Web hosting, while thought of as an incredibly complex, non-user friendly service for geeks has become very easy to use, available to everyone, and increasingly important in our society today. Int this article I hope to outline how a website works in all facets and make it as simple as possible.
How it works
While the internet is referred to as ‘The Cloud,’ the internet has a massive down-to-earth presence that you wouldn’t even know of! When you upload something to the internet, it doesn’t just vanish into thin air. It is stored in massive places called data centers. A data center is basically a warehouse filled to the brim with computers that all have a specific purpose. In our case, we have data centers full of computers running cPanel, a web hosting control software. All of these computers work together to make sure that websites stay online and are access able via the internet.
When you decide that you want to get a website, you buy two things: a domain name, and web hosting. Both of these things work hand in hand to make your website accessible on the Internet. A domain name is your name on the internet. It is like Google.com or FitzgeraldTechSolutions.com. This is the actual address of your website. People type this address into the top of a navigation bar to get to your site. This is very similar to a street address whereas there is only one address that is unique to your house. The only problem is without hosting, it is as if you are leading yourself to a vacant lot with no house on it. Web hosting is the space where you actually build your website, or your house. Once you navigate to a website, your domain name leads your user to your server where your website is hosted.
When you sign up for hosting at Fitzgerald Tech Solutions, you gain access to our data center and the software that comes along with it. As soon as you sign up, you get a username and password to be able to upload information to the server and have it available to the World Wide Web. You are able to upload files such as HTML (HyperText Markup Language) or PHP (Hypertext PreProcessor) code files to allow the user’s web browser to download and display the pages on their screen.
Server Vs. Client
This may sound very confusing, but there is an even easier way to break it down. I will detail the difference between a server and a client and explain exactly what the process is in order for someone to view your website.
A server is anything that people access a website from. It is a computer designed to do one specific thing such as serving websites.
A client is anyone accessing your website. As opposed to a server, these are actual people looking at your website.
As Simple As Possible
Here is how web hosting works as simply as possible:
- A user types your domain name in the navigation bar of their web browser.
- The domain name leads them to your web hosting server with your website’s information on it.
- The user’s web browser downloads the information that it needs to display the web page on their screen.
- The user sees your website
Where to Go From Here
Matt is the founder and CEO of Fitzgerald Tech Solutions. He is well versed in web design, system administration, and all things tech.