What is web hosting?

Posted by Andrew in How it works on June 6, 2014 with No Comments

Network It’s a question most probably still ask today yet while many know the answer, the term itself hasn’t been explained in a simple but comprehensive manner. When people ask what I do and I reply with “manage a web hosting business”, I can see their faces puzzled with confusion. I think the term has been adopted more widely today than say 10 years ago, especially since the introduction of free blogging services and other hosting related services targeting the general public, but more explanation is required.

I will aim to keep this article short and sweet to keep you fresh and pepped up on new (and potentially exciting) knowledge rather than bore you with a long detailed analysis, so fear not this will be quick!

So what actually is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that makes a website accessible online (world wide web), usually via a domain name (i.e. www.mywebsite.com). This service is managed by a web hosting business/company (like us!) or “web host” which either lease or own servers/data storage from a data centre.

Data centres are secured and managed facilities which house servers and other IT infrastructure which connects to various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Telstra and Optus and allows the servers, more importantly the data on the servers (i.e. website) to be accessible via a ISP network. This means that you, I or anyone else connected to this network can access the data stored on the server (i.e. website) in the data centre.

As an ISP network is usually interconnected with other ISP networks (locally and globally) which enables almost anyone with a connection to the Internet to access the website, all in the blink of an eye, or a few more if you’re connecting from overseas. Amazing stuff right?

I designed a simple diagram to illustrate the above:

hosting-diagram


That’s it! I hope you now understand a little more about how websites are stored and accessed, plus you can now use the term web hosting knowing full well what it means.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I will be more than happy to help.

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