What Is Web Hosting And How Does It Work?
Web hosting refers to the tools and techniques that create a platform that enables organizations and individuals to make their websites accessible to the public from anywhere in the world via an Internet Connection.
It refers to a typical storage space on a server that is reserved for a website.
These storage spaces are owned by the web host or web hosting provider which is a business that provides the technologies and services that are needed for the website or webpage to be viewed. Websites are hosted, or stored on special computers that are called servers. When Internet users wish to view a website, they simply need to type in the website address or domain name in their browsers.
Web Hosting History – How Did It Begin
Like many people out there, you probably wonder how web hosting started. Throughout the years, web hosting evolved into something completely different from what it was.
It all started in 1962 when J.C.R. Licklider wrote a series of articles where he visualized a Galactic Network concept.
This was based on the idea of a series of globally interconnected computers where information and resources could be accessed from any site.
Lawrence G. Roberts & Thomas Merril
In 1965, Lawrence G. Roberts and Thomas Merril started the first, but very slow computer. In 1966 Roberts unveiled his plans for ARPANET, the first wide-area network ever developed.
In 1969, they successfully linked computers. Each computer was a host making them all able to interact with one another.
How web hosting trend change from spinning hard drive to high-speed SSD Drive to Latest Cloud servers.
Earlier in the 90s the web hosting servers are on Pentium machines having very low storage capacity hard disk drive but as time goes on it speedily upgraded to powerful Xeon servers with high capacity HDD stores in mid of the year 2000. This trend turns into high-speed SSD drive servers to experience faster website loading speeds in late 2008.
But the technology keeps upgrading faster than expected and In late 2009 moved to Cloud technology to a better invention.
This is how the web hosting trend keeps changing from old-school traditional spinning HDD drive to high-speed SSD to the latest cloud technology. From Pentium to Xeon and so on and on…
The Domain-Name System
Flash forward to 1984: the Domain-Name System (DNS) was introduced. Basically, which is a term for computers to be able to distinguish themselves from one another.
Six domains were introduced namely: .edu (Education), .gov (Government), .com (Commercial), .net (Network Resources), .mil (Military), and .org (Organization).
Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Creation
In 1989 was the year the World Wide Web (WWW) started. Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web in a bid to come up with a system that was more reliable and automated, one that made sharing information more convenient.
By the close of 1990, Berners-Lee developed key technologies for the Web, which included Hypertext Markup-Language (HTML) that aided in the creation of Web pages.
There was also the introduction of Hypertext Transfer-Protocol (HTTP) which was basically a set of rules that govern the transfer of data and information across the Web/ Lastly, there were the Uniform Resource-Locators (URLs) which are basically Web addresses that you use to find a document or page.
WWW as a Public-Domain
CERN is credited with putting the WWW in the public domain in 1993 and a year later, John Rezne and David Bohnett founded GeoCities known as Beverly Hills Internet (BHI).
GeoCities expanded its operations in the years that followed, and millions of internet users fell in love with the website, pushing its rank to 5th among the most popular sites in 1997. When Yahoo! bought the platform in 1999, internet users could upload content pages that were hosted by GeoCities in these virtual cities.
Web Hosting Then
The very first web hosting comprised only one web server. The server was operated in a regular workstation.
And while Berners-Lee’s NeXt computer machine was utilized as a server, it had no real physical security.
Types Of Web-Hosting
There are many types of web hosting. While they all act as a storage place for a website, they differ in the amount of storage capacity, control, technical knowledge requirement, server speed and reliability.
Below is a list of the most commonly used types:
Shared Web Hosting
This is the most elementary form of web hosting available. This is where the website will be stored on the same server as multiple other websites- i.e. a few hundred to a few thousand. All domains will share the same server resources, such as RAM (Random-Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing-Unit). Generally, the number of pages housed on this server is quite small and are easily supported with minimal risk of site speed interference.
The cost of shared hosting is relatively low which will be advantageous to smaller businesses. However, this might cause the “bad neighbor effect” which is the phenomenon witnessed when a website on the shared server tends to hog resources due to poor coding or unusually high traffic. Shared hosting allows minimal customization as any changes will affect all the other sites on the server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A virtual private service (VPS) mimics a dedicated server but within a shared hosting environment. VPS hosting is still not able to handle high traffic levels and other sites on the server can still affect the site’s performance.
However, VPS hosting is more reliable as there is a significantly reduced number of websites per server. This, in turn, decreases the demand. This hosting type will also offer you the ability to customize your website but with the added benefits come added costs.
Rather than sharing space, your website gets a server dedicated all to itself. Dedicated Server-Hosting gives the owners the most control over the server their website is stored on.
This gives you full root and admin access, which means you have control over everything. However, besides the significant price jump, you require a good deal of technical knowledge, more so if you are using a fully-unmanaged service.
Last but not least, cloud hosting is often considered the most reliable of all the services. This is an innovative way of hosting that allows customers powerful, scalable, and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. This means that many computers are working together, running applications using computing resources- it is a hosting solution that works via a network.
Cloud hosting offers remarkable advantages from scalability to setup to security. The resources required to maintain your website are spread across more than one web server, which reduces the chances of downtime. Cloud hosting is scalable, which means you are able to grow your site using as many resources as possible and only paying for what you need. Frankly, based on the above, cloud hosting has little to no disadvantages.
What Is The Future Of Web Hosting?
From physical workstations to virtual servers, to cloud-based servers… The Internet is growing at an exponential rate.
With talks of decentralized web hosting along with green web hosting, what does the future of web hosting look like?