Our Very Quick Guide To Web Hosting
Posted by Sam Thomas on 14 March 2016 02:13 PM
Those who have never before purchased a web hosting package or indeed, even run their own website can understandably feel very overwhelmed and intimidated by all of the information available surrounding web hosting.
So, to help out those people here at PAC Web Hosting, we thought we'd put together a very brief guide to what web hosting is all about.
What actually is web hosting?
Perhaps the best way to grasp the definition of web hosting is to first imagine the files and folders on your own computer. They are stored on the hard disk drive (HDD) of your desktop or laptop computer, and you can access them at any time, simply by clicking on them.
Web pages are files too, and like the files on your own computer, need to be stored somewhere so that they can be accessed whenever the user needs them. But unlike your ordinary computer files, web pages need to be made accessible to the general public, rather than just to you.
Technically, you could store the files for your own website's pages on your Internet-connected PC or Mac and quickly make them available to visitors. In practice, however, your home-based Internet connection will almost certainly not be powerful enough to serve more than a few users at once.
This means your website will need to be 'hosted' somewhere else, on something powerful enough to make your web pages accessible to a great number of users at the same time. Such a thing is known as a 'server', by virtue of its function of 'serving' your site's pages to the general public.
Why are web hosting companies necessary?
In an ideal world, you might choose to buy and run your own server and the associated connections. In reality, however, this can be extremely expensive, to say nothing of the sheer hassle and stress involved in managing a server yourself, especially when you have little technical knowledge.
This is where web hosting providers like PAC Web Hosting come in. Such companies can host your site on the same server as potentially hundreds or even thousands of other sites, thereby significantly bringing down the cost of hosting, while still delivering good reliability and performance.
What are the different types of web hosting?
The aforementioned arrangement is known as shared web hosting, and is the common option for those running their own site for the first time, given its low expense and the minimal technical knowledge required by the website owner.
There are, however, other web hosting options out there, such as virtual private server (VPS) hosting, which divides a server into multiple virtual servers - in effect, as if each site has its own dedicated server, despite it actually still sharing a server with several other users.
Then, of course, there is dedicated server hosting, whereby you rent an entire server for your own site's exclusive use. This is unquestionably a very expensive option, but for those who can afford it, the considerable control and performance advantages make it worthwhile.
What else do you need to know about web hosting?
As well as the above fundamental differences, different web hosting packages also usually come with different specifications and 'value-added' services. They are likely to offer different storage space and bandwidth options, for example, and may also run on different operating systems and use different control panels.
Truly, there is much more that we could say about web hosting for beginners - but saying it here would miss the point of a 'very quick' guide! So, if you would like to talk about your requirements from web hosting in more detail, why not contact our team here at PAC Web Hosting today?