Hosting (also known as Web site hosting, Web hosting, and Webhosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web sites. More important than the computer space that is provided for Web site files is the fast connection to the Internet. Most hosting services offer connections on T-carrier system lines. Typically, an individual business hosting its own site would require a similar connection and it would be expensive. Using a hosting service lets many companies share the cost of a fast Internet connection for serving files.
In a nutshell, hosting consists of a computer that hosts a website. That’s it! If you just remember that, and nothing else, you will have the gist of what we are trying to get across.
Why do I need Hosting?
You might be asking yourself: “If hosting really just consists of a computer that serves a website, then why do I need a hosting service? Can’t I just have my home computer host my website?”
Yes, you could, but that would be a really bad idea — I mean really bad. There are many reasons web hosts exist and their low cost and high performance make them affordable for everyone, not to mention headache-free. Below we’ve listed some reasons hosting a website at home is nearly impossible.
Self Hosting Pitfalls
- Power Outages – If your power goes out at your home, your website will go down.
- Slow Connection – While you may have very high-speed Internet at home, this usually only relates to download speed. With a server, since you are sending files, you need a high upload speed. It is almost guaranteed that your home connection has a slow upload speed.
- Dynamic IP Address – Your home Internet connection has a dynamic IP address that changes over time. This is like your house address constantly changing and people trying to send you mail. It makes it nearly impossible.
- Hardware Maintenance – If your home computer has any issues or needs a new part, it could be days or weeks before your computer is running again, and all of that time your website will be down and you may even lose your files.
Web Hosts to the Rescue
- Redundant Power Supplies – The power supplies at most web hosts are almost always backed up by on-site generators that keep sites live even in extreme power outages.
- Ultra-Fast, Stable Connections – Web hosts have extremely fast upload speeds and can serve hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of concurrent visitors easily.
- Static IP Address – With a web host, you can have a dedicated IP that will never change. This means your address always stays the same and people can always find your site.
- Expert Team Maintaining Hardware – The experts at these web hosts constantly maintain the hardware and have replacement parts on hand. They also have redundant hardware and back up your files for you.