Your Guide to Web Hosting
When you visit a webpage it could be considered similar to visiting a store. When you visit a store, many times you do so inside a mall. A mall is to a store as a web host is to a webpage. Web hosting is the server that provides the IP address and storage space for a domain name or webpage.
What is the Origin of Web Hosting?
When the internet was first built it was used by architects who knew how to create the code. This was a series of 0's and 1's that created a computer language. As things evolved the architects streamlined what they created and the masses were able to get email and enter chat rooms. In the 1990's the World Wide Web opened up even more as people, everyday people, were able to create webpages. The web hosting services that we use today make it possible for everyone from Disney to your neighbor who embroiders and sells cat pillows to have a website.
How did Web Hosting Work?
Originally web hosting was very expensive and very complicated. Companies and individuals were required to know the language. A company would rent server space from a larger company. They would then have to create their own page and functions. Everything was very basic.
How Does Web Hosting Work Today?
Today the language has become as simple as what you are reading. Anyone can have a webpage. The rental process is no longer like finding an apartment in NYC. People now have a myriad of options for whom to have as their web host. Depending on the complexity and size of the page that you are looking to create you may even find free web hosting.
How Do You Get Started?
When you create a webpage you need to come up with a domain name. This can be as simple as your name or your company name. Domain names end in:
Once you have your domain name you must have a server. If you have no storage for your information you cannot create it and it cannot be shared. This is like if you have an idea. It is real in your mind, but cannot be shared until you put it on paper. The paper is your domain name server for your idea.
What Should You Look For In a Good Web Hosting Service?
Your web host is going to be the backbone of your webpage. You want them to be strong and consistent. When choosing a web host you should look for the following qualities:
- Strong customer service
- Ample disk space for your needs
- Large bandwidth for ample customer interaction
- Strong uptime
- Multiple program languages
- Fair Price
What is Uptime?
This term is as simple and as complicated as it sounds. Uptime is the amount of time that a website is up. When companies say that they can offer uptime of 99% that sounds good, right? Look at this conversion chart:
- 98% uptime could mean that they are down 28.8 minutes a day = 7.3 days a year
- 99% uptime is 14.4 minutes a day = 3.65 days a year
- 99.999% uptime is 14 seconds a day = 3.54 minutes a year
When you break down uptime you can see how important those additional 9's are.
How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?
Web hosting can vary greatly depending on the type of service that you need. Obviously the cost to Disney, with their streaming video and multiple graphics and pages will cost more than your neighbor's pictures and check out page. If you are working on a small blog you could opt for services that are free or no cost such as:
If you are working on a larger webpage that will require larger bandwidth and greater storage you would want to research shared hosting servers such as GoDaddy.com. These are relatively inexpensive and often start at less than $5 a month.
If you want to have your own page and have multiple forms of media, a large client interface, many pages and fast service then you would look for virtual private servers and dedicated servers. These are much faster and stronger. However they may start at $50 a month and go up to $750 or more a month.
Why Would I Need Web Hosting?
If you want to have a webpage then you need a web host. It is as simple as that. From a blog to a business you need a place to store and share your ideas. The question then becomes what size web host do you want? How big is your business? Where will you grow?