What do you need to build a Website?
To build a website you will first need both a domain name and web hosting account.
What is a Domain Name?
Domain name is the address of your website that people type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website. In other words, if your website was a house, then your domain name would be its address. Every domain name is unique. No two websites can have the same domain name. The domain name must be registered before you can use it. If a domain name is available, any internet user can buy it – which means paying a fee for exclusive rights to this name for a specified period. The price of a domain name is generally around $ 10 per year, and you must renew it regularly in order to keep the ownership. A domain name is recognized under the .com, .net, .org, etc. extension and should normally reflect its identity or business brand. (Example of domain name: websitenotation.com
) With most web hosts, you need to purchase your domain name separately. Or, if you already own a domain you can also transfer it to your current hosting provider.
What is Web Hosting?
Once you’ve purchased a domain name, all the files and data necessary for your website to work properly (codes, pages, images, databases, etc.) need to be stored together in a location connected to the internet – called Web Server
. A web server
is a physical computer that runs without any interruption and that connects web users to your site from anywhere in the world. When you sign up for a hosting service, you simply rent some space on a server on which you store your website files, assets, and databases – In other words, if the domain name was your house address, web hosting is the actual house that address points to. Your web host is responsible for providing the technologies and services needed for your website or web page to be viewed on the Internet. When Internet users want to visit your website, they just need to type the site address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your web pages will be delivered to them via the browser. Every website you’ve ever visited is hosted on a server. The amount of space allocated on a server to a website depends on the type of hosting. The most frequent hosting types are: Shared, VPS, Cloud and Dedicated
. They are generally differentiated by the kind of technology used for the server, the level of management provided and the additional services offered.
Different Types of Web Hosting
With shared hosting
(also called Web Hosting
), you share a server with several clients of your hosting provider. Websites hosted on the same server share all its resources such as memory, disk space, computing power, etc. Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting that is suitable for most small businesses and Blogs – for websites that receive less than 30,000 visitors per month. Pros:
- Low cost – It’s much cheaper to share the space on a server than to rent the entire machine.
- Ease to use – No need for specific technical knowledge – Your server is preconfigured; organization, maintenance and administration are done care by the host.
- You have no control over the server configuration,
- You have no performance guarantee: As the host shares resources, everything will depend on its ability to maintain good quality of service.
- Traffic surges on other websites can slow down your site.
With VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, you still share a server with other users, however, your web host allocates for you a separate partition on the server (a dedicated server space
) and assigns resources to it that are not shared with other properties. VPS hosting is ideal for medium-sized businesses with fast-growing websites – for websites that receive more than 30,000 visitors per month. Pros:
- You have a dedicated server space without having to pay for a dedicated server,
- You are free to administer your server as you wish by installing the system applications of your choice.
- Traffic surges on other websites have no effect on your performance
- More expensive than shared hosting,
- Requires a minimum of technical skills to manage a server.
Cloud hosting is essentially an improved version of VPS. Rather than relying on a single server’s disk space, It is powered by several resources, making sure you never have any downtime. Pros:
- You don’t have to worry about server failures because they have no effect on your site.
- You never have any downtime.
- More expensive than real VPS hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you have your own physical server dedicated only to your site. Therefore, you have whole control of your server with full root access. This option is recommended for websites that receive more than 300,000 visitors per month, those with exceptional needs and those whose data confidentiality is the priority. Pros:
- You don’t share the resources of your server with anyone,
- You can configure your server according to your own needs,
- You can choose to install any operating system and software you wish to.
- Relatively very high cost,
- Requires real technical skills to install and manage a server.
Choosing a Web Hosting Provider
Besides providing a server space for your website, hosting providers may also offer other services related to website management, such as:
- Domain Registration and Transfer, SSL certificates, Anti-DDoS protection
- Email hosting
- Developer tools, Web page builders
- Automated website backups, Application auto updates
- One-click software integrations (e.g. WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal or other CMS, CMF, etc.)
- Customer and technical support
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of website do you plan to host? Blog, Business, Ecommerce, Media or Entertainment, Community, Personal, Portal, etc.
- What are the goals of your website?
- What type of hosting options are available?
- What other services related to website management are offered by the host? (See above)
- How much are you either willing to spend?
Investigate host performance:
- Bandwidth, Uptime Guarantee, Storage space, Server Locations
- Years in the industry, Number of customers they serve, Quality of customer and technical support
- Money back guarantee, Reviews and testimonials from other users, etc.
If you are about to start an online website project, reliable web hosting is essential. There are literally thousands of web hosts available today, providing thousands of varieties of web hosting services. Plans range from free with limited options to expensive specialized web hosting services. Your website should have access to the right allocation of resources in order to load quickly and reliably for your visitors.
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