Web Hosting is a concept invented in 1969 when Thomas Merril and Lawrence Roberts create the first computer network. It was formed of three devices; today considered the first hosts in the world. The computers work even today, and you can find them at the Stanford Research Institute, at the University of California, and Utah University.
1991 brings a significant change when the commercial restrictions for using the internet were eliminated. The freedom of users came with a considerable need for websites that are online all the time, and this is how the industry of web hosting appeared. It developed continuously until today when there are billions of websites online. Such a network requires millions of hosts all over the world, and this makes room for a thriving industry that is crucial for the development of the internet.
Since the invention of web hosting until today, the conditions to have a functional website remain the same:
A domain name
- Domain name
The name of the website is usually associated with the activity of the website, but this is not a general rule. A personal blog can have the domain named after the person who writes it. Many webmasters choose simple names for their websites that can be easily remembered, even if those names have nothing to do with the purpose of the site.
2 Web Hosting
Web hosting is a service offered by specialized companies and is required for the website to be online all the time. The main goal of this service is to store files that can be accessed via the internet from any part of the world. The data is photos, videos, text, and anything else that you want the visitor to see on your website. Your computer acts as a terminal which downloads the files locally from the hosting server, and then the content is displayed to you.
Hosting is bought as a hosting package. One of the essential characteristics of this service is storage space, as this is the main criteria used to establish the price. For superior performances, we recommend hosting with SSD hard disks, as they are ten times faster than the SATA ones (HDD with rotating magnetic disks), and the prices are almost the same.
Today, most of the hosting companies have their hard disks on SSD, but it is good to check before deciding on one hosting package or another.
Other characteristics that could make the difference between a good and bad service are: the processor speed, RAM, and the number of allocated processors. Another difference is the operating system which could be Linux or Windows. Don’t worry if you don’t know Linux. These servers are faster, and you won’t have to work with it, as the hosting company takes care of everything connected with the operating system.
3 The content of the website
Content is everything that we want to show to our visitors, such as the design and management part. The first part refers to what we decide to put on the website, texts, movies, and photos. The administration part has software at its base that simplifies the entire process of creating and managing the site. This is called CMS (Content Management System) or the Content Administration System. The most common CMS is WordPress, as it is easy to install and use, and it does not require advanced programming knowledge.
After installing WordPress, you will have a large number of templates or themes. You can choose any of them based on the purpose of the website:
– Online magazine
– Online newspaper
Web hosting common terms
You don’t need to be an engineer to understand how web hosting works, but it is a good idea to understand the principles and standard terms used by webmasters. No matter how good a service is, you will still have some problems with your website, and you need to know these terms when you call the customer service of the company.
Web hosting server
A server is a piece of specialised equipment designed to work continuously for years. Practically, the web server hosting is a performing computer superior to the standard PC. It can store and launch processes for many users at the same time. The servers are installed in specially designed spaces named data centers. These centers make sure the hosting computers work correctly, and that they can have maintenance whenever required.
The data center is storage or a location designed to maintain the well-functioning of the servers. A data center always needs two or even more connections to the internet, electricity, and air conditioning. Yes, the servers need to stay cold. Otherwise, circuits and other components will burn. These are common problems that result in redundancy, meaning delays in delivering the customers the desired level of service.
However, a complete hosting company should have data centers all over the world. This way, when there are problems in California because of the hot weather, the customers of the company can have their websites served from a center in Sweden. This is also required as the closest data center serves the site to the visitor.
The optimal temperature in a data center is 22 degrees Celsius and a humidity of 40-50%. It is not difficult to maintain the proper moisture as the servers dry the air, but the temperature is always a problem with servers.
Besides the hardware considerations for a server, there are also software terms that you need to know and understand:
The web server or HTTP
It is the service that processes the requests of visitors, offering those the requested web paves. When a user writes the name of a website in a browser, he sends an invitation to a web server. This is the program that would search on the hosting server the information and will display it on the web page. The most used HTTP web servers are Apache, IIS, or ngix.
The FTP Server
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a program allowing the files to move from one place to another. This transfer can be done with an FTP client such as Filezilla or CoreFTP, and it is a program connecting a computer with the server from where we will download or upload files. This connection is secured and requires a username and password. It is a sensitive part of managing a website, as essential data leaks can happen during the transfer if it is not secure enough. We use this function when we need to upload content on our websites, but a CMS such as WordPress will make this process a lot easier.
A database server allows storing and accessing the information from the database associated with the website. These databases contain details about the content of pages, the usernames of clients, and the history of their orders. The most used database servers are MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server.
It is the service allowing the users on the hosting server to communicate through email. It divides into two main categories:
A – Sending messages from the PC to the server, and between email servers using the SMTP protocol
B – Messages are received on the hosting server and are downloaded on PCs using the POP3 and IMAP protocols.
All computers connected to the internet communicate between them using an IP address. They are not easy to remember, and this is why we need domain names to reach a particular website. The DNS server has a role in translating the domain name into an IP address.
The DNS system is like a phone book. If you want to call a computer, it ‘dials’ the IP address of that computer with a request. The computer responds and communicates with the hosting service, displaying the website to the visitor.
Soon after the website is uploaded on the internet, Googlebot will find it and index it on the search engine. You can send a request to Google to index your new website, but the bot usually finds websites by following links. It means you need links from other websites to your new page so Google would find your website a lot easier. You can create these links from Social Media as they are the easiest to make, although link building is a lot more than that and it is an important part of indexing.
How much of this you need to know?
Some of the terms in this article might sound complicated, but you don’t really need to know everything about them. However, the hosting company might call you now and then to upgrade your PHP or MySQL version, so you need to know what they are and where to find them. The most professional hosting companies will not give you these worries, as they will offer you an intuitive and simple interface to manage all the aspects of your newly created website.