A Brief Introduction To Web HostingOn March 18, 2021 by Rocky
Most people these days do not even really think about where a website is, or even what a website is. I unlock my phone, open a browser, and go to Google or Facebook, or Instagram.
What am I actually doing here when I say I am “visiting” a website? So if I am a visitor, then where have I gone? And if it was a “site”, then where is it located?
In this post, we will go through a brief introduction to websites & web hosting.
Let’s dig in!
What Is A Website, Exactly?
Firstly, to understand where a website is located, it is a good idea to first understand what it is.
We can divide websites into three types:
Static HTML Websites
Static HTML websites are the original type of websites. Each page is a file in a public-facing directory. And when you look at a web page, your computer is technically downloading that file and displaying it to you.
Web applications introduce themselves to the user as if they are ‘applications’, in the sense that they have a clearly dynamic functionality.
Any online games that you might play are all examples of web applications. And much like applications you use on your phone, tablet, or desktop, the files for the app have to exist somewhere.
Content Management System
This type of website is hybrid and holds for the vast majority of websites that are present today. The technology of a web app is used to simulate a group of documents.
If you read a blog, you will see that each blog post is probably not a separate file. Instead, the application is taking the content out of a database and sending it to your browser as if it were a document file, and then your browser presents it to you without knowing any difference.
Running A Website
To run a website, you will need a computer connected to the internet that is apt for receiving requests, taking proper action, and responding.
And you must have heard people talk about servers for their website. This is what they are talking about – computers that store the files required to run a website, together with the software to deliver those files to anyone who demands them.
You could, technically, run a website from your home computer, but that is not exactly a good idea. Because…
- You’d have to know how to set it up appropriately to run a website.
- You’d have to leave it on and connected to the internet almost all the time.
- Your home computer is only designed to deal with one user at a time. So there are limitations.
So it is a better idea to not run a website on a personal computer and instead buy a server. This is like a bigger, better, faster computer.
Web Hosting Companies
Web hosting companies these days have solved the problem for you with their services. They have purchased the big costly computers, they’ve set them up to work for running a site, they have ensured they have a fast connection. They have pretty much done all the work.
So if you get hosting plans from web hosting services in India or USA, you are actually borrowing a bit of one of their computers. Likewise, this lets you store the files and software required to run your website somewhere that it can without trouble be accessed by anyone who wants to see it.
However, it’s not wizardry, and it is not that much different than the computer that you are using right now.
So now you know that a website is a collection of files that sit on a computer. And for a website to run well, an everyday desktop computer is not a great choice.
Web hosting companies offer fast, powerful, and reliable computers so that anybody can run a website without having any particular knowledge or buying any special equipment.