Web Hosting: What it is & How it Works

Web Hosting: What it is & How it Works

Table of Contents

In order to put a website on the Internet, website hosting will be needed. This article explores what web hosting is, how it works, and how to host a website.

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows individuals and organizations to post a website or web page onto the Internet.

A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.

Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers that connect users to your site when they type in your domain address.

How Does Web Hosting Work?

When you sign up for a web hosting service, you essentially rent some space on a server where your web data will be stored and managed.

This server allows Internet users to access your site through the network.

Your host is responsible for keeping that server up and running, protecting it from malicious attacks, and transferring your content — such as text, images, files, etc. — from the server to your visitors’ browsers.

Types of Web Hosting

Understanding the different types of web hosting can help you choose the right service for your website’s needs:

  • Shared Hosting: Your website is stored on the same server as many other websites. Ideal for small businesses and personal blogs due to its affordability.
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting: Although you still share a server with other websites, you have dedicated portions of the server’s resources. It’s suitable for websites that require more control and better performance.
  • Dedicated Hosting: You have an entire server to yourself. This provides maximum control and the best performance but at a higher cost. Ideal for large, resource-intensive websites.
  • Cloud Hosting: Websites are hosted across multiple servers, which balances the load and maximizes uptime. It’s scalable, making it ideal for businesses with fluctuating traffic.

How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?

The cost of web hosting varies based on the type of hosting and service level you choose:

  • Shared Hosting: Typically ranges from $2 to $15 per month.
  • VPS Hosting: Generally costs between $20 and $100 per month.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Can cost anywhere from $80 to over $300 per month.
  • Cloud Hosting: Starts around $10 per month and increases with resource usage.

How to Host a Website

Hosting a website involves several key steps:

  1. Register a Domain Name: This is your web address through which people will find your site.
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Provider: Select a reputable hosting provider based on your budget and website needs.
  3. Select a Hosting Plan: Choose from shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting based on the size and needs of your website.
  4. Set Up Your Website: You can build a website from scratch, use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, or upload an existing site to your server.
  5. Update your DNS Settings: Edit the DNS records for your domain name to point to your web host.
  6. Publish Your Website: Once your website’s files are uploaded to the web server, it’s live on the internet.

Do I need technical knowledge to manage web hosting?

Not necessarily. Many hosting providers offer managed services and user-friendly control panels to handle technical tasks.

Can I upgrade my hosting plan later?

Yes, most hosting providers allow you to upgrade your hosting plan as your website grows.

How do I ensure my website is secure?

Ensure your host provides robust security measures including backups, firewalls, and SSL certificates.

Summary

Web hosting is a fundamental aspect of having a presence online, providing the infrastructure and resources needed to maintain a website’s accessibility on the internet.

With the right hosting provider, even those without technical expertise can easily publish and manage a website, ensuring it is available to audiences around the world.

Looking for a web hosting provider? Check out our partners at HostRail to compare the best web hosting companies for your next project.