Understanding Web Hosts

So, you want to create a website to tell the world about your business, your amazing portfolio, or show your friends and family you’re not only alive, you’re thriving. You found and registered your new website’s domain name… so… you may be wondering… how do I use that domain name to build my website?

Short answer: you don’t. Your domain name just tells the Internet how to find your website. Read more about domains here.

What you need is now is a web host.

What is a web host?

A web host is a company that puts all of the files, images, etc. that are the meat and potatoes of your website on their servers, and makes sure the world can see them. They are “hosting” your website much like one host guests during holidays (except your web host’s guests never leave).

Web hosts keep their servers (and your website back end) updated with the latest versions of PHP, SQL and more so your site continues to function smoothly and seamlessly.

How does it work?

Web hosts maintain a large bank of servers that host thousands of websites. The memory, hard drive space, etc. is a shared resources for these websites, so if one server out of the many goes down, the other servers can pick up the slack.

Their servers have a static IP (Internet Protocol) address (i.e. the address is unchanging) that acts like a mailbox. It is a fixed waypoint along the myriad of paths that transmit information to other servers around the world with commands from users. Want to ping Google? 8.8.8.8 is the static IP their servers use.

Where do I find a web host and how much does it cost?

Companies like Siteground*, Bluehost, GoDaddy, NameCheap* offer web hosting services. Web hosts offer different pricing options based on the customer’s needs. Users that are just starting a website for the first time won’t need a large amount of bandwidth and storage, so a basic plan will do in the beginning. Likewise, a business with many clients and employees will opt for an enterprise-level plan, which offers greater bandwidth and storage space in exchange for a higher fee.

These companies often offer specials as low as $2.95/month (when paid annually) for basic web hosting services. Many will also throw in a free domain name as well, so if you haven’t purchased your domain name, this is a good way to save some money.

Once you’ve found a web host and purchased your plan, the web host will ask for your domain name and how you want to build your website. Many offer proprietary drag-and-drop website builders so you can start building immediately if you don’t care too much about creating a custom website suited to your needs, desires and tastes.

If you do care, consider hiring a website design company like JLT Creations. Whatever your goals- having an e-store on your website, or maybe you want users to log in to view content, or maybe a forum or full membership site- JLT Creations can build it. When it’s done, you’ll be shown how to maintain it and add to it on your own. If that’s not your thing, JLT Creations will maintain it for you for a nominal fee.

Learn more about our web design services here, or click the button below for a free consultation.

*Sites listed with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. If you click the link and make a purchase, JLT Creations may receive a small commission at NO added cost to you.

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