If you want to get set up online then you’re going to need a website. First you’ll need a Web Design and a Web Address but once you have that how will people be able to access it? That’s where Web Hosting comes in. Web Hosting provides a service that links your Web Address to a server that contains your Web Design. Basically, it’s a little bit of real estate on the Internet where you website lives.
How does it work?
The Internet is made up of millions of computers and servers linked together. A server is really just a big powerful computer. You could look after the web hosting on your own computer if you wanted to. You’d have to leave your computer on and connected to the Internet all the time and you’d have to allow incoming connections from the Internet. But you could do it, in theory.
A Web Hosting service takes care of that for you. The provider’s servers are always switched on and connected to the Internet and they look after incoming connections. They worry about the more complicated side like server load, bandwidth, multiple connections, downtime and so on. Unless you really know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave the Web Hosting to the experts.
Types of Web Hosting
So you decided that the DIY option is not for you. Now your faced with the various types of Web Hosting. This can be anything from choosing Windows or Unix/Linux web hosting, virtual servers, share hosting, dedicated servers. Lets take a look at some of the options.
The quickest and easiest way to get a website online is to use online hosting. This is where you can create a site or page that is part of a bigger website. An example of this is Facebook. Once you sign up you can create a page using the features available. Another is WordPress, which can be used to create your own blog online.
- Generally free
- Quick and easy to set up
- Easy to use features and plugins
- Limited to features provided
- May be limited to the web address you can use
- Can be difficult to transfer to another site at a later stage
Windows or Unix
This is the type of software running on the server. If you website was coded in Microsoft technology then Windows is the way to go or if you website was created in another programming language like php for example then you’re looking at a Unix server.
Shared web hosting means your website will live on a server with lots of other websites. This is relatively cheap option that gives you must more control than online hosting. The processing power of the server is shared between each website that exists on it. And in case you’re wondering, you only have access to your website so you won’t know how many other websites are on the server or what they are. Your access to the server is limited to certain features and access is normally controlled through websites or applications rather than directly logging in to the server.
- Lets you build your own website from scratch
- Use your own web address
- Most come with ready to install applications so you can get started quickly.
- Technical support available for issues you might have
- Requires some technical knowledge required
- Speeds can be slow due to sharing
- Limit access to features of the server
Here a virtual server is created for you. A virtual server, as the name suggests, doesn’t physically exist. It’s part of a larger server. This will cost a bit more but it gives you the benefits of having your own server with out the expensive costs. As it’s virtual it means you may also be able to increase storage space or processing power quickly and easily.
- Full access to your own server
- Fast and easily expandable if your website becomes hugely popular
- High level of technical knowledge required
Web host using a dedicated server is similar to a virtual server except you get a physical server for your own. Again, this option is expensive and requires a high level of technical knowledge. With advances in huge data centres, it’s probably a less attractive option. Upgrading a dedicated server will be more difficult and may mean moving everything to a bigger server.
Web Hosting For You
Most websites will have relatively light traffic unless you deal with a lot of media (video, photo) or you have a web application of some sort. Online hosting is the obvious option when starting out but if you want something a little more professional then your looking at shared hosting or more.
Qwerty.ie provides everything you need to get started online, from Web Design, Web Addresses to Web Hosting. Perfect for small businesses or individuals looking to get online. We also carry out performance and optimisation reviews which we guarantee will increase the speed of your website.