How Web Hosting help me to get my website online?

I guess every second person on this planet will start asking this question within coming few years. Seeing the report of the last decade which shows that every tenth person wants to have his website and wants to do his business online.

Without domain name and web hosting, your website can never reach the outside world. 

Web Hosting is the vital link between your website and the internet. This guide may not answer all your questions, but should at least provide a window into the world of domain names and web hosting.

So Let’s Get Started with the basic guide of web hosting and domain name.

What is Domain Name?

A Domain name is a unique name that identifies the website.Whenever you visit a website, the domain name appears in the address bar of a browser.

The domain name is like a contact in your phone book. Some Examples of Internet domain names are:google.com, yahoo.co.in, facebook.com, etc

Domain Names

Domain Name Rules

A domain name can contain the numbers 0-9, the letters a-z and the dash or hyphen character (“-“). It’s important to note that while domains can include a hyphen, they can not begin or end with one.

The domain name is not case sensitive, so you can register and write your domain name with both lowercase and uppercase letters.

Some Top Level Domains have a limitation on the number of characters and length of a domain name from specific countries. You should first check with your domain provider before registering the domain name.

Who is Domain registrar?

A company designed to provide domain registration service to other companies or individuals.Domain name registrar is an ICANN or national ccTLD accredited company who has the authority to register domain names.

In General Language, Domain Name Registrars are retailers of domain names Like .com, .mobi, .in , .asia, .ca etc

What is website hosting?

To get your Business online on the internet one need to have a Website. To own a website you need to have a Web Hosting, which is a space provided to you over the web.

In very simple words let us take an example: If you are going to construct a building, you need to buy a land.

In the same way, consider the website as a building you need to build or say you need to develop a website, same way you need some space where it can be developed and executed. This space is known as Web Space or Web Hosting.

What is Web Server?

Web Server is the computer on which web pages of your website are stored. It delivers the content of your site to the users through an internet.

The computer which behaves as a Server need to have very high-end specifications and also connected to the internet with the very powerful link.

Who is Web Host?

Any person or the company who owns the server and rents out the web space for website hosting is known as Web Hosting Provider.

The large web hosting companies own their Data Centre (Collection of Servers) where they can host million of the website.

Note: Go learn and check out the list of Common Web Hosting Terms

Before trying to make your own web page and launch it on the Internet, first you need to know how web pages work. Here are the basic terms:

The server receives the request for a page sent by your browser.
The browser connects to the server through an IP Address; the IP address is obtained by translating the domain name.
– In return, the server sends back the requested page.

Web pages are written in HTML, Hypertext Markup Language. A markup language is a computer language that describes the layout, format, and content of a page. The Web browser renders the page according to the HTML code.

Web servers are computers whose job is to respond to a browser’s request for a web page and deliver it through the internet.

Pages hosted on a web server can be displayed to anyone all over the world. It is like a hard drive that stores your website files and images. To host your page on a web server, you need to pay a hosting charge.

To display your website on the internet, you need a web hosting provider.

There are various types of web hosting services available to host your website. The hosting flavors are Linux, Windows, and Java.

The Mostly used two Flavours of Hosting are: Linux Web Hosting and Windows Web Hosting, both are the best platforms in the market and known for its performance and execution.

I strongly recommend Linux Web Hosting over Windows, because of its Stability, Reliability and Security.

Linux Hosting

Linux is a UNIX-based and Open Source platform that is used Website Hosting; LAMP is the most important feature of Linux.

LAMP is an acronym used for Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP. LAMP signifies the combination of Software & Server technologies which are Open Source and hence making Linux Web Hosting more economical and stable.

Linux uses control panels like cPanel or WHM. cPanel utilizes a 3 tier structure that provides capabilities for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners to control the various aspects of website and server administration through a standard web browser.

Linux Hosting

Pros:

  • Linux Hosting is cheaper because most of the software that’s used on Linux is open source.
  • Easy detection and fixation of security flaws and this enables better data protection and safety.
  • If you’re using PHP, Perl, or Python as development tools then you should choose Linux hosting platform

Cons: 

  • Linux Servers don’t support the applications created by ASP server side scripts or .NET.

