Lesson 29

What is Website Hosting?

Hosting is a service for placing your website or any other web project on the Internet.

Theoretically, you can host the website on your computer. But this is extremely inconvenient. You have to keep it on around the clock and monitor the load and power outages yourself. You need a constantly high speed Internet connection and computer power sufficient to serve several users at the same time. In practice, this is not realistic, so everyone uses the service of hosting.

It is provided by special companies – hosting providers or hosters. In fact, they rent out space on the server to the owner of the web project. And the server is just a computer that works smoothly to keep your website always available and where you have the opportunity to store all the data necessary for the operation of your web project. The rooms where the servers are located are called data centers. Every time the user makes a request, that is, enters the site name in the address bar of the browser, the server transfers all the necessary content (texts, images and other files) to the user’s browser. For example, typing https://centersmarttourism.world/ in the address bar of your browser will take you to the main page of our website, which is also hosted by a specific hosting provider.

Hosting is also responsible for keeping the server running and protecting it from malicious attacks. There are several types of hosting. We will briefly describe them in ascending order of price:

  1. Shared hosting.

With this type of hosting, one server is divided into many parts and each part is rented out separately. One server can host several hundred sites at the same time. Suitable for small projects: business card site, promo page, portfolio, blog, small online store. This type of hosting is the most affordable and does not require special knowledge to manage.

  1. Virtual server (VPS or VDS).

With this type of hosting, the physical server is divided into several independent parts and each part is rented separately. One physical server can be divided into dozens of virtual servers. Suitable for online stores, large forums, corporate sites, etc.

  1. Cloud hosting.

This hosting provides you with a group of unified servers. You will have to pay only the amount of resources consumed, and the hosting provider will distribute them among different servers. This system works almost flawlessly. This type of hosting is suitable for sites and applications that lack the resources of a virtual server.

  1. Dedicated server.

Here you can manage the entire server. The service is quite expensive. In this case, you need to have certain knowledge, since you will have to control the operating and file systems of the server. The hoster will provide only uninterrupted electricity and internet. Suitable for a game server, a social network, a large online store and other projects that require a lot of resources.

  1. Collocation.

In this case, we are talking about buying your own server. It means that the clients are able to install their own server in a room rented from the hoster, and the hoster provides security, temperature control and high-speed Internet.

For most small businesses, the cheapest option is shared hosting.

How to manage your own hosting?

For management, the hoster provides access in the form of a login and password to enter your personal account and the hosting control panel. The most popular hosting control panels are Cpanel, Plesk. Inside the panels there are hints and instructions for action. If you wish, you can find a lot of materials on working with hosting control panels on the Internet. In addition, you can always contact host support.

There are not so many basic options for hosting management. We can enable or disable the site, install a security certificate, install a site builder, make a copy of the site, set up corporate mail, view basic visitor statistics. When choosing a hosting provider, you must first take into account the provisions of the legislation of your country. It is also recommended to learn about additional services, such as registration and renewal of domain names. The hoster must provide complete support, because small businesses rarely have a hosting specialist on staff and the help of the hoster may be needed at any time. And of course, you need to pay attention to customer reviews, the reputation of the hosting provider and its place in the ranking. You can see the ratings, for example, here.

In conclusion, one practical advice:

Recently, many browsers block sites with an insecure connection – “http”. We highly recommend installing an “https” certificate. This can be done in the hosting control panel. By the way, the service of issuing certificates is often provided by hosting providers.