Where Do The Files Go: ELI5 Webhosting

Where Do The Files Go: ELI5 Webhosting

So you’ve got a fancy domain name registered with a domain name registrar. But all of a sudden this IT guy tells you that you need to sign up with a web host, and that you have to pay for their service.

Is this a scam? What. The. Hell.

First thing you better do is calm down. No one is trying to scam you! The next thing you have to do is keep reading because I have the answers to the hypothetical problem I just introduced.

What Is A Web Host

Simply put, a  web host is a company that provides the tools necessary to make your website available to the world through the internet. Pretty simple right? If the words make sense to you but the concept still seems a bit out of reach think of the web host as a mall, and think of your website as a store. For customers to be able to visit your store, you’re going to need an actual space. The web hosting company provides your store with that space inside of their mall.

What’s My Domain Name For

Staying with the mall analogy, the domain name is just an address for your store. You still need a web host for your websites files because if you have the address (the domain name) but there’s no store (your website) at that address, your customers won’t have anything to do.

Can’t I Just Host It Myself

You can in fact, host your website on your own server. This is however a path that not many take because there are a some serious considerations to make when choosing this path.

First, you’re going to have to consider the cost. To be able to set up your own server at home, you will have to get the equipment. Once you have the equipment and its up and running, you will have to pay for the electricity to run the server and the electricity to run the equipment that keeps the server cool. Finally, you will have to pay your internet service provider to set you up with a static ip address. This helps computers find your server.

Next consideration to make is the security. Network security is no joke. Sure a lot of crackers fool around just to see if they can, but you should never take security lightly. If you want to set up your own server and serve files from there you better make sure that you understand the risks involved.

Seriously, do not take security lightly

Finally you have to consider your time. It won’t take years to set up and configure your own server but making sure everything is hunky-dory 24/7 just might be too much for you.

I honestly find that registering with a web host is the best way to go. For one, those people literally do it for a living. If you are reading this, chances are that you, do not. For the amount of money you pay web hosts, they take care of a lot for you.

Fast web servers? Check.

File security? Check.

24/7 support? Check (most companies anyway. If you find yourself looking at a web host that has crappy support, turn away and keep looking. It is not worth it!)

Accessibility? Check.

What more could you want?

What Now?

Now that you know you’re not being scammed, next time I will show you how to set up an account with SiteGround.

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