Website DIY Part 2a: Web-Hosting Services

In this article of the series, you should be able to:

  • Identify what function a web-hosting service is providing to you.
  • Make a well-informed purchase from a web-hosting service based on the performance and storage specifications of the website you want to define.

Remember the first step to setting up your website from ‘Putting All the Elements Together’ is: ‘buying server access from a web-hosting company’. A lot of people are oftentimes perplexed by what this means. In this article, I will try my best to break down it implies.

When a domain-name (i.e. wwww.myfirstwebsite.com) is linked to a server (remember, this is just another computer connected to the internet), as the website designer, you would presumable want your website to always be accessible by any person on the internet.

You could make your personal computer a server for your website (since it is a computer connected to the internet), but in order for your website to be accessible to any user at any time, that would mean your computer (server) would always have to be on. In other words, your personal computer would always have to be on.

Moreover, as a website designer, want your website to be high-performing so that when someone on your website is clicking a link, the pages load quickly. If your personal computer has limited capacity or memory, then it can’t guarantee this!

This is why there are web-hosting companies that provide you access to computers that are dedicated to hosting web-pages. Essentially what you are buying is access to space and memory on these computers so that your website will always be accessible and high-performing!

Now that we know what functionality a web-hosting company is offering, the following figure gives an idea of some important features to look at to evaluate the services that the web-hosting company provides.

features

The features on the left-hand side of this image are actually all features that can vary depending on what package that you buy from the web-hosting company (which is explored more in depth below)! The right-hand side are features that correspond to general features of the web-hosting company as a whole. Note, the features are not mutually, but rather reflect what I thought was a good way of distinguishing the features.

Web-hosting companies will often provide you with a range of different packages that you can choose depending on the design specifications you have for your website. If you are making the analogy of buying a web-hosting plan to buying a living space, you can think of the shared plan akin to buying a bedroom in a four-bedroom apartment and the dedicated plan as buying a nice 4-bedroom house all for yourself.

hosting_tiers-01

You can see the relative advantages of each of the plans with respect to some specific features here! In this blog post I have refrained from picking and choosing specific companies that I thought were better and worse to use. This is more to give you a conceptual understanding of what type of specifications you will be getting from each type of web-hosting plan package!

References: 

[1] https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/hosting-websites/

[2] https://www.hostgator.com/help/article/how-do-i-choose-which-hosting-plan-is-right-for-me#explanation

[3] https://www.techradar.com/web-hosting/best-web-hosting-service-websites

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