the entire website creation experience!

If you want to learn more about website creation, check out our other articles here!

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