You’ve just reserved a domain name and are ready to start building your website. Congratulations! Now you may be wondering why you have to pay for web hosting. This begs the question: What is web hosting? And why do I need it?
How Web Hosting Works
When you want to start a business in the real world, you need a physical location to set up, store, and sell your products. The same rules apply in the digital world when setting up a website.
When you set up an online business, you have a series of files, images, and HTML code that make up your website. These files take up space and need a place to live. Without an online home, your files would just sit on your computer and no one would ever see them. A hosting provider will provide a place on a server to store all of your files and are responsible for delivering the files of your website as soon as a browser makes a request by typing in your domain name.
When you pay for hosting services, you are simply renting storage space on the internet — just like you would rent a physical store for your business.
What is a Domain Name
Before we go into more depth, let’s talk about domain names. When you first thought about starting an online business, you purchased a domain name. A domain name is your company’s address on the internet.
Think of it this way: if you are renting space at a physical location for your business, you give customers your street address so they can find you. If you are renting space on the internet, you give customers your domain name.
Whenever someone types in your domain name, it is converted into an IP address. The hosting company then locates all the files connected to your IP address and returns all of the pictures, videos, and words that make up your website.
Just like every street address is unique, so is every domain name. Whenever you start a new website, you get the opportunity to choose a name that perfectly reflects your brand.
Choosing a Hosting Provider When selecting a provider it is important to consider the different types of hosting services that are offered. Here are a few things to consider when determining where you would like to host your site.What type of website are you building? eCommerce, blog, portfolio, etc.Based on the type website, what is the bandwidth needed to run your siteCan you create email addresses for your domain?What type of hosting options are available?Do they provide SSL Certificates?