3 Things to Know Before Hosting a Website: A Beginner’s Guide

Before running an internet resource there are 3 fundamental things to know about hosting a website. It is crucial to explore what web hosting is,  how to choose domain name and finally how to make a good web hosting choice.

Hosting and domains are concepts which define the “place of residence” for a website on the Internet. Hosting includes the necessary space, electricity and bandwidth for your data located on a server, while the domain is responsible for it’s online address and directing traffic to the site. Hosting and domains are usually leased options. It means that you can’t buy them once and for all. Instead, you pay for them at regular intervals. In most cases the minimal order period for a domain is one year, while hosting bills are normally paid once per month or there may be discounts involved when paying for hosting in periods longer than one month. Let us dive deeper into the topic to make it more clear-cut.

1) What is web hosting? Hosting is like renting a home. First you decide what kind of home you want and can afford, in one example – a shared or dedicated server, (your apartment or mansion, respectively). Once you’ve decided where you want to live, you “move in” to a hosting provider (let us call him the ”online landlord”).  he provides you with particular “amenities” such as technical support, necessary disk space, and an environment which is compatible with your web site software.houseinhands Now your site has it’s home online and you can begin painting the walls and decorating your site, er, home, any way you like. Your site’s is maintained in specially organized buildings which are called datacenters. Inside that datacenter there may be other hosting companies and there are thousands of other homes just like yours. These are called your neighbors, and Just like in real life, you want to pick a spot where you have good neighbors.

Do you want to live in the ghetto or on the beach? A good landlord will not allow bad tenants to share the same block as you. If you have a bad landlord, who allows criminals, hackers, and other bad guys  to live near your new home, your home’s property value will go down (visitors do not want to come to your site) because there will be problems with your homes in your neighborhood being broken into (hacked web sites), or traffic jams in the streets (slow sites) and numerous other issues. That is why it is important to choose a quality hosting company, (like GlowHost!) not just the cheapest web host you can find.

2) What is a domain name?

So far so good – our website has a residence. However, currently no one knows how to reach our newly rented online space. The next step is to determine a suitable address (domain name) for it. Normally a domain consists of 2 parts. The first part of domain (top-level domain) can be the country of origin (.eu, .au, .uk, etc.) or it’s field of activities (e.g. com generally refers to commercial or ‘company,’ whereas .org is typically for organizations, .edu for schools, and .gov is for government). The second part is actually the website name itself, in our case, “GlowHost.”  It’s aim is to express the main idea of the website and to make it memorable, so that visitors can easily remember your name and return to your web site.bigstock-Domain-names-and-internet-conc-20750015 3) How to make a good hosting choice?

What else you  need to know about hosting a website is how to choose a reliable hosting provider. Hosting advertisements have filled the internet and inexperienced users can easily get lost within the numerous “best hosting offers” or “Top 10 web hosts” types of sites. It is important to know that the overwhelming majority the “Top Sites” are nothing other than paid advertising spots. There is almost never a truthful or thoughtful analysis of these hosts, and the top spots got to the hosts that pay the most.

In some cases, hosting plans have a number of marketing gimmicks behind them, particularly “unlimited” packages, that’s why you need to be quite critical and pragmatic in selecting a plan and a provider. Some providers offer too many technical details and features which are not clear for beginners. First of all, figure out the purpose of your site and define your hosting requirements accordingly. Personal presentation web sites typically don’t need too much disk space or high performance systems, at the same time, be careful when considering using ultra-cheap, or free hosting.

If you host at such a service your website can be invaded by advertisements or simply vanish without any notice from the hosting owners.  Make sure the web host you choose has a legal section, or Terms of Service and make sure to read them. If your host doesn’t offer these documents, you might want to keep shopping.  Check how long your potential host has been in business, and try to find reviews that do not seem to be fake. Unfortunately, many hosts resort to writing fake reviews of themselves, so this might be difficult for some shoppers to spot.

If you plan to run a commercial or corporate website, better hosting such as cloud or dedicated servers are a suitable choice. The money invested will pay off with stable sites, reliable support and security, protection from spam, protection from bad neighbors, as well as many other features.

DSC_0390_Iván_Melenchón_Serrano_MorgueFile I hope this short introduction into the world of web hosting will help you to understand the  basics of the topic, and lead you to the best hosting choice. Good Luck! We love comments, tell us what you think!