Article 2: What is Hosting….?

Following on from my last article about domain names, a quick recap to tie us in nicely to Hosting. So far we have a ‘named folder’ (our lovely unique www. domain name), which we have registered in preparation for our website. 

What is Hosting….?

In the ‘old times’, we would of course have to put our folder somewhere so that we could keep it safe and go to it when we needed. This was generally a ‘filing cabinet’ of some sort, that would house a number of folders, probably in some sort of filing order so that it was easily retrievable to look at the contents as and when needed.

Our hosting provider is just that, a filing cabinet to keep our folder and its contents in. Let’s expand a little on that.

Our ‘filing cabinet’ is basically a computer storage area (known as a server) for your website.

When someone types in your domain name on their computer, it will use its own ‘filing system’ to find your website and display its contents on your screen. Simple huh….?

Now that you’ve got it, I shall use the word ‘server’ instead of ‘filing cabinet’. In case you haven’t, just replace the word ‘server’ with the word ‘filing cabinet’. 🙂

Hosting is the word used for describing the above as the server is playing ‘host’ to your website folder.

How do I purchase this ‘Hosting’….?

Basically, before your website can be seen, you need two things, Domain Name & Hosting which have to be linked, both of which now you should have a little understanding of. It therefore makes sense that both these purchases are available as packages.

Most registrars offer hosting as a package along with your domain name, some even offering a FREE domain with the hosting (the domain may only be free for the first year). The hosting is similar to your domain name in as far as the terms of payment are concerned and may be renewed yearly or less depending on your preference. This option keeps things simple in that the registrar/hosting company will ‘link’ or ‘point’ your domain name to your hosting account for you, something less for you to worry about.

The other option is of course to buy the domain name and hosting separately from different companies, but this means that input from you is required. You will need to make sure your domain name from your registrar is pointing to the server of your hosting company. This is something we will cover in a future article but to keep things simple, the first option is the simplest.

BUT….before you go buying your domain and your hosting package, check out our last article in this series ‘Getting a Website Designed’ (if not available yet, it will be very soon so check back) as we could save you time and money.

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