Windows Hosting

Now there is one more very known platform available which is .Net base, Yes you guessed it right it Windows Web Hosting. Windows Platform is basically used for hosting .Net applications and as this is not an Open Source like Windows its more expensive than that of Linux Hosting.

The window uses the control panel like Plesk Panel.

Plesk allows a server administrator to set up new websites, reseller accounts, e-mail accounts, and DNS entries through a web-based interface.

The administrator can create client and site templates, which predetermine resource-allocation parameters for the domains and customers.

Windows Hosting

Pros:

  • Windows can run ASP and .NET scripts.
  • It is also very reliable and safe to use.
  • You can design websites driven with IIS web server and powerful SQL server databases.

Cons:

  • Windows hosting normally costs more than Linux Hosting.
  • Windows based server can also be secured but it’s a bit complicate to put on some security checks.Also Windows is more prone to viruses and spyware compared to Linux.
  • It can be hard to find a Windows hosting system with specific featured to fulfil your needs because it’s less popular than Linux.

Note: You can check the detailed infographic on Linux VS Windows Hosting.

Five main types of hosting plans you’ll generally find on the internet are shared hosting, Reseller Hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, and cloud hosting.

Selecting a hosting plan doesn’t depend only on your need, but also on your budget. Although, you should know the pros and cons of the all hosting types which I’ll explain now.

All you have to do is read them and pick the right choice for you.

Shared Hosting

shared hosting

Shared Hosting is a very convenient option for the beginners who are planning a launch a Small Website or a Blog.

On the shared hosting many users utilizes shared resources on a single server which keeps the cost very low.

Those who are not having enough budget or wants to start with a lower investment this would probably the option for web hosting.

Shared Hosting is like living in an apartment.

Shared Hosting is a relatively cheap form of hosting. Like In the flat you share the facilities with other tenants like Parking Spaces, Surges in Traffic, etc. and in the same way shared hosting comes with all the facilities and you share server resources with other websites too.

To dig deeper check out total shared hosting guide for newbies.

Pros:

  • Shared hosting is easy and affordable.
  • Shared hosting is secured by the hosting provider.
  • Shared hosting does not require much tech knowledge.

Cons:

  • In shared hosting, shared resources can slow down the whole server.
  • Shared hosting is meant for smaller websites.
  • Shared hosting is less flexible than dedicated hosting.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting

If you are a Business Geek and having great entrepreneurial skills, Reseller Hosting is the best option for you.

With this Hosting type, you can start your web hosting company and create your clients under your name.

Reseller Hosting also uses the shared hosting environment and can be bought for both Linux & Windows platform.

If you want to start your web hosting business with completely under your brand with minor investment and hassles of maintaining the servers.

Then Reseller Hosting is the best While label program to choose.

Reseller hosting is very much like shared hosting with one distinct difference. The main difference between a reseller and shared hosting packages is the WHM (Web Host Manager) panel.

Pros:

  • Reseller hosting provides more flexibility and freedom.
  • Reseller hosting offers reduced cost.
  • Reseller hosting provides unlimited domain hosting.
  • Reseller hosting is lucrative and profitable.

Cons:

  • Your access to server is limited, if there will be a long downtime in server then you will have to suffer the same thing which may lead in loss of your precious clients
  • There’s high competition in reseller hosting.
  • There’s high barriers to switching in reseller hosting.

Must Read: Ultimate Reseller Hosting Guide for Beginners

VPS Hosting

vps hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, It is a good alternative if you want to come out from shared hosting environment and wants the dedicated resources allocated to you.

The VPS Hosting is cheaper than a Dedicated Server and more efficient to maintain , a user has the flexibility to upgrade and downgrade the resources anytime wanted.

VPS servers use “virtualization” technologies.

VPS is a method of splitting a physical server into multiple servers to effectively divide their resources between multiple users.

If the hardware consists of a 500GB hard drive, 12GB of memory and four people use the hardware they will each get 125GB of storage space and 3GB of memory.

I wrote a detailed VPS Hosting Guide with an infographic, go check out if you need more detail.

Pros:

  • VPS hosting plans are easily scalable. and easily customisable.
  • VPS hosting account is less expensive than a full dedicated hosting plan
  • You will get a complete root access in VPS Server.

