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Webhosting - What it is and How it Works Print

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Webhosting - What it is and How it Works

       What is Webhosting? Simply put, webhosting is the service that allows you to make a website available to the internet. Webhosting is comprised of two main components. The first is a domain name and the second is a hosting provider. What does this mean for you? It means that without an address and a hosting provider, your website is likely only going to be seen by you. 

Domain Names

        Let's break these components down. First the domain name. Just like your home has an address, your website needs an address, too! The domain name is the address where your website resides. Your domain name is linked to the IP, or internet protocol, address of the server which houses your website. An IP address is a unique address that is assigned to a device on the internet. By linking the domain name to the IP address, nameservers can use a domain name system (DNS) to translate www.yourwebsite.com to its IP address of 192.xxx.xxx.xxx. 

       Domains have to be purchased through a domain registrar. The purchase of a domain is more like a lease. Domains can be purchased for a time increment, at the end of which you either renew the domain or it goes back to the available pool for other users to purchase. In most cases, domain leases are for 1-5 years and can go even longer. Several trusted domain registrars are listed below. Each of these websites will allow you to search for and register your custom domain. Once you purchase a domain from a registrar, check out this article for making your domain work with Xtremeprovider hosting.

Hosting Provider

      Now that we have established that the domain name is the website's address, we now have to provide the website a home. A hosting provider is the house in which your website lives. Hosting providers rent out space to store websites and provide services to keep your website secure. When someone on the internet types in your domain, DNS servers identify the name and forward the user to the IP address where your website is housed. What happens when you access a website can be seen in the illustration below.


     Often, you will have to purchase your domain and hosting services separately. In some cases, domain registrars will, for an additional fee, offer website services to assist you with designing your website and DNS services to ensure that your website is reachable from the internet. Although Xtremeprovider is not a domain registrar, our staff can assist you with selecting a domain and provide DNS and hosting services.


Types of Hosting Available


     There are several different options available for webhosting. Shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting to name the three primary hosting methods. 


     Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. Multiple websites are hosted on the same server. This is often a low-cost option that provides a wealth of benefits as the hosting provider is able to provide multiple customers with service options at lower costs. The tradeoff for the lower cost is the fact that with shared hosting you also share the resources of the server with the other websites. This can provide less than optimal load times for larger websites when there is high traffic or neighbor website demand. This option is best for smaller websites. If you notice your website slowing down, it may be time to upgrade to a VPS hosting option.


     VPS hosting, also known as virtual private server hosting, shares one physical server with other websites, but a dedicated instance and resources are allocated to your website. The virtual server environment provides for greater control and resources than shared hosting while only a marginal increase in cost. Even better, because the population on VPS hosting is less dense, with each physical server only hosting 10-20 websites, and the server being sub-divided into multiple instances with dedicated resources, traffic on other website will not impact your website. Because of the virtual nature of VPS, the system is scalable allowing for purchasing increased resources if necessary. It is important to mention that managing a website in a VPS hosting environment is more technical than shared hosting. Because of this fact, if you are not experiences with website development or management, it could be prudent to hire a professional. 


     Dedicated Server Hosting is the high end of hosting environments. With dedicated hosting you have the whole physical server dedicated to your website. In this environment there are no resources to share, no limitations imposed on hardware or operating system. These hosting environments offer extreme speeds, better resources, and the highest level of flexibility. The downside to this option is that it requires an extremely high level of technical knowledge and you may have to hire an experienced professional to help you with your website. Dedicated servers are most desired when you require high levels of data privacy or have very specific hardware needs. 




     Webhosting is the combination of a website's domain (address) and the website's location (host). Xtremeprovider, although the company is not a domain registrar, has the ability to assist with domain registration and provide multiple hosting solutions for any of your website needs. 

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