Do I really need website hosting?
If you are interested in creating your own website, you need to have a basic understanding of website hosting.
So what is website hosting exactly?
Website hosting is a physical computer where your website will be stored, just like you store files on your home or work computer. Files stored on your personal computer are not typically available to the World Wide Web. In fact, most personal and work computer setups are specifically designed with hardware and software firewalls to prevent any outside computers from connecting.
With website hosting servers, the exact opposite is true. Hosting servers are setup specifically to serve up files and make them available for the public to view on the World Wide Web via a web browser like Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safai.
It is possible to setup your own website hosting server, but it can be super technical and costly to maintain correctly. I don’t recommend it unless you are an IT geek. And chances are – if you’re reading this post, you aren’t.
Most individuals and small businesses choose to host their websites with website hosting companies. These companies offer shared website hosting service and other upgraded hosting options which allows many websites to utilize shared space on large web hosting servers setup for the specific purpose of hosting websites.
A web server might look like the image below. It doesn’t look to different from the inside of your computer at home right?
There are some key differences like the following:
- Multiple drives and processors working in tandem
- No video card, sound card, or media drives like you might find on a home computer
- Thin design so they can be stacked on racks shown below
Which website host should I choose? How much does it cost?
There are several website hosting companies to choose from but it’s important to choose one that is reliable and offers the best features and reliability for a reasonable price. I have had extensive experience with HostGator and can recommend them highly. Hosting can cost anywhere from a few dollar to hundreds of dollars per month.
To read more about the different options for website hosting and how much they cost, head over to a more recent blog post for updated info.
Inside of Web Server By arichnad (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons