About 20 years ago, owning a dot-com was as prestigious as owning a company. Admittedly, it was because of the dot-com bubble and a lack of understanding of how the Internet works. Many people still do not understand how the internet works. But the world and the internet has matured and things are a lot easier now than ever before.
Today, there are many services that allow you to run a website without having to understand anything about coding or how the whole internet works in the background. You can set up a website on your own or hire someone to do it.
In this article, we will try to explain how websites and hosting works.
Let’s start with the domain name. A domain name is like an identity that differentiates your website from a million others. You need to buy a domain name of your choice from a registrar. The pricing of a domain depends on the registrar and the extension you choose. It could be anywhere from $1 to several thousand. For this purpose let us go with a simple $7 dot com extension.
Once you have a domain name, you need to set up a Domain Name Service (DNS) for it. Imagine DNS as a phone book of the internet. A browser translates your domain name into IP addresses that will tell them where to go and fetch the information.
Now that you have registered a domain name, got its address, you will need a place to store your files. This is where hosting comes in. Consider a hosting company to be like a landlord who rents you a home in an apartment complex. Once you pay him money, he gives you a house where you can keep all your belongings. The domain registering company will help link your domain name to IP address and then you can point that IP address to your new house.
Whenever someone types your domain name in a browser, the browser will translate it into the IP address, the DNS service will act like a postman and tell it where your files are located. The browser then fetches the files and presents it to your visitors.
The speed at which the whole operation takes place depends on how fast your hosting provider’s server works.
If the lift in your building is fast, you can get to the top floor faster. In the same manner, if your server is set up well and has a fast processor and an SSD hard disk, it can retrieve your information quickly.
The price of hosting typically depends on the storage capacity, speed, the exclusivity and the reliability of the service. You can choose either a shared disk space or get a dedicated server. Based on the number of visitors and the bandwidth requirements, the cost of hosting can start from free and go up to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
A good hosting service can maintain a reliable uptime of up to 99.99%, ensure your website is always on.