Cons:

  • Private space is more expensive in VPS hosting than shared hosting.
  • Virtual hosting requires a little more technical knowledge.
  • Still sharing some resources with other customers on the server, so there can be conflicts with server load or memory

Dedicated Hosting

dedicated hosting

Dedicated Hosting means that you website is hosted on the server that belongs only to you and no one else can use your server’s resources.

The dedicated server is used when your site has very high traffic and consumes lots of server resources.

And yes Dedicated Servers comes with Big Price tag compared to Shared Hosting.

In simple words , A dedicated server is like having your own home in which the client leases an entire own server that is not shared with anyone.

The space and property is all yours. In computer terms you have full control over the server(s) ,including choice of operating system, hardware, brand of server, RAM , disk space and software.

Pros:

  • Dedicated hosting provides complete root access to your servers.
  • Dedicated hosting is Ideal for large businesses.
  • Dedicated hosting gives best performance.
  • Dedicated hosting provides strong database and unlimited software support

Cons:

  • Dedicated hosting is expensive.
  • Dedicated hosting requires superior skills set.
  • In dedicated hosting, you’re responsible for the performance.

Cloud Hosting

cloud hosting

In Cloud Hosting, hundred of individual servers work together so that it looks like one large server. It’s the advanced hosting plan and can be cost-effective when compared with other hosting types. It’s the present trend of 2015.

Cloud hosting, as used in services such as Amazon Web Services, is often hosting what to the customer seems like a full server without ever dealing with any of the hardware.

Note: To learn more about Cloud hosting (how it works, why to choose, pros vs. cons, etc.); please read our Ultimate Cloud Hosting Guide here.

Pros:

  • Cloud hosting is scalable and efficient.
  • Cloud hosting allows you to pay for only what you use in the resources.
  • Cloud hosting is cost efficient.

Cons:

  • Cloud hosting requires advanced IT knowledge.
  • Cloud hosting is potentially insecure.

Note: Check the detailed difference between VPS vs Cloud vs Dedicated Hosting

Managed Hosting

If you do not have IT support staff, or are not comfortable with the full deployment of hosting software, managed hosting is often a better solution.

Managed hosting gives you the full support of the hosting company. The host offers support for every problem or task, emergency or routine.

There’s a limit, obviously, in that you may not get support for a coding problem on your website.

Unmanaged Hosting

Unmanaged hosting gives you the root access to your server. This is a great solution if you have an IT team in place and need minimal assistance.

Unmanaged hosting is cheaper because there’s no management – i.e. no routine support. The host will replace failed components, reboot servers, maintain the network. But it won’t support any software or install anything for you.

If your server software happens to crash or some security issues happen, you are the one to fix it being the only administrator of your server.

The main differences lie with managed and unmanaged factors: flexibility, cost-effective and control. If you are an expert in server management,

You can buy an unmanaged hosting without any problem. This may save you some bucks. According to me managed hosting is a better option and as unmanaged hosting is a bit of a gamble for newbies.

Check here detailed difference between managed and unmanaged hosting with infographic.

Domain Name and Web Hosting, What is the Difference?

When setting up your first website, it’s common to get confused between domain name registration and web hosting. Let me clear you their difference by taking a simple example:

If you are going to construct a shop, you need to buy a land.

In the same way, consider the website as a shop you need to create or say you need to develop a website, same way you need some space where it can be developed and executed.

This space is known as Web Space or Web Hosting. The address of your shop is the domain name.

Domain Name Vs Web Hosting

Steps Involved in Domain Registration

A Domain Name is the primary need of building a web identity.

Having an internet identity without a domain is impossible at all. First, you have to think a good domain name that you want to register.

To register a domain name, a registrant must register it with one of almost a thousand ICANN-accredited registrars. The registrar will check if the domain is available or not.

You can also register domains by a registrar’s resellers.

