What is Web Hosting?

webhostingWeb Hosting is a service that is provided to individuals and organizations to allow their websites to be accessed and viewed by the World Wide Web. Web hosting and web design Whittier companies typically have the needed resources in place to ensure a quality website infrastructure. While there is the possibility of hosting your own website, it is not recommended.

In order to host your own website, you need an active internet connection and a database that is accessible from the internet that holds your website content. Many would argue that there are many more requirements, but this is basically all that is needed for someone to view your website. Now, the reliability, accessibility, and quality of the viewing experience can be greatly enhanced by adding in some more elements.

  • If you are using a residential internet connection, chances are your IP (Internet Protocol) address is not static, which means it can change. So if I know the IP address of your website today, I can access it. However, if it was to expire tonight and I try to access it again tomorrow, I will not be able to if the address was changed by the ISP (Internet Service Provider). This happens frequently without the knowledge of the dynamic (changing) host.
  • In addition, download speeds on consumer-grade lines are typically quite high, but the upload speeds are painfully slow, so if you have any pictures on your website, it will take quite some time for the page to load. This is frustrating for today’s internet browser. We are accustomed to pages that load very quickly, so when we come across a slow-loading page, we simply leave and find another page that doesn’t make us wait. It’s sad but true.
  • Another factor to consider is the reliability of the website. If you are hosting a website at home or a place of business, chances are you have the website loading from a single computer, and if you’re smart, you will have a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) in case the power goes out. However, computers are known to crash and consumer-grade UPS’s backup power only lasts a couple of minutes. If your computer crashes or the power goes out for longer than your UPS can last, your website is inaccessible.

If you are determined to host your own website versus hiring a service provider and wish to maintain the level of reliability, accessibility, and quality that you would get, be ready to fork out some serious cash. You would need to purchase several static IP addresses, high upload bandwidth, backup generators, redundant servers, and networking equipment, and be ready to troubleshoot at a moment’s notice, night or day.

If you are still determined to host your own website but plan to do something simple like a little blog that only your family and friends will read, it’s still cheaper to use a blog-hosting service. If you are not concerned with reliability or quality, but you are with accessibility, you can register for a dynamic DNS address. This will give you a generic website name that will never change and stays current with your dynamic IP address. Your website will most likely be something like someothercompany.yourwebsite.com instead of www.yourwebsite.com or something along those lines.

If you’ve come to realize that using a web hosting service is in your best interest, there are a myriad of companies out there that provide web hosting. However, make sure you do your homework. There are a bunch of “companies” run by teenagers out of their basements, and other questionable organizations that may give you high upload speed, but lack redundancy or outage protection, or lacking in some other essential element. Do your research and choose a reputable company that has what it takes to host your website the way it should be. Global IT Communications is a premier web hosting provider.