When the internet was introduced to us, not many people believed that one day, the internet would grow to become the powerful tool it has become today. The development of the internet is continually evolving with new innovative technologies being produced. The internet has become a vast network being used for various purposes, primarily to enhance the marketability of brands, goods, services, and products, among other uses. One of the things about the internet that a lot of people are curious about is how websites and web pages are able to be accessed on the internet, and this process is possible with the aid of a web hosting service, which leads to another question: “What is web hosting?”

What is Web Hosting?

Basically, web hosting refers to a service which makes it possible for individuals, businesses, and companies to post web pages or websites to the internet. The web hosting service provider has the technologies needed (server: a computer that makes your site accessible by web users) to save and upload the web pages or websites onto the internet, and thus make it available to be viewed by visitors to the site. To better illustrate this, let us assume Miss Amy is a Canadian photographer and intends to get a website, so she contacts a Canadian website designer, then after the design is done, a subscription is paid to a Canadian website hosting company, who in turn allows the site to get uploaded on the internet. Hence, it is safe to say the web hosting company serves as the portal for web pages and websites to become active and live on the internet. 

Features

A web hosting service comes with different features that make it possible for it to function as a host for your web page or website, and these features include:

Hosting Types

  • Shared Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting

Hosting Plan

  • Uptime
  • Domain
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Bandwidth
  • Disk Space

Site Setup

  • FTP
  • htaccess

Email

  • Pop 3
  • IMAP
  • SMTP
  • Webmail

 Simple Steps to Hosting a Website

A lot of steps go into creating a website and making the website live, however, for the purpose of this post; the steps have been compressed to make it easily understandable.

The following are the steps taken to get your website live and accessible by others on the internet:

  1. It is best to take some time out to decide the type of website you want, it will help you decide the best ways to go about hosting your site.
  2. Before a website gets created and prepared for hosting, it is important that the site owner/creator decide which hosting service would best suit the website. The shared hosting service is usually suitable for new website owners, but with an increase in traffic, the site owner can upgrade to either dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, or cloud hosting.
  3. After deciding what hosting type is best for the website, the next step is to pick a hosting plan while taking the following into consideration:
  • the loading time of your website (uptime),
  • the website address (domain registration),
  • the internet protocol address that is used only by the website (dedicated IP),
  • the amount of data being transferred (bandwidth),
  • and the space allowed on the server for use by the website for the storage of emails, pages, files, and various connected folders.

4. When a hosting plan is selected and subscribed to, and the website has been designed, the next step is to upload the web folder to the host server, and this is done with the aid of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). A lot of web hosting companies have their own FTP; however, some people prefer to use other FTP services for the upload of their files to the server. When the website files have been uploaded to the server, the website should become live after some time, and thus become accessible by people in different parts of the world.

5. You may decide to get your domain from a hosting company and choose to host your website with another hosting company. After registering the domain name, based on the email services that come with the hosting plan, you can also create email accounts with your domain name. So if your website is mywebsite.com, you can have an email like myname@mywebsite.com.

The above are the steps taken to make a new website become live on the internet. It is important to state that while there are a lot of web hosting companies offering these services, it is imperative to base your choice of a web hosting service from a company with a good reputation, because there are only a few companies that can offer the best web hosting services.

It is also important to pay attention to the server’s uptime because an irregularity in the uptime can come with unfavorable results, like the case of Amazon that experienced an uptime problem in 2017, the problem lasted for about 4 hours during which companies depending on the website lost about $150 million. So if your site is an active one with a lot of traffic, it is crucial that it is always accessible, as a few minutes of inaccessibility can cause different problems including damage to the brand’s reputation, missed opportunities, and a loss in productivity.

If you own a business in Canada and are looking to own your website, it is recommended that you host your site with a Canadian web hosting company. This is because it comes with different amazing benefits including improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which allows your website to get listed on the search engine results page when a search engine like Google.ca is used. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) eliminates the privacy of site owners if hosted with other web hosting services, however, a website that uses a Canadian web hosting service is protected by the Canadian Privacy Act and does not have to comply with the DMCA.