The diagram below serves as the primary functions of the parties that are usually involved in the domain registration process:

Domain Registration Process

You will need to submit the following pieces of information to the registrar or registar’s resellers:

  • The desired domain name
  • The Registrant Name – company or individual to whom the domain name actually belongs.
  • Administrative Contact – This is a person authorised to make certain changes to the domain name
  • Technical Contact – This is a person authorised to make certain changes to the domain name, such as changes to the DNS servers
  • Billing Contact – This is the person to whom all bills will be sent.
  • DNS Server Settings – This is where you specify the primary and secondary name server with the domain name, it is provided by your hosting company.
  • Number of years for which you want to register your domain name
  • Payment information

Once you will give the above mentioned information to your registrar, they will then start the domain registration process for you.

The registrar will forward your domain name request and the contact information of the domain name to the registry.

The registry files the contact details for the Whois. The registry also attaches your domain zone files to the master servers.

These master servers notify all over on the Internet servers where your website is stored.

Your domain name is now registered and ready-to-use when all information has been updated.

Top Level Domains

The term TLD stands for Top Level Domain and refers to the last portion of a domain name. A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet.

For example, the domain name yourdomain.COM is part of the.COM Top Level Domain and the domain yourdomain.ORG is part of the.ORG Top Level Domain.

Types of Top Level Domains

gTLD – Generic Top-Level Domains are the most common domain names. These include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, and many more..

ccTLD – Country Code Top-Level Domains are specifically for a single country’s use. The country can put any restrictions on it according to them. Some countries only allow citizens to register domains under their ccTLD.

sTLD – Sponsored Top-Level Domains are a subdivision of gTLDs. These names are controlled by specific agencies within an industry. For example,Asia Restricted to the Pan-Asia and Asia Pacific community.

New gTLDs – New Generic Top Level Domains are top-level domains unquestionably makes it easier to get a memorable domain name. Like .style , .forum , .football, .food , .education, .cafe , .hotel , .earth  and many more..

Tip: Use the Domain Name Suggestion Tools to find the best domain suitable for your business.

The Uniqueness of Domain Name

One of the best things about domain names is that they are unique. The owner of a domain name can relax in the knowledge that nobody else can use that domain name at the same time.

This is because all domain names are recorded in a database, and each record in the database must be unique.

Domain Name Vs Subdomain

A subdomain is not the same as a domain.A domain is pretty simple: gmail.com is a domain name.

It’s the solid basis that all websites are built on. A subdomain is a subset of the domain: xyz.yourdomain.com is a subdomain on yourdomain.com.

What is domain name protection means to you

Domain Protection

When buying a domain name you have to provide accurate contact information or else your domain registration could be terminated. Because of ICANN’s WHOIS policy, the personal information you list when registering your domain is available to anyone with Internet access.

In General, words, When anyone wants to see the owner of domain name he can check by running the WHOIS query.

Every day, this valuable contact information is targeted by spammers and telemarketers resulting in unwanted and unsolicited contact.

Also, since your contact information is public, you are at risk for identity theft and fraud and of being contacted by spammers.

How does it work?

When you enable Privacy Protection on a domain name, it replaces all your publicly visible contact details with alternate contact information so that when a WHOIS query is performed on the domain, an alternate mailing address, email address, and phone number are displayed.

Whois Privacy Restrictions

Although most domain extensions are not currently restricted.

Not all domain names are permitted to use whois privacy, so don’t be surprised if your registrar doesn’t offer the service for the domain you register.

For example, the .us registry based on a US governmental law, require that the contact details reflect the actual owner/manager of the domain.

Similarly, the .uk registry only permits whois privacy for private owners.

On the other hand, the Canadian registry for .ca, concerned about personal privacy no longer display contact details whatsoever. Also, the .in registry restricts the Whois Guard privacy protection.

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth means the amount of data a website can transfer over the time and determines the speed of your site i.e. more bandwidth more speed.

If your site has hazier pages with like those with lots of pages, images, videos, etc. then you need higher storage with greater bandwidth. If bandwidth were a tunnel, the bigger the tunnel, the more cars can pass through it.

Should I Worry about Data Transfer Limits?

Web Hosting accounts usually have a data transfer limit. This is the amount of data the hosting package can provide to the internet within the given period (usually a month).

This is similar to you home internet account, for example, where you pay so much for your connection with a fixed download limit.

