Web Hosting Basics

Find out more about Web Hosting and the importance of a reliable and secure web hosting company.

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Web Site Hosting Basics

Below are some common web hosting questions and answers.

What is web hosting?

Web Hosting is a service that provides internet users with online computer systems for storing information, images, video, or any content accessible via the internet or web. For Internet users to view online information, the web hosting company places the website pages (html, php, etc files) on a web server which is stored inside a data center. Data centers are connected to the internet with extremely reliable high speed connections so that the world has access to the web files 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Web users access the web pages through the website’s IP address or the website’s domain name.

What is a web host?

A web host provider (or web host) is the company that host’s and maintains the web server that stores the website’s pages.

Does the web host own my site?

No, the content that is within your site is yours and yours alone!

How much does web hosting cost?

Web hosting costs vary dramatically depending on what type of website you plan on running, how many visitors the site receives, and any additional features you may require. For a simple site with html, cgi, and php web pages, the pricing can range from $15.00 per month to upward of $30.00 per month for a virtual web hosting account. If the website gets millions of visitors a day, you may require a dedicated server which can cost anywhere between $100.00 per month to $500.00 per month. This fee is to maintain a reliable high speed connection and enough bandwidth or data transfer per month for the website users to effective navigate through the website.

Can I host my website myself?

Yes. It’s preferable to have a high speed connection to the internet (DSL, Cable, or T1) and you can dedicate one computer to be a web server. Also, the internet provider may incur an extra charge for hosting.

However, this is the least efficient web hosting method since it puts heavy additional requirements on your home or office internet connection line and exposes you to security risks. It is important to note that the computer dedicated to being a web server must remain on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the website to be online all the time.

How do I transfer my website files from my local computer to the remote web hosting server?

The most common method to upload files from a local computer to your web hosting server is by using an FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, client. An FTP client is a piece of software that allows a user to authenticate and establish a connection to the remote web hosting server to upload files for the website.

Some of the popular FTP programs include WS_FTP, and CuteFTP, and certain web page editors like Microsoft Frontpage and Macromedia Dreamweaver have a built-in FTP client. Also, specific web browsers like Internet Explorer have an FTP client built-in. For more information regarding these web page editors or FTP clients please consult with the respective vendors.

What is bandwidth or data transfer?

Bandwidth or data transfer are terms referring to the amount of data that can be transferred in and out within a given period of time, usually monthly. When a visitor browses a website, he or she has to download the HTML, images, scripts and other files to view the web page. The amount of transfer the visitor uses counts towards your allocated monthly amount of data transfer. For example, if the visitor retrieves an image that is 2KB and one HTML page at 4KB, then the total data transfer for that session is approximately 6KB. However, there are other factors that may influence your data transfer measurements, such as, FTP, SSH and other applications accessing files on your web hosting account.

What is disk space or storage space?

Disk space or storage space refers to the amount of space you are allowed to store in your web hosting account. When you upload website files, for example, HTML pages, images, graphics, scripts and so forth, it takes up space on the web server’s hard drive(s). The size of the files you upload into your web hosting will respectively determine how much storage space you will use up.

How much disk space and bandwidth do I need for hosting my web site?

There is no definite answer for this question since it is highly dependent on your current and future web hosting needs for the website in question. However, a small personal website with light traffic will require 50 – 100 MB of storage space (disk space) and 1 GB of monthly data transfer. JIC Design offers a Starter Web Hosting Plan suitable for this type of website. However, if the website offers videos or large resolution images, the Advanced Web Hosting Plan is a possibility. JIC Design offers a Pro Web Hosting Plan appropriate for small to medium sized businesses with databases and shopping carts. This plan has the recommended disk space of 1GB and approximately 10GB data transfer.

How do I get my own domain name?

It’s important to realize that domain registration is separate from web hosting and these two services can be provided by two different companies. A domain name can be registered with any ICANN-approved domain registrar. JIC Design offers domain name registrations and include a domain name free with specific web hosting plans.