If you are new to website development and hosting then understanding how it all works can be a little difficult. This short guide will give you the basics of how website hosting works in clear simple terms.
The first thing you need to do is read our quick guide on how domain names work. If you already have a domain name or have read our simple domain name guide then you are ready to move on to the next setp.
How website hosting works
In the how domain names work guide we explained how domain names give you your own personal address on the Internet. To recapp - a domain name is like a friendly name for the computer that you are going to store your website files on. These files are the pictures, articles and HTML codes that allow a browser to see your website on their computer or mobile phone.
The computer that your website files will be "hosted" on is called a "server". The web server is a special kind of computer that is dedicated to the task of responding to requests from your visitors browser to deliver the broswer your website content. Usually you share that server with many other people who to reduce the cost of hosting. The act of running a web server is commercially known as "website hosting" as the service provider essentially "hosts" your content like a landlord of a guest house.
The server is connected to the Internet and is assigned a unique IP address. The IP address is a sort of postcode that is attached to your domain name record. It allows the requests of someone who visits your domain name, - like "www.google.com" to be directed around the Internet to the computer "server" that your website is "hosted" on. By attaching your domain name to the correct IP address, a user can find you by your chosen name instead of using the less memorable IP address.
How it all fits together
As you read, the domain comes first. Once you have a domain name, you can choose a suitabe place to host your website. Then during the setup of the hosting you configure your domain name to use the IP address of your host server. Once that is done it will usually take a few hours for the whole of the Internet to catch up with the changes. Within a short time, typing your domain name into your web browser will display your website files.
So to setup your own website :
Register a domain name
Choose a hosting package
Configure the domain to connect to your hosting
Upload your website files or setup your Wordpress Blog