What is web hosting? How does web hosting work?


web hosting

In simple words, Web hosting involves offering storage space on a server for a website or application.

What is Web hosting?

Servers are specialized giant computers which help store all the files of the website. Once a website is hosted on the internet, any computer or device connected to the internet can access it from anywhere. Each time a user types the website address in the internet browser; they are routed to the server from where the web pages are delivered on their computer or device through the browser. A web host or web hosting provider is a company which offers website hosting services. By availing a website hosting service the business can buy storage space for storing their website files. This helps in easy access to the website anytime through a web browser. Most businesses do not own servers; they rent out server space from web hosting companies.

What is a server?

A server is a specialized giant size computer. The server is operational 24/7; it runs nonstop this enables continuous file access for the website.

The necessary hardware and software required for running a website are preloaded on the servers. The security and maintenance of the server is the responsibility of the web host or website hosting service provider. Software which can provide access to the website browsers like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer are installed and run by the web host on the servers.

How does Web Hosting Work?

A website or a blog is nothing but a collection of different files. When a website is created, these files need to be saved together at one location.

This place where the files are stored is called the server of your web host.  The server helps in storing the different media, files, databases etc. of the website. How much storage is required for the website is determined by the number of files in it.

 1. When a new business builds its website it would probably just rent a server which is shared with other websites. As the online traffic grows the storage needs of the website will increase the business may need to rent the entire server instead of sharing it with other websites.

2. On signing up with a web hosting package, the business can access the server through a solution like a cPanel. cPanel helps in easy uploading of the website files to the server. One can install a CMS like WordPress which can help to easily build the website.

 3. To run a fully functional website the business needs to register a domain name. Once the domain name is registered, it is pointed towards the server. This helps the web browser to know the location of the website.

 When a person types the domain name in the browser or clicks on a link directed to the website, the web browser accesses the files from the server and the content is displayed on the screen of the viewer. This whole process should take a mere few seconds if it takes longer to load the website then either you need to optimize the website or change the web host.

What are the types of web hosting?

To meet the requirements of the various clients most of the website hosting service providers offer different types of web hosting services. The most common types of web hosting are:

        Shared Hosting

The most common form of web hosting is shared hosting. It is the most popular and most suitable type of web hosting for most websites. Under a shared hosting plan, a physical server is shared by several websites for storing their files. Depending on the size of the server and the storage space required by the files, a server can host from a dozen to hundreds of websites. The server space is securely partitioned; hence the website data is secure from other websites sharing the server. Since the server resources are shared the cost of shared hosting services is low.  Websites having low to moderate traffic levels can comfortably use a shared host. The business can manage the hosting environment; install a CMS, setup email, etc. without requiring any technical skills.

      VPS Hosting

VPS is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Server. This type of web hosting is dependent on something called “virtualization”. Under VPS hosting the website can access resources stored on different servers. Though the servers are different and located at various places they all act together as a single server. Basically, one can tap an entire network of servers and scale the resources based on the current requirements. Though a VPS server acts as a dedicated server, it is being shared with other websites. VPS hosting is a cheaper and flexible option than dedicated server hosting.

      Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is comparatively a newer form of hosting. Often people get confused between cloud hosting and cloud computing. When a website is hosted on multiple different servers simultaneously it is hosted on a cloud. Cloud clusters are created by partitioning the physical servers. This is very useful if one server becomes overloaded, then the traffic can be automatically routed to another cloud server within the cluster. This ensures that the loading speed of the website is not affected. It is a very reliable form of web hosting, which can be scaled up or down based on the requirements.

    Dedicated Server Hosting

When a website has access to all the resources of an entire physical server it is known as dedicated hosting. Dedicated server hosting is the most expensive type of web hosting as the costs are not shared by splitting the server. Websites having a large volume of traffic or requiring a unique server configuration opt for a dedicated server hosting plan. Since the website has complete access to the entire server one can run any software configuration required. Dedicated hosting offers great performance and improved security. Since the complete server is used by a single website, the company will need technical skills or a team to effectively manage the server environment.

    WordPress Hosting

A WordPress site can be hosted on multiple types of hosting environments. However, WordPress has its hosting services which are completely custom-tailored to the WordPress platform. The web server space is shared with other WordPress sites; hence the server is uniquely configured to get the most out of the WordPress sites. WordPress offers additional security to WordPress websites. A team of skilled experts work towards optimizing the website and the servers it is hosted on.

Final Words

Web hosting helps in publishing a website and help to create its presence online. By availing web hosting services a business can store its website files on a server which can be easily accessed and displayed on the viewer’s screen when an individual types the website address in the browser. Web hosting helps in optimizing the website and improve the loading speed of the website.