About Web Hosting
Find out all about web hosting or web hosting services, how it all started, what recommendations we have and why you need quality web hosting.
Hosting or Web hosting is a service you need when you want to launch an online site. This is a service offered to companies and individuals, providing the necessary framework for publishing a website on the Internet. In short, the web hosting service provider offers the client space on a dedicated or virtual server connected to store used data. Usually this server is placed in a data center. In the case of Hostico, the servers are located in the GTS Telecom data center in Bucharest, Romania.
Most of the time, the service provider offers each site a own domain name which is unique on the internet, the customer also receives both storage space for the site and personalized email addresses plus access to many other services.
There are several types of web-hosting.The first one is free offered through the WordPress and Blogspot platforms, for example. Although they are free, they have many limitations. The user cannot customize the look or other features except within the limits offered by the platforms.
Then there is the shared web hosting, which means that the site is located on a server that supports multiple sites. This type of hosting is not free, the billing period being monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual prices depending on the provider and the chosen solution. This type of hosting is superior to the previous one because it offers the possibility of customization and running a large number of applications.
Last but not least, there is VPS Hosting, which allocates a virtual private server to the client. This type of hosting is recommended for high traffic sites and / or certain specialized applications. We will discuss this type of hosting on another occasion.
Hostico offers free SSL certificates to each customer to secure the connection between web applications and the user. Google, the largest search engine in the world, favors the possession of SSL certificates by offering a higher score and high position in its search engine. In other words, Google prefers sites that secure these connections.
The history of web hosting
In 1969 Thomas Merrill and Lawrence Roberts created the first computer network. The network consisted of three devices: one at the University of Utah, one at the Standford Research Institute, and one at the University of California. Today they are considered the first hosting in the world.
The removal of internet trade restrictions has brought a major and welcome change to the internet. This happened in 1991 and created the need to host websites precisely because user freedom has increased. That was a turning point in the history of the Internet because since then it is in a continuous metamorphosis and growing from day to day.
Thus, with the basics of solid web hosting, even in 2020 to have a functional site you must meet three basic conditions:
- Have a hosting service
- Have a domain on the internet
- Create a website.
What is web hosting and why do I need it?
Web hosting is the ”ground” on which you will build the future house. A working site cannot exist without web hosting, just as a house cannot be built without land.
Web hosting is a service offered by specialized companies. The purpose of hosting is to store and process data that can be accessed by users via the Internet from all over the world. Basically, the user accesses the texts, photos and other data from his own smartphone, desktop or laptop device, having an internet connection. The site owner chooses how to interact with the user, thus creating a brand image.
The same cannot be said of a larger project, such as a virtual store or an institution's presentation site.
Therefore, the hosting packages purchased have as a defining feature, first of all, the storage space and the speed of data processing. In most cases, it also sets the price of the hosting package. And if we go deeper and think that the user of a site wants high speed, our recommendation is that the storage space be SSD. It is much faster than the classic storage medium that works with magnetic rotating disks.
At the same time, the speed of the processor, the physical memory, the number of allocated processes are important because all these offer the user a more pleasant and faster experience.
Storage space - it must be estimated and correlated with the destination of the site and the number of users who will access it. Insufficient storage space can cause service interruptions.
Resource utilization - must be established before choosing a web hosting package. A site that will use many resources, such as a virtual store, requires a high number of parallel processes.
Technical support - it is paramount. We recommend choosing services that offer technical assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is a domain name?
The domain is basically the name of the site. To continue the analogy of 'land' in the case of web hosting, the domain is the 'address' where the land is located and where we intend to build the 'house', ie the content of the site.
Most of the time, a domain is related to the online activity, but this rule is not generally valid. google.com, for example, is the domain name of the largest search engine in the world. We know that Google is a search engine due to its popularity but the name itself does not suggest this.
The domain helps you to be found and recognized. When the user enters your domain in the search bar of a search engine, your site will be suggested. The process behind this action is complex, invisible and often understood only by specialists in the field and those interested.
A domain name is a string that correlates with and corresponds to one or more IP addresses assigned to a server with a permanent connection.
What does it mean to create content for your site?
As I said above, the content is ”the house” which you build on your ”terrain”, web hosting, ”address” set by you, the domain name. And precisely because it's like a ”house”, the content must be welcoming as a good host. The site owner and specialists in the field decide what type of content they want to create just to pass on the message of the project.
Basically, content is something that someone decides to show to the user. There are two aspects to be mentioned in this regard – the content is what the user wants to see and the design is the structure of the information. Users are not interested in how you do the ”cleaning” for example they want to have a good time in your în ”house”, be properly served and find the information they need.
In order for the site to be to the user's liking, it does not only need well-structured texts and descriptive images. But it needs good functionality and optimal speed. The most popular content management system for a site is WordPress. This platform greatly simplifies both the process of creating the site in terms of appearance and functionality. It is easy to install and adjust, offering an easy way of administration that does not require advanced knowledge.
Its installation facilitates the creation of the appearance through various themes which can be customized and adapted to the requirements of the project. There are thousands of modules (plugins) and applications that help you create exactly the site you need whether we are talking about a blog, an online store or a news site, or a presentation of your product.
So far we have discussed the three major pillars that make a site functional:
- Web Hosting
- Domain Name
It's time to dig deeper and take a behind-the-scenes look to understand exactly how a site works.
The Web Hosting Server is a computer designed to run non-stop for a long time, sometimes even several years. It is dedicated to storing the data and running the necessary processes by several users simultaneously. Servers need dedicated locations named data centers and they are much more powerful than ordinary computers.
Data Centers are spaces specially designed for hosting and ensuring a good functionality of the servers. They are usually equipped with multiple internet connections, cooling systems and electricity. These data centers need special conditions such as a low, constant temperature and controlled humidity, and the fact that there are more internet connections, more cooling systems and more connections to electricity is therefore called redundancy. If an internet connection fails, for example, there is a second one that takes over the function of the first. The data center differentiates one web hosting service from another.
The server and data centers are the physical part of an entire ecosystem, the part of hardware. If we take a look at the software part, we understand the processes and services offered and run.
FTP means file transfer protocol. the processes and services offered and run through a ”client” FTP which is a connection program between a computer and the server where we are going to upload or download the files. The link is secured by a username and password that correspond to the hosting account. The function is most often used when a change – update occurs on the site or a new website is published.
HTTP is a server-level service that takes over user requests. Then give him the required web page. When we enter a web address (domain / site name) in the search bar, a request is created. The request will be answered by the hosting server and the browser displays in a structured way the information received from the web hosting server.
E-mail Server is a service that provides e-mail communication. It allows messages to be sent to the server and between mail servers using a protocol called SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol). The e-mail messages will be received on the MX server (mail exchange) and subsequently downloaded to the client's device (laptop or smartphone) via POP3 or IMAP protocols.
Indexing a site in search engines
Google is the most popular search engine on the Internet. After the publication of a site on the Internet, a „bot” in this case Googlebot, can find it by following the links from other sites already indexed. This robot has the practical role of expanding the internet and helping the user to find the most relevant information he is looking for. Thus, having links to other sites, it will be indexed faster, better and more efficiently.
The whole process may seem complicated, but you don't have to worry. There are many specialists who can help you create the site you need. From choosing the domain and developing the image of your brand, to the administration and implementation of the site. The most important thing, from our point of view, is to know what you want and to be willing to invest resources and time in your project.