If you go over your monthly limit, depending on your provider, you may find your internet speed slow or be charged extra for every additional megabyte of data.

What is File Transfer Protocol?

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server

Here is a list of famous FTP clients: Smart FTP, File Zilla, Cute FTP, and Core FTP.

Electronic mail, most commonly called email or e-mail  is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients.

Email operates across the Internet or other computer networks.

It takes the form [email protected] . Everything before the sign@ is the local name and everything after it is the domain name.

Email is one of, if not the single most important business communication tools around. Communication is essential in business.

But How you communicate is even more important. It represents to your customers about your professionalism and authenticity.

In Spite the popularity of professional email services, there is still many businesses, which still rely on free mail accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail for their business communication.

It’s a minor point, but it has a significant impact on the way your clients and potential customers think about you.

Email Servers and Clients:

A mail server (sometimes also referred to an e-mail server) is a server that handles and delivers e-mail over a network, usually over the Internet.

A mail server can receive e-mails from client computers and distribute them to other mail servers. A mail server can also deliver e-mails to client computers.

A client computer is normally the computer where you read your e-mails, for example, your computer at home or in your office.

Also, an advanced mobile phone or Smartphone, with e-mail capabilities, can be regarded as a client computer in these circumstances.

client and mail server process

Email Protocols:

IMAP and POP are the protocols or technologies using which you can download messages from mail servers on your computer and access them with the help of mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.

IMAP POP
IMAP(Internet Messaged Access Protocol) always syncs with mail server so that any changes you make in your mail client (Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird) will instantly appear in your webmail inbox. POP(Post Office Protocol), your mail client account and mail server are not synced. It means whatever changes you make to your email account in the mail client will not be transferred to the webmail inbox.
POP just downloads email to your computer, and usually (but not always) deletes the email from the remote server. IMAP allows users to store their email on remote servers. This two-way protocol also allows the user to synchronize their email among multiple devices, which is crucial today.

 

Way to access Email – Webmail:

There are different options to access the email on web hosting account. Webmail is the option provided by most web hosts to access the emails.

The most popular webmail clients provided are Horde, RoundCube, and Squirrel mail.

Finding a Web Hosting Company – Important Questions to Ask your Web Host Provider

Right Web Host

Web Hosting isn’t like buying groceries, and it’s isn’t a decision you should make lightly. There are far too many things you have to consider.

When setup an online presence for your business making a mistake could cost you money as well as lost reputation. But this leaves us with the question; what makes a good web host?

I’ll point out 15 questions you should ask to your web host. How they answer these questions will determine what is the right Web Hosting solution for your website?

  • What is their Promised uptime guarantee?
  • Are they a web hosting reseller or a core web hosting provider?
  • what are the available support channels – email, forums, live chat, telephone? and do they provide 24/7/365 support or only during primary business hours?
  • Does they use cPanel for one click installations of selected software?
  • How can they insure that unauthorised users will not compromise the integrity of your Web site?
  • May I cancel my subscription at anytime? Are there any penalty fees for switching or closing my web hosting account?
  • What makes them better than their competitor?
  • What are the monthly maintenance fees and what do they cover?
  • Do they even offer backup solutions? How much control over the backup schedule/strategy do you have?
  • What is the restoration process and timeline to recover data from a backup?
  • How secure is the site?What about encryption / SSL support?
  • Do they have a trial period or money-back guarantee?
  • What is the refund policy during the trial period?
  • Can I view a sample site that is hosted on the same web hosting server that my web site will be on?
  • Do they have a knowledgebase of tutorials?
  • Do they offer shell access?
  • Does they have VPS or Dedicated Server Solutions? Will they be able to easily upgrade your web hosting account?
  • What are the payment methods and payment plans?

* If you need more details a separate guide is provided here: How to pick the Right Web Host

As with all these factors do some research, get some opinions and make an informed decision.First understand and look at all the features available then only compare the prices.

I hope that I have given you a basic understanding of how web hosting works. It will help you out to choose the right provider, and you can start your web hosting business.

This is a fascinating industry where a high price does not provides you quality web hosting and support.

So be careful while choosing the provider and if you are still confused. Don’t worry contact us we will help you out.