A domain name is the identity and the address of a website. Once you have the domain name, you need web hosting space to actually build the website on this domain.
To build websites, you need hosting space on a web hosting server where the software, code and scripts along with images and videos of your will be hosted. A web server is a computer connected with the Internet for public (or restricted) access to content or websites. The computers that act as web servers allocate folders on their disks to different websites. When anyone tries to access that website, the person is redirected to the web server's folder corresponding to the domain and relevant content is displayed.
If you didn't really understand how web servers work, don't sweat. All that you need to understand is that a web hosting space is just a storage space allocated to you on a web server or computer that remains connected with the Internet for people to see it.
Choosing the right web hosting provider?
For a good website, you need a reliable web hosting provider so that your website or blog remains up all the time. Here are some of the features that you need to look for in a hosting provider.
- 99.9% website uptime
- Supports PHP & MySQL database scripts (used for dynamic websites & blogs)
- cPanel web hosting panel (for easy management) (Test the cPanel hosting demo by Bluehost)
- Linux-based (not Windows) operating system
- Free emails for your domain/website
- Unlimited web hosting space (most shared web hosting allow unlimited use for website content)
- Unlimited data transfer (handles unlimited number of visitors and data transferred in the process)
- Support for hosting multiple websites (optional, highly recommended for those interested in building multiple websites)
Recommended web hosting services
Though there are plenty of good web hosting companies, we recommend the following: Bluehost & HostGator. We use and highly trust both of the web hosting companies for best performance of websites at a very affordable price. (Affiliate links to the recommended products and services. We receive a compensation when you purchase or join using our links.)
Common features of good hosting
Domains: You can register domains directly with Bluehost or HostGator. both support unlimited add-on domains for hosting more than one website/blog and parked domains, subdomains.
Email: You should be able to create and manage unlimited email accounts with features such as eail forwarding rules and account filters, Secure POP3 and IMAP support, third-party client compatibility.
Backups: Both of the hosting providers create daily, weekly, and monthly backups of your websites. This helps avoid any mishap. You can easily restore your website with the click of a mouse.
cPanel: Built on cPanel hostig platform, you get access to a hosting dashboard interface with tools that make it easy to manage your websites, domains, emails, files, databases, etc. Check cPanel demo here.
Please avoid buying web hosting where:
- cPanel control dashboard is not available
- Windows-based operating system for the server
- Computer running the server is poorly configured