Domain, database, WordPress, DNS; entering the World Wide Web comes with a ton of new vocabulary. It’s like learning a completely new language with very vague dictionary descriptions. I personally know your struggle, having changed my field of work and starting from scratch in a Canadian webhosting company.
Some of the terminology can be very confusing and overwhelming to learn. For example, web hosting or website hosting. One of the basic and most important things you will need is hosting for your website. It is also important to know what it means and what it does.
In this article, I will hopefully help you make sense out of all the hosting jargon to help you better communicate with your hosters, website developers and your IT technicians.
What Does Hosting a Website Mean?
Every website you’ve ever visited is hosted on a server. It is impossible to view a website on the nternet without it having a hosting service. It’s simply logical, how can you see a website that has not been connected to the Internet?
Think of it as a virtual apartment for your web pages. It holds all of your website’s belongings, like the files and database that make your site functional. This apartment will have an address, a.k.a. your domain name. When a user then wishes to view your website, they will enter your domain name in their browser and will be directed to the server where it is hosted.
In other words, hosting your website is renting it this apartment; a small lot of space on the Internet for it to thrive. Most people go through a web host in order to have this service at their disposal.
What is a Web Host?
A web host or hosting provider is a company that has access to many servers. These servers are giant computers with lots of disk space and resources, which permits them to contain hundreds of websites at a time. For a small fee, they offer space on their server to allow your website to be accessible on the Internet.
In return, they do the hard task of maintaining their servers 24/7, making sure it is always online and secure to prevent your website from being attacked and going down. Rather than having your own server, this cuts costs for everyone and takes the painstaking work out of website management for you.
The best part is that it doesn’t matter where these servers are located. Whether you are hosted in our Canadian servers or in any part of the world, your website will be accessible all around the globe. To be more precise, the internet works with many different servers owed by companies like Google, Amazon, us, and many others. But that’s another story.
There is also the option of hosting with a reseller. Most of the time, resellers are website creators or designers that will act as the middleman. They won’t maintain the server, but they will maintain the website.
In all cases, you will need a reliable web hosting company to back you up. If your web hosting provider isn’t present, alert, and responsive like us, it could cost you and your business a great deal. Despite this, different types of hosting will offer a different kind of service from your hoster.
Types of Web Hosting
Here is a sneak peek into the different types of hosting plans that are available to you.
Shared hosting plans are the most common ones. Known for their affordability, they are the most popular option for small to medium websites. They are called “shared” because they share a server with hundreds of other sites at a time. Even though you do not always get the flexibility or resources that you want, they are easy going and never overlooked by hosters.
Larger website owners might be interested in this option. Being the best of both worlds, semi-dedicated plans have the resources that you need and are still noticeably affordable. They are still on shared servers, but with less sites. Only 5 sites at a time are allowed on our semi-dedicated servers in order to prevent them from using the resources and space you desperately need. Again, they require less maintenance than dedicated plans.
For those who don’t have a budget, these beasts are often the best option. Dedicated servers are for you and you only, but they come at a price. Depending on your level of expertise, you can have an unmanaged, managed or fully managed server. They allow you to have it your way and contain everything you need. Of course, they are not unlimited. You will have to upgrade your resources at a certain point. But for large companies, they are a necessity to survive rising demand.
In our case, we prefer virtual private servers over dedicated servers. They are better equipped for emergencies like attacks on your website that could shut it down. A VPS can be accessed and put back online faster than a physical machine. You will still have your own unshared space, but with reduced costs.
You can find more information about the different types of plans on Wikipedia.
Finally, Which is Right?
Now that you understand hosting, hosters, and hosting plans, it should be easy to differentiate the key words behind web hosting. Typically, a website is what you will insert in a web hosting plan. Thus, we call it web hosting.
Either way, our hosting experts will know what you mean. Of course, you should mention whether you would like to include anything else, like emails or transferring your domain. For those who are interested in one of our hosting plans and need more details on which plan to choose, it is always possible to contact us or compare our different plans.