What is Website Hosting
Website Hosting – in simple terms
Just as a physical shop or store needs to be housed in a physical location, in order for you to have an online website, it must be hosted somewhere in a similar way. So why do you need it to be hosted?
The Internet (or rather the subset of the Internet known as the World Wide Web) is a network of incredibly powerful computers arranged in a hierarchy from the most powerful downwards. Each of these 10 major servers is connected to thousands of less powerful ones, which in turn serve hundreds of thousands of computers that hold or host many many websites.
These network hosts as they are known, host and serve up millions of website pages each with their own unique address. Website hosting allows your site to be plugged into the system so that your pages can be linked together and can be accessed by other people through their browsers from wherever they are in the world.
You may wonder, “why can’t I just connect my site directly to the Internet’ – well to a degree you can. If you buy an expensive server computer, get the specialised network operating system and are ready to do the management. However, this will need a lot of expertise and will cost you far more in terms of time, effort and safety.
Firstly, you will need to spend valuable time monitoring and maintaining your web server, time you should be using to build and develop your web site.
Secondly, web services hosts include redundancy which means your site is not stored in a single location or computer. Essentially, if one server breaks down or loses its data, they can easily and automatically get it from other servers. You will rarely know that anything happened and most hosts guarantee that your site will be up and running 99% or 99.99% of the time in their web hosting service level agreements.
Website Hosting Providers
Website hosts serve up website pages on demand to the Internet. Basically, they act as stores for your website as well as providing other services such as email, editing or the database facilities required for a dynamic or interactive website such as a forum or online shop.