What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to make your website available over the internet. Web Hosting companies (web hosts) such as DreamHost and iPage provide space for your website on a server that sits in a data centre.
Hosting requirements can vary greatly depending on your needs, from simple file hosting using an FTP to large and complex websites that require dedicated servers. For simple websites a shared hosting package will do the job.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a unique name that identifies your website like an address. Domain names are assigned by the “Domain Name System” (DNS) and there can be no two the same. The domain name of this site is webhostingdiscounts.co.uk. Consider a domain name as a nickname for your site, something that is easy to remember as the real technical address of your site is the IP address of the server where it sits and these are definitely not memorable.
The most popular domain names are utilise the suffix .com, .org and .info
What is Uptime?
Uptime is very important, it usually expressed as a percentage of time that the systems your website sits on remain connected to the World Wide Web allowing it to be accessible to users.
When choosing a web hosting service you should look for a high uptime, most services boast uptime of 99% – 100%. While these figures look appealing you have to dig deeper into the web hosts SLA’s to find out how they calculate their figure as an uptime of 100% doesn’t fully guarantee your site will never be down. Many services have scheduled maintenance slots for their servers which will produce downtime and this scheduled downtime is not included the final figures. If a web host has unexpected downtime you may be entitled to a partial refund on your hosting package however you will need to check the terms and conditions you were agreed to when signing up.
What is Disk Space?
In shared hosting disk space is the amount of space your site and files use up on the hosting server’s hard drive. Web pages take up a very small amount of disk space so if you are thinking of building a small website packages that give you 10 – 100GB will be more than enough. Larger websites are best choosing a web hosting package that provides unlimited disk space. Remember that most web hosts offer “Unlimited Disk Space / Storage” so it’s important to note that it is only unlimited if you comply with their policies.
Even though you may have unlimited disk space you should still optimise your web pages to take up as little room as possible. When a user visits your site they are effectively downloading the page (see bandwidth), the larger the page size the longer it will take to load for the user and no one likes a slow page.
What is Bandwidth?
Also referred to as “Network Transfer” when used in web hosting, bandwidth is the amount of data that transfers to and from the server where your website sits. When a user visits your site data is transferred so if they downloaded a 200mb file from your site 200mb of data is transferred. If your host has a limit on bandwidth you may find your site becomes inaccessible if it becomes very popular. With unlimited bandwidth it means you don’t have to worry about this happening
As most web hosts offer “Unlimited Bandwidth” it’s important to note that it’s only unlimited if you comply with their policies.