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Web hosting refers to the act of storing (hosting) your web pages (collectively your website) on a server connected to the World Wide Web. As part of your web hosting you will be assigned an IP address, which you can then configure with your domain name to make it easily accessible.

A web hosting provider is a company that supplies the web server and other technology needed in order for you store your web pages on the web. The hardware, software and associated technology web hosting providers can vary so it is important to choose the right hosting for your needs

Web hosting can be broadly classified into the following types:

  • Shared Hosting – Your website is hosted on a server shared by other websites. It is the cheapest type of hosting available.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting – You website will be hosted on a server optimized for WordPress. This typically includes advanced features such as auto-updating of WordPress and plugins.
  • Cloud Hosting – This is where your webhost lets multiple servers work together. Users are able to scale up their resources, and as such it is suitable for busier websites. Some Cloud Hosting allow root access, allowing them to alter their server configuration.
  • VPS Hosting – Like Cloud Hosting, but located on a single server.
  • Reseller Hosting – Based on shared hosting, this allows you to create multiple accounts and either resell them or use them for clients.
  • Dedicated Hosting – You get your own dedicated server in it’s entirety. You won’t have to share it with anyone, so all the resources are there when you need them.

If you are new to hosting, or have just created your first website, shared hosting is a great place to start.

You can find a detailed list of our recommended hosting providers here, which includes helpful advice on what type of hosting is right for you.

Alternatively, you can view our full list of shared hosting providers here, which includes a detailed guide on how to choose the best company and service for your needs..How the World Wide Web works?

Before moving on to the different HTML tags, Elements and other attributes that together form the inner workings of the web page, it is useful to have a very basic understanding of how the world wide web, or WWW, works.

The web is really just a collection of files saved on computers, or web servers. This includes movies, music, videos, and /images, but the main file used to display the web page is HTML. HTML is the acronym for Hypertext Markup Languange, and is the file that web browsers use to interprete the information into a web page.

The web is very complex, and has a vast number of parts that all contribute to make it work. However, in its simplest form it consists of the following:

  • The client – Your computer.
  • The Internet – This includes the Domain Name System, Network and HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
  • Web Servers – These are powerful computers that are stored in a data center that are always online and connected to the Internet.

To gain an idea on how all these parts work together, let’s imagine the process that takes place when a web page is loaded:

  • You enter a website address in your web browser.
  • Your computer sends a request to the web server the web page is hosted on.
  • The request is sent in a “packet”, which can be described as a virtual parcel containing both the IP Address of your computer, and the IP address of the web server the page is hosted on.
  • Special computers called “routers” and devices called “switches” direct thge packet from your computer to the web server.
  • The packets travel by a variety of means, including undersea fibre optic cables, underground cables, and even satellites.
  • Once the web server receives the packet, it reads the request made by your computer. For example, a request for a web page and any associated files and /images.
  • A web page, along with all the associated /images may consists of hundreds or even thousands of packets. All of these packets will contain information about their origin and destination, as well as how they should be put back together.
  • The web server will send the response, consisting of the aforementioned packets by the fastest possible route. In some cases, the packets may take different routes and arrive in a different order from which they were sent.
  • When your computer receives a response from your web server, it puts all the packets together and displays the web page.
  • This whole process can take just a fraction of a second.