So, you’ve decided to build a website, eh? How does it feel, knowing that you will soon be an itinerant on the great seas of the World Wide Web—arguably the greatest ideological marketplace since the invention of the printing press or telegraph? The whole world connected at the speed of light, inhibited only by the cosmic speed limit…and Internet providers’ sometimes inability to do what you pay them to do.
What Is Hosting?
Well, it is essentially the way that your website gets from your computer to the computers of everyone online who types in or stumbles across your domain name. The Internet is not a “series of tubes,” as a government official once described it, but a network of networks, a huge connection of computers sharing data with each other that spans the whole globe. For your website to be visible to someone online, it needs a physical home: a server, as a matter of fact. Companies rent out their servers, which are connected to the Internet as hubs for anyone who wants a website but not to build their own hosting server.
Types of Hosting
If you decide to not build your own server, which is certainly recommended for website novices, then you have about three different hosting choices: shared, dedicated, or virtual private servers (VPS). Shared is when you are given a slice, or “partition,” of a very large server, on which many other websites are also hosted. This means that you get hosting for cheaper, but you are constantly battling other websites for server resources and that means latency can become viral across dozens or hundreds of websites, all due to a surge of page requests on one. Dedicated and VPS hosting, however, give you additional security and protection from latency issues, as well as customization options, but they also will run you a pretty penny. When searching for the best web hosting service, it ultimately comes down to what you think the needs of your site are and what your wallet can afford.